This archive has gone through many iterations before settling on what it is now. Originally, I wanted to focus on English education for native speakers and English education for those who are learning English as a second language. As a linguistics student, and also a person who has taken many foreign language classes, the subject of second language acquisition is fascinating to me. However, I realized that, having grown up speaking English, the only interactions I had with English textbooks were with those written for native speakers. I was interested in exploring the experience for those learning English as a second language, seeing what the differences in approaches, tone, and materials were. For a lot of my research, I turned to English textbooks, and tried to see if I could find differences between those written for English as a first language and those written for English as a second language. Due mostly to the availability of sources, I focused items written during the 20th century. The only major differences I found there were 1) that the textbooks for non native speakers seemed to be a lot more patronizing than those for English as a first language and 2) the textbooks for native speakers focused a lot more on composition, punctuation, and grammar, while the textbooks for ESL speakers were focused more on speech and pronunciation. From all of my experiences in foreign language classes, I knew that it was rather common for language textbooks, especially those at lower levels, were quite often slightly condescending, mostly because they have to use simple words and sentence structures while the students are still learning the language.
However, one interesting thing that I did notice was that all of the textbooks, in one way or another, touched upon the idea of assimilating the foreigners into American culture. Some of the textbooks were much more overt in their push for Americanism, while in others it was much more subtle, but it was always there. I therefore decided to focus only on the four textbooks that I had found for ESL, and to dig deeper into them and see just how deep the currents of Americanism ran.