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Who owns English?

Who owns English?
Wendy Arnold
13th July 2010
ETAI

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  • Might this make the concept of English less loaded
  • Take the bull by its horns … this is the aim
  • If grammar comes from making meaning then it would seem to be wise to narrow English language classroom learning down to concrete subjects where concepts are more predictable. Social interactions that YL engage in are NOT predictable … teacher model social interactions by doing it
  • So it would seem inappropriate for one culture to impose meaning making styles on another!
  • If the grammar of a language comes out of meaning. Then perhaps we need to be more flexible in how we teach grammar when we don’t know exactly what meaning is being made individually because of the multiplicity of ways of making meaning? Learner an L2+ is not grammar translation
  • Will let experts like David Crystal advise you more into what’s going on!
  • Peter has been busy being the Ambassador of Hungary in Syria so not sure if he’s added much to this but from personal experience in Hong Kong … bilingual teachers are by far the most effective L2+ language teachers in my opinion, as long as they are reasonably confident in English
  • Remember Halliday’s warning … learning English is not becoming an English person!
  • How do we show our culture in our language? What is it that we do? Choice of words? Contexts we choose to talk about?
  • Perhaps focusing on school subjects we can de-baggage any ‘hidden’ cultural messages which might be innappropriate or misunderstood

13 july who owns english 13 july who owns english Presentation Transcript

  • Who owns English? Wendy Arnold [email_address] 13 th July, 2010 ETAI conference, Israel
  • Many thanks to ETAI for inviting me
    • ETAI is an Associate of IATEFL
  • DEFINING ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING AND LEARNING IS PROBLEMATIC!
    • Types of English
    • EAL   - English as an additional language. The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in   Terminology and types .
    • EAP   -   English for academic purposes
    • EFL   - English as a foreign language. English for use in a non-English-speaking region, by someone whose first language is not English. See the discussion in   Terminology and types .
    • EIL   - English as an   international language   (see main article at   International English )
    • ELF   - English as a   lingua franca
    • ELL   - English language learner. The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in   Terminology and types .
    • ELT   - English language teaching. The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in   Terminology and types .
    • ESL   - English as a second language. English for use in an English-speaking region, by someone whose first language is not English. The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in   Terminology and types .
    • ESOL   - English for speakers of other languages. This term is used differently in different countries. See the discussion in   Terminology and types .
    • ESP   -   English for specific purposes , or English for special purposes (e.g. technical English, scientific English, English for medical professionals, English for waiters).
    • EST   - English for science and technology (e.g. technical English, scientific English).
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_as_a_foreign_or_second_language
  • Possible solution
    • E
    • G
    • L
    NGLISH LOBAL ANGUAGE as a Graddol 2010
  • Overview
    • Young learners learning language and some ideas on owning English
    • What is ‘real’ English?
    • Native vs non native
    • Language and culture
    • The impact on local languages
    • Conclusion on possible ways of neutralizing the ‘baggage’ of the English language
  • Young learners owning English
  • Defining young learners
    • Young learners (YL) are children between the ages of
    • 3-17 years old
    • (IATEFL YLT Sig-Young Learners and Teenagers special interest group)
  • WHY no. 1
    • L1 speakers of any language
    • ‘ … learn to map meanings onto each other and come out with [these] grammatical structures …’
    • (Halliday in Bayham 2010)
  • SOME THOUGHTS
    • narrowing classroom interactions to concrete subjects
    • teaching thinking skills (low to high order)
    • social interactions are unpredictable
    • teacher model social interactions by doing it naturalistically in the classroom
  • WHY no. 2
    • ‘ … different cultures have very different meaning styles …’ one cannot make the assumption that all cultures have the same meanings that just need to be ‘reworded’ eg. translated (Halliday in Bayham 2010)
  • SOME THOUGHTS
    • Grammar comes from language usage
    • Flexibility in what grammar is taught
    • Not making grammar learning prescriptive
    • Learning an L2+ is NOT a matter of grammar translation
  • WHY no. 3
    • Language cannot be used properly ‘ …. if one does not make it one’s own, give it one’s voice … in one’s own unique way …. Language is both culture and voice …’
    • (Widdowson in Kramsch 2010)
  • SOME THOUGHTS
    • Letting YL have and make choices in language usage
    • Let YL find their voice by NOT focusing on accuracy at the beginning
    • Focus on fluency first
    • Then focus on complexity
    • Finally focus on accuracy
    • An early start gives you TIME  but that advantage is only as good as the programme
  • WHY no. 4
    • ‘ … one very important reason for learning English as an L2 [or additional language] is to communicate effectively with others who speak it as an L2 [or additional language] … it is a shared language that is nobody’s mother tongue …’ (Jenkins 2010)
  • SOME THOUGHTS
    • Let YL collaborate with each other at whatever level they are at
    • Allow code switching at the initial stages of learning
    • If the school is multicultural, let YL share their culture with others
    • If the school can share with schools of other cultures, have sharing days
    • Learning about other cultures helps to empathise and tolerate differences
  • Summary
    • -YL need to find their own style in language
    • -YL need to take risks with language before they achieve accuracy
    • -YL can learn tolerance and empathy by sharing with other L2 learners
    • -if face to face experiences are not possible use the internet to do projectwork
  • What is ‘real’ English?
