The Political Dimension of Language Teaching and the Participatory Approach
AND THE PARTICIPATORY
Many people around the world want to learn English
because they believe that it will give them a greater
chance for having good education and economic
Graddol notes that : “ On the one hand the
availability of English as a global language is
accelerating globalization. On the other, the
globalization is accelerating the use of English.
Although learning English benefits the individual
who learns it, some people are worry about losing
ability in another language , educational inequality
and endangered languages.
We know that there are clear differences
within and among the variety of English
speakers, so whose English should be the
language of instruction?
The language of native speakers English
such as USA?
Or the language of those who Kachru calls
them “inner circle” such as Australia ?
Or maybe the language of “outer circle”
You will get the answer!!!
Millions of users of English in the expanding circle
learned English as an additional language. They
use it primarily to communicate in multilingual
In other words, English is used as a contact
language. This variety has been called English as a
lingua franca , English as an international language,
global English or ELF .
The norms for English as a lingua franca are
determined by its users.
One example for ELF speakers: they frequently
omit the „s‟ on the end of third person singular
present tense verbs. . . but it would not be seen as
an error because comprehensibility is more
important than conformity.
First answer: English belongs to those
for whom it is a mother tongue.
Second answer: English owned by
whoever uses it regularly, for whatever
Critical discourse analysis is the study of how
identity and power relations are constructed in
language. Critical discourse analysts observe and
comment on how language is linked to social
practice that is sometimes conveyed.
Look at the headline of an apartheid-era South
“Jubilant Blacks Clashed with Police”
It would have been possible for this headline to have
a different word order.
“Police Clashed with Jubilant Blacks”
But this would have been assigned responsibility for
initiating the confrontation to the Blacks. It means
that texts are not ideologically neutral.
It is important for teachers to develop an
awareness of political issues around the use
Critical Pedagogy is an approach to
teaching that aims to create a more
egalitarian society by raising awareness of
social injustice as a necessary part of the
Some educators have explored literacies as
a plural rather than singular concept,
stressing the fact that participation in
literate English culture means more than
being able to read it. So students beside the
learning to read English, learn the discourse
of politics, education or business.
In this case teachers may decide to work
with students on a sample of language,
looking at the authors word choices,
grammar structure and other aspects of
language use. This activity might increase
students ability to make vocabulary and
To keep one language from complete domination,
teachers can foster positive attitudes towards all
languages. All language learning should be additive
not subtractive. It means language learning should
enrich the learners language capacity.
Many learners of English are plurilingual, which
refers to an individuals ability to speak more than
one language without sacrificing any language they
The goal of language teaching should be successful
language use and multicompetence, not trying to get
students to imitate monolingual native-speaker use.
Many language education programs prefer
to hire native speakers, however, in actual
fact non-native speakers bring a great
number of strengths to language teaching.
Besides, if they speak the language of their
students, they know the obstacles to
acquisition and how to surmount them.
A teacher should be aware of hidden
curriculum of a language class- what is
being taught and learned that is not
It begins with meaningful content. Form emerges
The content is not about subject matter, but about
issues of interest.
Freire engaged the students with immediate social
problems (unemployment, low income, addiction).
The purpose is not just linguistic development, but
for taking actions and thinking about the problems.
Education is not value free (it is value loaded
where feelings are involved)
As an example: compare discussing addiction with
talking about the use of elevators in carrying
1. what arevthe goals of teacher who
use the participatory approach?
the teachers'goals areto teach languge that is
meaningfulnan to raise the political consciousness of her
stuents. teachers want their stuents to be empowered to
use the language theyv are learning in order to solve
political probles in their lives.
2. what is the roal of the tacher? what
is the roal of the stuents?
the teacher dialogues with the students in order to identify
problems they are having. she then looks for ways to
incorporate these problems in to the lessos. these
problems become the content she focuses on in language
in struction. the stuents are encourage to share the daily
concerns of their ives with the teacher and the class.
3. what are some characteristics of
the teaching/learning process?
the teacher leads the students in a iscussion about
their lives. from this discussion, she identifies
problems that the class can work on as a whole. she
then posesthese problems to the students. students
learn how to use language in real-world situations in
order to address their problems. knowledge is
jointly constructed with the teacher asking questions
and the students responding. collaboration aong
students is also encouraged. focusing on language
form occures within a focus on content relevant to
stuents' lives. students are encourage to evaluate
their own learning.
4. what is the nature of student-teacher
interaction? what is the nature of studentstudent interaction?
the teacher is supportive of her students. she helps them
advocate for themselves. she helps the students find
solutions to problems while also teaching them the
necessary language to understand, discuss and, address
these problems. students work supportively with one
5. how are the feelings of the students dealt
the students learn theat their feelings are important and
that their study of language is relevant to their lives. the
students are invited to express their feelings. they are also
empowered by directing and evaluating their own learning.
6.how is the language viewed? how is the
language is an instrument of power necessary for active
and equal participation in society. language is not a neutral
subject. culture relates to stuents' daily experiences.
7.what areas of language are emphasized?
what language skills are emphasized?
language is used meaningfully, with a focus on form
subordinate to communication initially. ultimately,
correctness of form is taught an valued so that students can
be successful in using language with authorities. literacy is
thought to be very important, although no skill is neglected.
8. what is the role of the students' native
the students' native language is valued. it should not be
lost when students learn a new language.
9. how is evaluation accomplished?
as much as possible the students are encouraged to direct
and to evaluate their own learning so that it is connecte
with their lives.
10. how does the teacher respond to student
students are encouraged to self-correct. the teacer also
points out student errors and provides feedback on how to
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