Comparative study of metadiscourse markers in ELT textbooks and Iranian localized high school English textbooks


Bagherfard, Forouzan
English Department, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran (

Simin, Shahla*
Farhangian University, Iran (


The present study attempted to investigate the use of interactive and interactional metadiscourse markers in two commonly ELT textbooks in Iran, namely, Iranian high school English textbooks, compared with the American English File series. To achieve the purpose of this study, all the reading sections in high school textbooks, Book 3 and Book 4 were selected. To have an equal amount of data in four textbooks, the first 6769 words in American English File Books 3 and 4 and 6769 words in high school English Books 3 and 4 were considered. To ensure the equality of the level of difficulty, the Flesch’s (1948) readability formula was employed. According to Hyland (2005) model, interactive and interactional metadiscourse markers were identified in reading sections of these four textbooks. The descriptive analysis of the study revealed that interactional metadiscourse markers were used more in American English File series, however, interactive ones were applied more in Iranian high school textbooks. The findings showed that there were significant differences in the case of code glosses and evidentials in two series of textbooks. The use of code glosses in Iranian high school textbooks was higher than the other corpus, whereas evidentials were used more than the other interactive markers in American English File series. The results of chi-square analysis indicated that there were significant differences between two textbooks series in terms of using interactional markers. But there were not significant differences in applying the interactive ones. Among different categories of interactional metadiscourse markers, engagement markers were used more than other interactional markers in the Iranian high school textbooks and self-mentions applied more in American English File series. The findings of this study have some useful implications for teachers, curriculum designers, and material developers.

Keywords: metadiscourse makers; interactive metadiscourse markers; interactional metadiscourse markers; Iranian high school textbooks; American English File series



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