    • ‘ … The English language is a vast flea market of words, handed down, borrowed or created over more than 2000 years. And it is still expanding, changing and trading ...’
    • http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/changlang/across/languagetimeline.html
    • ‘ … Our language is not purely English at all - it is a ragbag of diverse words that have come to our island from all around the world…’
    • New words are being created all the time!
    • http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/changlang/across/languagetimeline.html
  • http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/flea-market.html
  • What is ‘real’ English?
    • English, like other languages, it could be thought of as an organic creation, a patchwork of other languages. Constantly changing, expanding in some areas and reducing in others.
  • Distinctions in ‘real’ English
    • The easiest way to encapsulate the differences in English used in schools is to make a simplified distinction between
    • Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills (BICS)
    • or ‘chit chat’ such as:
    • social niceties eg. greetings
    • school eg. classroom instructions
    • (Cummins 2000)
  • Distinctions in ‘real’ English
    • cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP)
    • or the language used to talk about learning
    • discussing school subjects eg. evaluating, analyzing, predicting
    • sharing own perceptions about a concept to check for meaning
    • (Cummins 2000)
  • Which might be the easier to teach and learn
    • BICS ‘real’ English could be difficult to teach and learn because it is unpredictable and abstract
    • CALP ‘real’ English could be easier to teach and learn because it can be more predictable and possibly more concrete
  • Native vs non-native
  • Which ‘native’ English? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UgpfSp2t6k&feature=related
  • About 80% of the English speakers of the world are non-native speakers (Braine 2006)
  • A reality check on the English language usage
    • Key:
    • NS-native-speaker/inner
    • NNS-non-native speaker
    • outer/expanding
    • (Kachru 1985)
    NN
  • Native vs non-native
    • ‘ … a  non - native  cannot aspire to acquire   a  native  speaker's language competence… in   ELT,  native -and  non - native -speaking teachers reveal considerable   differences in their teaching behaviour … most of the   discrepancies are language-related … it does not follow from   this … that  non - native -speaking teachers are by definition   less efficient. Indeed, I would contend that a deficient command   of English may even have hidden advantages …’ (Medgyes 1992)
  • Grammar translation - Chinglish
  • A 24 year old warning ….
    • Halliday warned as far back as 1986 that it was
    • ‘ … implicitly racist to teach, uncritically, a conformity to white, middle-class patterns of communication and behaviour (monocultural, assimilationist approach) …’ (Bayham 2009)
  • Summary
    • There is more than one variety of native-English language
    • There are more L2 speakers of English than native-speakers of English
    • It may be possible to group speakers of English into at least 3 categories
    • English morphs when it is ‘owned’ by others, it becomes a hybrid
    • Teaching a ‘native-like’ version may be innappropriate and possibly not achievable
  • Language and culture
  • Language and culture
    • Hardman (2008) implies that if we only focus on native-English as spoken in the UK and US then we are turning ‘ … English into a controlled commodity that other countries and cultures cannot truly make their own …’
  • Is this what we are aiming for? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRZz84aHZmY
  • WHY COULD THIS BE SO?
    • Johnson and Rinvolucri (2010) ponder ‘ … does the language we speak reflect our culture or is our world view determined, or at least affected, by the language we speak?...’
  • So how do we ‘unshackle’ the culture from the language?
    • Gee (in Ciechanowksi 2009) says that ‘people do not learn English … they learn a specific ‘social language’ (variety or register of English) fit to certain social purposes and not others … ‘
  • Could ‘glob.ish’ be the answer?
    • ‘ … a single language can help to bring in greater understanding among the different races plagued with suspicions because of inadvertent miscommunications …’ (Zenn 2010)
  • An argument for CALP Learners [in a school situation] need to go further than basic interpersonal communication skills [chatting to friends BICS] to learn the academic and disciplinary language needed for reading, writing and talking [CALP] … (Cummins & Swain in Ciechanowski 2009)
  • A possible solution for BICS ….
