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Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities
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Beyond communicative language teaching: new sociolinguistic realities, new challenges, new opportunities

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Over the past decades, the concepts and principles of communicative language teaching have significantly shaped how foreign languages are taught in our educational institutions. Success is largely …

Over the past decades, the concepts and principles of communicative language teaching have significantly shaped how foreign languages are taught in our educational institutions. Success is largely measured and experienced in relation to Standard English communication with native speakers, which, however, is in stark contrast with profound changes outside the English classroom. The expanding use of English around the world as a global lingua franca for intercultural communication has led to new “sociolinguistic realities” not only for second language speakers of English in post-colonial contexts but also for speakers of English as a foreign language and, last but not least, for native speakers as well. Against the backdrop of a social constructivist perspective, I will explore some of the challenges and opportunities these changes provide for English language teaching. Special attention will be given to a pedagogical approach that incorporates speaker-centered notions like ownership and satisfaction, and aims to help learners develop their own voice and non-native speaker creativity while maintaining an overall Standard English orientation.

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  • 1. Language Learning Media Beyond communicative language teaching  New sociolinguistic realities  New challenges  New opportunities International Conference Inter‐disciplinarity, Multi‐disciplinarity and Trans‐disciplinarity in Humanities, 15‐17 May 2014, Kayseri (TR) Kurt Kohn University of Tübingen and Steinbeis Transfer Center Language Learning Media www.sprachlernmedien.de kurt.kohn@uni-tuebingen.de
  • 2. Language Learning Media Overview Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching  Setting the scene: a non-native speaker’s ownership of English  Language learning and communication  From English as a foreign language (EFL) to English as a lingua franca (ELF) ?  ELF ownership and Standard English preference  Teaching ELF: what it isn’t and what it is  The EU project TILA: “Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition” Disclaimer The EU project TILA has been funded with support from the European Commission. This presentation reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. 2
  • 3. Language Learning Media Setting the scene – A non-native speaker’s ownership of English – At my first ELF conference, some 10 years ago, a native speaker presenter strongly argued against a NS/SE orientation for non-native speakers – which he claimed was fundamentally wrong and impossible to pursue with any hope for success. The wall too high to climb - the fruit too sweet and out of reach anyway – just not my sociolinguistic reality. I found myself excluded from the enchanted garden. But here I was, a Faustian creature with two souls: a non-native speaker with a desire for a native speaker’s Standard English orientation – a desire I was now told was unrealistic – a desire, however, that was part of my English self. This was when my quest into the nature of non-native speakers‘ ownership of English began – both as a researcher and as a non-native speaker myself. I found my answer in a social constructivist understanding of NNS ownership, i.e. the conceptualization of language learning as the cognitive, emotional and behavioral creation of “my English”. Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching 3
  • 4. Language Learning Media Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching L a n g u a g e L e a r n i n g a n d C o m m u n i c a t i o n 4
  • 5. Language Learning Media Communicative language teaching (CLT) Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching Communicative language teaching (CLT)  Communication as the goal and objective of learning  Communication as (part of) the methodological approach  Backwash of communicative practice on achievement  Successful language learning requires rich opportunities for communication Guiding principles  learner autonomy  authenticity – authentication  collaboration Methodological approaches  task-based learning  project-based learning  content and language integrated learning (CLIL) 5
  • 6. Language Learning Media Interdependence between communication and language learning Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching  Language learning is naturally geared towards communication  Natural language learning is (only) possible through communication  Look at how children acquire their first language  Look at adults in natural L2 acquisition  Pedagogical principles & approaches  communication first: –> task-based learning approaches – > CLIL  lexis over grammar: –> the lexical approach [Lewis 1983] 6
  • 7. Language Learning Media Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching F r o m E n g l i s h a s a f o r e i g n l a n g u a g e ( E F L ) t o E n g l i s h a s a l i n g u a f r a n c a ( E L F ) ? 7
  • 8. Language Learning Media The EFL nature of CLT Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching  Communicative language teaching (CLT)  emphasizes communicative competence and a greater tolerance for deviations (particularly in CLIL classrooms)  but with an overall orientation toward NS/SE  any deviations from the SE role model are at best tolerated (see the pedagogical model of communicative competence by Canale & Swain 1980 and Canale 1983; BUT: Leung 2005)  Because of a strong (exonormative) SE orientation, learners may stay alienated from their own creativity resulting in frustration, anxiety and even fear  (BUT) educational regulations for ELT institutions (in Europe) continue to be based on an exonormative SE role model 8
