<ul><li>The position of English as a global language of power (Crystal, 2003) and the relationship of this power-status for minority language students, learning English as a second language, in the New Zealand English speaking school community. </li></ul><ul><li>272:701 KFCOOPER ID:99760648 Language Awareness </li></ul>LANGUAGE AND POWER
Why is English described as a global language? <ul><li>It is commonly used internationally, for example in airports, hotel receptions, overseas cafes and restaurants where waiters in foreign cities understand English. </li></ul><ul><li>In most places in the world English can be used and understood. </li></ul><ul><li>It is heard on T.V. and in popular American and British music and movies. </li></ul><ul><li>Politicians, sportspeople and celebrities from all over the world speak it even though it may not be their first language. </li></ul>
How can English be described as a global language? <ul><li>A lot of people speak English as a first, native language, for example Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, Canada. </li></ul><ul><li>English can be described as a global language because it is used and spoken as a second and common language in many countries throughout the world. </li></ul>
English language has global power. <ul><li>The power-status of the English language has evolved over the last 400 years, beginning with political, scientific, and more recently cultural and economic power. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently it is the language spoken by powerful countries, for example USA and Great Britain. </li></ul><ul><li>English as a global language of power has nothing to do with the English language but with the power of the people who speak it (Crystal, 2003). </li></ul>
English is used as a common global language. <ul><li>International trade and communication between a variety of language speaking countries requires a ‘lingua franca’ to communicate and do business. English is used, at the moment, because it is the language spoken by the most powerful groups, for example U.S.A., and Great Britain. </li></ul><ul><li>Many international academic and business communities need to connect and ‘communicate’ over the Internet, using English they can communicate electronically through the Internet and other social networking sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Many diverse language speakers live and work throughout the world. </li></ul>
Why is English taught as a second language in a majority of countries? <ul><li>Knowledge of the English language is perceived as a powerful tool. Many language learners plan to use it to do business, to obtain jobs, to study and further their lives. </li></ul><ul><li>Students are motivated to learn it because of its power and global influence. They want to keep up with powerful influences and be a part of the largely English speaking world. </li></ul><ul><li>For English as a second language learners, living in New Zealand, it is important to be able to use and understand English in order to live and work as equals with others in the community. </li></ul><ul><li>ESL students in New Zealand schools are learning English to improve their lives and work opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>Learning to speak English will help avoid marginalisation and exclusion from meaningful participation in the English speaking society. </li></ul>
The dangers of English as a language of power. <ul><li>English as the global language may cultivate an elite monolingual linguistic class. </li></ul><ul><li>A global and dominating language may cause minority languages to disappear by using the more powerful language at the expense of others. </li></ul><ul><li>Those who speak English as a native first language may have an advantage by being able to think and work more quickly in English, maintaining power and status by manipulating their language advantage to the disadvantage of other language speakers. </li></ul>
The growing relevance of New Zealand English. <ul><li>New Zealand English is now accepted as an English regional dialect. </li></ul><ul><li>Language is socio-cultural, it responds to the society and culture which uses it. </li></ul><ul><li>In New Zealand it has been added to and modified according to its context, some English words have been re-cast for New Zealand use, for example bellyache, ( complain), clapped out, ( exhausted) . Maori and new contextual words have also been adopted into this New Zealand English, for example bitser, ( a cross-bred dog), old country, ( English immigrant’s country of origin). </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic Maori words are used in context at prestigious levels of society by politicians, religious leaders, socialites, pop musicians, and others. </li></ul><ul><li>Using local and Maori words is no longer seen as careless or ignorant, their use is acceptable, reflecting new Zealand’s cultural power and identity. </li></ul>
The situation for English as second language learners (ESL) in New Zealand schools. <ul><li>Students of English as a second language are culturally and linguistically diverse. </li></ul><ul><li>In the school context, as in the global international setting, students who have limited English language skills are also power disadvantaged. </li></ul><ul><li>With the worldwide importance of English as a global language of power, ESL learners need English to fit in and speak like their peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Some may have been born in New Zealand, but have parents from non-English speaking backgrounds, these learners may speak better English than their parents. </li></ul><ul><li>It is likely, that ESL students are able speak two languages: a first language and English as their second. </li></ul><ul><li>ESL learners are faced with two challenges in the classroom: learning English and learning the new ideas and concepts in English. They may be required to speak and understand complex sentences and ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>They also need to be able to use good, educated English to enable them to operate to maximum effect within the school system. Learning English will help them to achieve desired academic and social goals. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased English language ability will give ESL students increased language power-status which may help them to access desired resources, such as improved education and better work opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>For these ESL students, learning their first language and also the language of the dominant culture will invest them with power to improve their individual lives: academically, socially and financially. </li></ul>
