Global ELT coursebooks and equalities legislation: a critical study

Steve Brown*, Christine Nanguy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Downloads (Pure)


Equalities legislation in the United Kingdom (UK) aims to protect the rights of all residents by identifying nine characteristics that can cause discrimination. This legislation requires institutions offering programmes in English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) to include positive representations of these protected characteristics in their learning content. However, many ESOL programmes draw heavily on global coursebooks—materials published for a global market—which tend to avoid equalities issues. This article describes a study that analyses global coursebooks from this UK equalities perspective, exploring how the characteristics are represented within these resources. Findings appear to suggest that the global coursebooks featured in the study are at odds with UK equalities legislation; rather than promoting diversity and inclusion, they legitimise and endorse the hegemonic normativity that fuels discrimination. We conclude the materials are an inappropriate source of core content for any ESOL programmes seeking to address the equalities agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-62
Number of pages12
JournalNew York State TESOL Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2021


  • equalities legislation
  • ESOL
  • global coursebooks
  • UK Equality Act 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Global ELT coursebooks and equalities legislation: a critical study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this