  • 9. Language Learning Media The many faces of English English as a native language English as a lingua franca English as a second language  Increasingly, people find themselves in intercultural contact zones with English as a necessary and natural means of communication for non-native speakers  In private and vocational contexts of communication from culture and education to business and technology English is developing into a culturally and economically relevant means for global communication English as a foreign language Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching 9
  • 10. Language Learning Media The “ELF communication argument” Towards a new pedagogy? Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching  ELF communication is successful despite deviations from Standard English  Communication strategies such as e.g. accommodation, meaning negotiation and ‘let it pass’ ensure communicative success  “Deviant” phrases and structures can be shown to emerge through endonormative processes of ELF development ELF communication is “usually characterized by a high degree of linguacultural diversity, routinely resulting in highly variable and creative use of linguistic resources. This is wholly at odds with the characterization of language in ELT […], in which received wisdom maintains that intelligibility is norm driven (thus privileging grammatical accuracy), and that effective communication is best achieved by conforming to the arbitrarily fixed language norms of Standard varieties […].” (163) “ELF is relevant not so much in terms of identifying alternative sets of norms, but more in terms of enabling us to move beyond normativity.” (166) [Dewey 2012: 141-170] 10
  • 11. Language Learning Media The “ELF communication argument” and the EFL teacher Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching  For many teachers the “ELF communication argument” seems to be at odds with their own Standard English orientation.  Teachers often perceive the “ELF communication argument” as an invitation to tolerate or even propagate deviations: “Do you want me to teach incorrect English?” Two reasons for teachers’ rejection of the “ELF communication argument”: 1. If ELF is conceptualized as a variety > ELF learning means learning this variety > ELF learning implies learning incorrect English 2. Perceived sub-text of the “ELF communication argument”: a. Deviations from SE don’t interfere with successful communication. b. ELF communication is successful due to communication strategies and speakers’ creative exploitation of their linguistic resources. c. A SE orientation is therefore not needed – it might even be counterproductive 11
  • 12. Language Learning Media Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching T o w a r d s a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n b e t w e e n E F L a n d E L F E L F o w n e r s h i p a n d S t a n d a r d E n g l i s h p r e f e r e n c e 12
  • 13. Language Learning Media My language – my English How do I acquire a language?  I acquire a language by constructing and developing it, i.e. by CREATING my own version in my mind, my heart and my behavior  Oriented toward my perception of the target language  Influenced by my native language, my attitudes & motivation, my goals & requirements, my learning approach, the effort I invest, and the people I talk to and want to be with  Not in idiosyncratic isolation, but in communicative-social interaction with others In this social constructivist sense, the English I develop is my own. And it is different from any target language towards which it is oriented. – The social constructivist “My English” condition – [This is not an option, but rather part of the human condition for knowledge and learning] [Kohn 2011, 2014; http://youtu.be/yCfpD49YhSg] Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching 13
  • 14. Language Learning Media The nature of speakers’ Standard English orientation Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching Strong version of a SE orientation Learners are required to meet the SE (teaching) norms – deviations are seen as evidence of unsuccessful learning This “strong” view assumes that language learning is essentially a copying process – which is actually a behaviouristic position. Weak version of a SE orientation Learners take SE as a model for orientation – it is acknowledged, however, that they create their own non-native speaker version of it [> appropriation, Seidlhofer 2011: 198] The “weak” view follows from an (implicit) understanding of language learning as a social constructivist process of cognitive, emotional and behavioural creation. [Kohn 2014] 14
  • 15. Language Learning Media Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching T e a c h i n g E L F : w h a t i t i s n ’ t a n d w h a t i t i s 15
  • 16. Language Learning Media Teaching ELF is not about . . . . . . teaching incorrect English  Teachers’ common perception of “teaching ELF” as teaching incorrect English is plausible if one adopts a “descriptive” conceptualization of ELF as a variety of English.  For pedagogical purposes, the conceptualization of ELF as a variety is misleading.  ELF should rather be understood as using one’s English under conditions of ELF communication. Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching 16