The role of the teacher <ul><li>Recent census and Ministry of Education statistics over the last 10-20 years indicate that school populations have changed. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural and linguistic diversity is increasing in New Zealand schools and teachers are faced with an increasing number of ESL students from non-English speaking backgrounds. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers are required to respond to the needs of these cultural and language minorities, and make decisions, taking into account the multiple cultural worlds (Erickson, 2001) present in the majority of schools around the country. </li></ul><ul><li>ESL students enter school at all ages between five and eighteen and show a wide range of English language proficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>The differences in ages require different strategies: the younger the learner, the sooner they are likely to reach an English language level similar to native speakers of the same age. </li></ul><ul><li>The starting point for older learners depends on their level of literacy in their first language, previous exposure to English and their motivation to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>ESL students spend the majority of their time in mainstream classrooms. This content-based language teaching (Short and Echevarria, 2005) makes language learning more effective, as it is embedded in subject content. It is especially useful if the content is of interest to the learner because it motivates, captures and maintains their attention. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Teachers need to communicate as much knowledge as possible about how the English language operates, so that students can use language powerfully and flexibly. </li></ul><ul><li>If students are not given these tools they will lack the ability to appropriate language and successfully use complex grammar. </li></ul><ul><li>All teachers need to view every lesson as a language lesson: opportunities to enhance conceptual knowledge and language use. </li></ul><ul><li>Learners should be provided with a little but not too much beyond their level of comprehensible input (Krashen, 1982). </li></ul><ul><li>The development of the ESL student’s cognitive language skill will benefit from using the reciprocal interaction model (Cummins,1986) with its focus on collaborative learning, where ESL students respond to content, dialogue and guidance from the teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>As teaching generally occurs in a socio-political context, teachers should be aware and acknowledge the cultural foundation which controls the curriculum. </li></ul><ul><li>In school, as in the international environment, this may result in the dominant language and culture having advantages for members of that culture, while disadvantaging members of other cultures or minority language speaking groups. </li></ul><ul><li>The unintentional advantage for one group over another is a form of institutionalised discrimination. </li></ul>The role of the teacher
Ruth Schick in Promoting Positive Race Relations in New Zealand Schools (1995) describes it in this way: <ul><li>“ A history of cultural dominance by a particular group results, as it has in New Zealand, in an education system which has a particular structure supportive of the values of the dominant culture and associated with the greater success of members of that culture…the condition of the education system today is one of legal equality, but cultural inequality, with unequal outcomes for members of other social and cultural groups. Many people who do not consciously or intentionally support racist inequalities…...work within an inherited organisational structure which does have racist consequences.” (Schick, p. 23). </li></ul>
Promoting a positive language learning relationship in New Zealand schools <ul><li>In New Zealand schools, as in the international setting, the diverse minority cultural groups with limited English language skills are power-status disadvantaged. </li></ul><ul><li>Students who do not understand English will find classroom experiences challenging and possibly overwhelming. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers can work within the system to change the outcomes for ESL students. </li></ul><ul><li>In the New Zealand school context, teachers can help to empower ESL students and “have considerable impact on the social, emotional and academic well-being of students from different groups.” ( Schick, p. 23). </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstream teachers can help by learning about the cultures and languages represented in their classes (Cummins, 1994), and re-form their power relationship and attitude towards minority language students (Beykont, 2000). </li></ul><ul><li>To encourage ESL students to achieve success, schools can work to create a culture that promotes positive attitudes towards diverse cultural groups. They must ensure that students from these groups have equal opportunities to experience English language learning and academic success. </li></ul><ul><li>To enable ESL students to come up to the language level of their English speaking peers, extra language learning support is needed in all classes. </li></ul><ul><li>To help focus on content and making meaning, ESL students need to be given opportunities to learn and use language, to become creative and flexible in using English language skills. </li></ul><ul><li>As students learn to successfully use English they will also begin to access power-status and other related, desired outcomes. </li></ul>
References <ul><li>Beykont, Z. (2000), Lifting every voice: pedagogy and politics of bilingualism. </li></ul><ul><li>Texas,USA:Harvard Education Pub. Group. </li></ul><ul><li>Crystal, D. (2003), English as a global language. 2nd edition, Cambridge: CUP. </li></ul><ul><li>Cummins, J. (1986), Empowering minority students: A framework for intervention. </li></ul><ul><li>Harvard Educational Review, 56, 18-36. </li></ul><ul><li>Cummins, J. (1994), Knowledge, power and identity in teaching English as a second language. </li></ul><ul><li>In F. Genesee(ed) Educating Second Language Children . The Whole Curriculum , the Whole </li></ul><ul><li>Community (p.p. 33-58). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Erickson, F. (2001). Culture in society and in education practices” in Banks, J.A. & McGee Banks, </li></ul><ul><li>C.A. (eds). Multicultural Education. Issues and Perspectives (4th, ed.), New York: Wiley. </li></ul><ul><li>Krashen, S.D. (1982). Principles and practices in second language acquisition. Pergamon Press: </li></ul><ul><li>New York, USA. </li></ul><ul><li>Schick, R. (1995), Promoting Positive Race Relations in New Zealand Schools: Me Mahi Tahi Tatou. </li></ul><ul><li>Wellington, NZ: Ministry of Education. </li></ul><ul><li>Short, D., & Echevarria,J., 2005. Teacher skills to support English language learners. Education </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership, December 2004/January 2005, 8-15. </li></ul>
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