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Ideology in the discourse of Montreal-based private language schools' websites

, McGill University , Canada

McGill University . Awarded


The Canadian language training sector is a booming industry for those interested in capitalizing on the worldwide demand for English, such as private language schools. Thus, this study analyzed the websites of two Montreal-based private language schools to elucidate how these schools use discursive and visual resources to advance their ideology. Defined as a form of social practice (Fairclough, 1992; Paré, 2002), ideology is the way in which the schools are acting discursively in order to serve their for-profit interests. Specifically, the study investigated how both schools manage the tension between their claims to educational legitimacy and their business concerns. The study used analytical strategies from Fairclough's (1992, 2003) Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and Kress and van Leuuven's (2006) visual grammar. Findings revealed that the schools further their ideology by positioning and legitimating themselves as educational institutions, and commercializing non-educational services (e.g., sightseeing tours) promoted as having second language (L2) developmental value.


Abrile, J. Ideology in the discourse of Montreal-based private language schools' websites. Master's thesis, McGill University. Retrieved October 14, 2019 from .

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