Publication details [#53947]

Moss, Gillian. 2010. Textbook language, ideology and citizenship: The case of a history textbook in Colombia. Functions of Language 17 (1) : 71–93.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper presents aspects of the results of a long-term research project on the relations between language and ideology in text-teacher-student interaction in Social Science and Natural Science classrooms in northern Colombia and their implications for citizenship education. The results presented here concern a grammatical conspiracy (Martin 1988) of historical determinism found in the transitivity and grammatical metaphors of a history textbook. The paper presents examples of each of the grammatical features in question, arguing for the inclusion in the category of grammatical metaphor of historical present, inanimate Sayers and Behavers and some non-ergative processes. It then considers how the various grammatical features conspire to present a deterministic view of history which precludes the possibility of change as a result of human intervention. Finally, It suggests that Colombia, in striving towards a more harmonious society, has need of a different view of historical processes as susceptible to human agency.