    • LISTENING AND SPEAKING by teachers and learners (not explicitly taught but modelled regularly and supported by actions and visuals)
    • social niceties e.g. greetings Good morning
    • classroom instructions e.g. open books to page …, stand up/sit down etc
    • Routines e.g. What’s the day today? What’s the weather like?
  • A possible solution for CALP …
    • Incorporating a ‘soft’ version of CLIL (content and language integrated learning )
    • soft hard
    • _______________________________________
    • Transferring skills English
    • from L1 to L2+ medium of
    • instruction
    http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/transform/teachers/specialist-areas/clil
  • A possible component for CALP …
    • LISTENING AND SPEAKING by teachers and learners (explicitly taught and modelled by teacher, supported by actions and visuals)
    • Recapping/recycling content taught in other parts of the curriculum eg. rationale to teach numbers is to do simple maths
    • Externalizing and sharing concepts to check understanding eg. rationale to teach lexical sets is to classify
  • The impact on local languages
  • Warning from India
    • Prabhu warns of the possible danger to local languages if English starts too early and argues that English should be an addition to a child’s repertoire of languages not a substitution for their L1/ home language (Prahbu 2009)
  • Neutralizing the ‘baggage’ of the English language
  • CONCLUSIONS
    • using English for metacognition, learning ‘how to learn’
    • using English for reinforcing knowledge in other curriculum areas
    • teacher using English in a naturalistic way (BICS) and focusing on content areas (CALP and CLIL)
    • encouraging risk taking in language
    • using English to understand other cultures
    • respecting local language (s)
  • A thought to ponder ….
    • ‘ … Life in the 21st century, in an interconnected, globalized world, requires critical-thinking skills and a sense of international-mindedness … ‘ (IBO)
    • Using English could be the route to create this interconnected, global/international understanding … to learn empathy, tolerance and conflict resolution …
  • Thank you Wendy Arnold Invitation to all to join IATEFL YLT SIG discussion group – Just send an empty message to: [email_address]
  • References
    • Baynham, M (2009) ‘Talking to Halliday’ in R.Bhanot and E.Illes (eds) Best of Language Issues. UK:NATECLA
    • Braine, G (2006) Essential Matters 3 / 4, Dec 2006
    • British Library http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/changlang/across/languagetimeline.html - accessed 6th July
    • 2010
    • Ciechanowski, K.M (2009) The Reading Teacher Vol 62 , No. 7, April 2009, pp 558-568
    • Cummins, J. (2000)  Language, Power and Pegagogy .  Clevedon : Multimlingual Matters
    • Graddol, D (2010) English Next India . UK:British Council
    • Hardman, J (2008) Global English Teaching and Teacher Education:Praxis & Possibility . USA:TESOL
    • IATEFL YLT Sig www.yltsig.org
    • IBO - http://www.ibo.org/diploma/ accessed 12 th July 2010
    • Holliday, A. (1994) ‘The House of TESEP and the Communicative Approach: The Special Needs of State English
    • Education’ in  English Language Teaching Journal 48/1 pp. 3-11.
    • Jenkins, J (2010) ‘Negotiating intelligibility in the ELT classroom’ in R. Bhanot and E. Illes (eds) Best of Language Issues . UK:NATECLA
    • Johnson, G and Rinvolucri, M (2010) Culture in our classrooms . England:Delta Teacher Development Series
    • Kachru, B.B. (1985). Standards, codification and sociolinguistic realism: The English language in the outer circle. In R. Quirk and H. Widdowson (Eds.),  English in the world: Teaching and learning the language and literatures  (pp. 11-36). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
    • Kramsch, C (2010) ‘Language, culture and voice in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language’ in R. Bhanot and E. Illes (eds) Best of Language Issues . UK:NATECLA
    • Medgyes, P (1992) Native or non-native: who’s worth more? ELTJ Vol 46 / 4. UK:Oxford University Press
    • Prabhu, N.S (2009) ‘Teaching English to Young Learners:The promise and the threat’ in Enever, J, Moon, J, Raman, U (eds) Young Learner English Language Policy and Implementation:International Perspectives . UK:Garnet Publishing Ltd
    • Zenn, Z (2010) Glob.ish in Newsweek July 12, 2010
    • Internet access
    • CLIL - http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/transform/teachers/specialist-areas/clil accessed 11 th July 2010
    • Fleamarket - http://www.fotosearch.com/photos-images/flea-market.html- accessed 6th July 2010