Becoming Global Citizens In An English Speaking World


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A summary of my final MA action research project detailing a study of ESL students\' opinions of English becoming a global language

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Becoming Global Citizens In An English Speaking World

  1. 1. Becoming Global Citizens in an English Speaking World<br />An Action Research Project <br />By Angelique Pearson<br />St. Edward’s University<br />
  2. 2. The Effects of English as a Global Language<br />Accelerating pace of globalization<br />English taught in every corner of the globe<br />Many countries crafting English programs <br />Pressure to study and learn it <br />
  3. 3. Research Questions<br />How does this affect English-language learners’ lives and the choices they make today? <br />Do they feel learning English makes them global citizens, connecting them to the world? <br />Are their reasons primarily financial, communicative, or personal, and do they study by choice or necessity?<br />
  4. 4. The Plan<br />Research the history of the spread of English<br />Discover prior research on <br />The ramifications this process has had on non-English-speaking countries and their citizens<br />How globalization has propelled this rise of English<br />Motivations for studying ESL<br />Gather both quantitative and qualitative data through a survey and two focus groups<br />
  5. 5. Hypotheses<br />Increasing demand for English proficiency in many non-English-speaking countries puts a great deal of pressure on ESL learners, greatly influencing their educational choices <br />Few choose to study English for purely personal reasons <br />Major motivations are related to English’s status as a global language<br />
  6. 6. A World Language<br />Explosion of human languages- estimated 6000 languages worldwide<br />Past two thousand years, this trend slowed began to reverse<br />Bilingualism, feature of modern history<br />Formation of large empires which encouraged or imposed prestige languages <br />As many as 90% of human languages may be doomed to extinction in the next century<br />
  7. 7. English Today<br />As many as two billion people speak it today<br />As many as four non-native speakers for every native speaker<br />Some scholars believe that we may be destined to become an English speaking planet<br />Why? Threemajor reasons<br />
  8. 8. British Empire<br />Prestige language in colonies<br />English fluency seen favorably <br />Lingering effects still visible today<br />Linguistic imperialism-speakers of one language begin to adopt a more dominant language, often viewing it as superior to their own<br />Lack of equality, characterized by domination, marginalization, and exploitation<br />
  9. 9. American Power<br />America was settled and plucked of resources, creating one of the mightiest nations<br />Power in the 20th century led to English expansion<br />Influenced marketplaces worldwide<br />Lack of foreign language education<br />Not always embraced with open arms<br />
  10. 10. Globalization<br />Economic interdependence<br />International competition<br />Language of science, technology, academics<br />Travel 300% increase since 1960<br />Homogenization<br />
  11. 11. Global Citizens<br />Blurred, competing, overlapping identities<br />One world, one people<br />Connected by internet, travel, language<br />Elitism?<br />
  12. 12. Effect of EGL on Non-native Speakers<br />Countries institute English programs<br />World Englishes<br />Required or preferenced<br />Contact language<br />Burden of second-language <br />
  13. 13. Methodology<br />Prior research<br />Motivation in second-language <br />Instrumental vs. integrative<br />Four categories <br />Financial<br />Communicative<br />Personal<br />Passive<br />
  14. 14. Instruments<br />Survey<br />SurveyMonkey <br />Qualitative & quantitative<br />Multiple choice w/Likert scales & open ended<br />Full Excel spreadsheet results including charts and graphs<br />Placed icon on computers<br />50% return rate<br />Focus Groups<br />Two open groups<br />7-10 students<br />Recorded (kind of)<br />Incentive<br />
  15. 15. Results<br />
  16. 16. Results<br />
  17. 17. Results<br />
  18. 18. Open-ended Responses<br />What is the most important reason that you study English?<br />Financial motivators most important<br />Of 26 responses, 11 contain a reference to studying and/or university, seven mention jobs or careers, six mention communication, and three list personal reasons<br />
  19. 19. Open-ended Responses<br />Please describe how English has affected your life. <br /> Answers overwhelmingly communicative & financial categories<br />The majority of the answers mentioned making friends or communicating with people from other countries, being able to travel all over the world<br />Several mentioned being able to study or get a job in global business<br />
  20. 20. Focus Groups<br />First group, 7 students; one each from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Korea, and two from Vietnam<br />Second session, 8 students; one each from Vietnam and Brazil and three each from Saudi Arabia and China<br />
  21. 21. Focus Groups<br />“China, from Primary school everyone should study English. After that I think I like English, and to go to other countries and speak English. I’m not sure what major I will choose but I think English is very useful.”<br />“If you only know about native language you can’t communicate with people from different countries, but when I speak English I can understand what do they say and what do they want. And we can have a friendship.”<br />
  22. 22. Reflections<br />More informative than action-oriented, so difficult to make recommendations<br />Case studies vs. focus groups<br />Better questions about feelings of pressure<br />More on global citizenship<br />Alternative systems of describing motivation <br />
  23. 23. Recommendations<br />Market programs focusing on English for academia, business, and communication <br />Lack of personal (integrative) motives which are associated with long-term success and achievement <br />Increase contact opportunites with Americans<br />Curriculum changes geared to international usees of English<br />
  24. 24. What’s Next?<br />Fear of continued spread, McDonaldization<br />Imperialism, backlash<br />Predictions<br />Replaced by several groups of dominant languages<br />Many Englishes, contact language<br />Lingua franca<br />Interesting time to be a language researcher<br />