  • 17. Language Learning Media Teaching ELF is about . . . . . . helping learners  to develop their English (lexis, grammar)  so that it is suitable for their own requirements of communicative performance  Comprehensibility (⇒ feasibility)  Grammatical accuracy (⇒ possibility)  Situational appropriateness (⇒ acceptability, probability)  Participation (in communities of practice) and “express-ability”  to develop their (individual & social) identity orientation and requirements  to acquire strategies for making best use of their English to meet their own requirements of communicative performance  Accommodation – meaning negotiation – handling misunderstandings – ‘let it pass’  to explore and trust their own non-native speaker creativity A social constructivist perspective allows for a “weak” SE orientation, which leaves room for non-native speakers to develop their “own” English. Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching Albl-Mikasa 2013 17
  • 18. Language Learning Media ELF in the foreign language classroom Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching Focus on raising awareness for lingua franca manifestations of English  to increase tolerance for others and for oneself Focus on developing ELF-specific comprehension skills  to get accustomed to NNS accents and “messy” performance Focus on developing ELF-specific production skills  to improve pragmatic fluency and strategic skills for accommodation and collaborative negotiation of meaning in intercultural ELF situations Focus on developing the learner’s sense of ownership (“agency”)  to help them explore and extend their own NNS creativity (> Vygotsky’s ZPD) for more speaker satisfaction and self-confidence Exposure to a wide variety of ELF speakers Focus on form within a communicative approach (with a weak SE orientation) More communicative participation in authentic speech fellowships or communities of practice How can this be achieved? 18
  • 19. Language Learning Media Reaching out beyond the traditional classroom through more communicative participation Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching  Alternative teaching approaches  Content and language integrated learning (CLIL)  Practice Enterprise approaches  Creative Writing (for non-native speakers!) [> Gilyard 2011]  Intercultural exchanges through telecollaboration  Tools and environments:  Asynchronous communication: e.g. forum, wiki, blog, podcasts  Synchronous communication: sound/video conferencing (e.g. Skype, BigBlueButton), 3D virtual worlds (e.g. SecondLife, OpenSim)  REAL-LIFE contact and (intercultural) lingua franca communication  Social interaction: networking, sharing, community building  Opportunities for authenticated & incidental intercultural language learning  Beyond the classroom → intercultural communication 2.0 EU project TILA (“Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition”) www.tilaproject.eu 19
  • 20. Language Learning Media The EU project TILA “Telecollaboration for Intercultural Language Acquisition” Telecollaboration – Intercultural communication & learning – Teacher education  Telecollaboration among secondary school pupils (13-16; A2-B2) to facilitate/enhance IC communication & language learning in English, French, German, Spanish  Environments & tools  synchronous: > VC (BigBlueButton, Skype ), virtual worlds (OpenSim)  asynchronous: > forum, blog, and wiki  Activity types  in-class: > “tandem” and “lingua franca”  outside-class: > “home work collaboration”, “project groups”  extra-curricular: > “ELF conversations 2.0”  Research focus: impact of TC on task design, pedagogic organization, IC communicative interaction & competence, attitudes & motivation, anxiety, learner/teacher roles  Implications for learner preparation and teacher education 12 partners, 6 European countries: Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, UK (01/13 – 06/15) Coordinator: Kristi Jauregi, Utrecht University (Netherlands) Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching
  • 21. Language Learning Media References Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching Albl-Mikasa, M. (2013). Express-ability in ELF communication. JELF 2013; 2(1): 101–122. Canale, M. & M. Swain (1980). Theoretical bases of communicative approaches to second language teaching and testing. Applied Linguistics 1/1, 1-47. Dewey, M. (2012). Towards a post-normative approach: learning the pedagogy of ELF. JELF 1/1, 141-170. Dörnyei, Z. (2009). The L2 motivational self system. In Dörnyei & Ushioda (eds.). Motivation, Language Identity and the L2 Self. Multilingual Matters, 9-42. Gilyard, K. (2011). True to the Language Game. African American Discourse, Cultural Politics, and Pedagogy. Routledge. Graddol, D. 1997. The Future of English? A Guide to Forecasting the Popularity of the English Language in the 21st Century. London: British Council. Higgins, Ch. (2003). “Ownership” of English in the Outer Circle: An Alternative to the NS-NNS Dichotomy. TESOL QUARTERLY 37/4, 615-644. Hymes, D.H. (1972). On communicative competence. In Pride & Holmes, (eds.). Sociolinguistis. Penguin, 269-293. Kachru, B. (1985). Standards, codification and sociolinguistic realism: The English in the outer circle. In Quirk & Widdowson, (eds.). English in the World: Teaching and Learning the Language and Literatures. CUP, 11-30. Kohn, K. (2011). English as a lingua franca and the Standard English misunderstanding. In De Houwer & Wilton (eds.). English in Europe Today. Sociocultural and Educational Perspectives. Benjamins, 72-94. Kohn, K. (2014). A pedagogical space for ELF in the English classroom. In Bayyurt and Akcan (eds.). Current Perspectives on Pedagogy for ELF. De Gruyter Mouton. Kramsch, C. (2009). Third culture and language education. In: V. Cook (ed.). Language Teaching and Learning. Continuum, 233-254. Leung, C. (2005). Convivial communication: recontextualizing communicative competence. International Journal of Applied Linguistics 15 (2), 119-144. Seidlhofer , B. (2011). Understanding English as a Lingua Franca. OUP. Lewis, M. (1993). The Lexical Approach. The State of ELT and the Way Forward. Hove: Language Teaching Publications. Widdowson, H. (2003). Defining Issues in English Language Teaching. Oxford UP. 21
  • 22. Language Learning Media Kurt Kohn - Beyond Communicative Language Teaching Thank you 22

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