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  1. 1. English is an essential foreign language for Russian students in New Zealand Harold_pres.ppt Language dominance Or Career opportunity
  2. 2. Crystal describes the links between language dominance, cultural power and the concept of English as a Global Language. “ British political imperialism had sent English around the globe, during the nineteenth century,…During the twentieth century, this world presence was maintained and promoted,…through the economic supremacy of the new American superpower. And the language behind the US dollar was English.” Crystal, D.,(1997). Extracted from: English as a global language. p.8 (Study Guide, Unit H, pp. 193-214)
  3. 3. During Soviet Era English used only by the elite and not by the average people Post Soviet Era Students embraced English as an opportunity to improve career pathways and so many travelled to English speaking countries including New Zealand
  4. 4. Why New Zealand? <ul><li>It was less expensive than some alternatives. </li></ul><ul><li>The country offered good quality education. </li></ul><ul><li>The seasonal differences (June, July, August) </li></ul><ul><li>meant that student studies were not interrupted </li></ul><ul><li>at home. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Some beneficial outcomes <ul><li>Broader access to the internet which was mainly English based. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased career opportunities globally </li></ul><ul><li>Improved career opportunities for speakers of English upon returning home. </li></ul><ul><li>Some students decide to stay in NZ to pursue their careers </li></ul>which also benefitted NZ because it: <ul><li>added to the cultural diversity of the country. </li></ul><ul><li>brought in new ideas and expertise. </li></ul><ul><li>created possibilities for trade with a country possessing virtually limitless natural resources. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Some consequences <ul><li>Sending students overseas was a financial burden on many Russian families </li></ul><ul><li>Many students experience culture shock and linguistic powerlessness </li></ul><ul><li>Students remaining in NZ still fear losing their language and culture </li></ul><ul><li>Some families were separated if students remained in New Zealand </li></ul>
  7. 7. Balancing the Imbalance <ul><li>Many NZ L2 teachers are monolingual and monocultural. </li></ul><ul><li>Most approach L2 teaching from a democratic-participatory perspective. (Oxford, 2005, p.261) </li></ul><ul><li>but </li></ul><ul><li>Russian students are from a background of an authoritarian teaching style. </li></ul><ul><li>They expect the teacher to provide essential knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>When a teacher is unable or unwilling to provide what they want and value </li></ul><ul><li>a) the teacher loses the students’ respect </li></ul><ul><li>b) the teacher may be deemed incompetent </li></ul><ul><li>c) the students become confused and disenchanted </li></ul><ul><li>d) student learning is inhibited ( Thomlinson,2005, pp.139-140) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Teachers or materials causing imbalance? <ul><ul><li>Tomlinson (p.143) believes that materials should be written with reference to their context of use with consideration given to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>socio-cultural background. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>attitudes to learning. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>previous language learning experiences. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>expectations of the learning process. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Teachers can improve balance! <ul><li>Russian students like: </li></ul><ul><li>a) affective </li></ul><ul><li>b) experiential and interactive activities </li></ul><ul><li> but value: </li></ul><ul><li> analytic activities most. </li></ul><ul><li>Tomlinson,(p.141) also believes that what and how teachers do and say things affects the learning atmosphere. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why consider culture of foreign students? <ul><li>BECAUSE: </li></ul><ul><li>In Bakhtin’s words: (Oxford,p263) </li></ul><ul><li>“ An L2 teachers’ job becomes, at least in part, helping the student discover language, meaning, experience, and the student’s own identity.” </li></ul><ul><li>AND SECONDLY BECAUSE : </li></ul><ul><li>THE STUDENTS ARE OUR FEE PAYING CLIENTS </li></ul>
  11. 11. CONCLUSION <ul><li>English is considered by Russians as a global language which is essential and is therefore embraced because </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a) it offers the learners greater career opportunities at home and abroad. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>b) It offers greater access to the western internet and its inherent opportunities. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>it offers the opportunity for the re-establishment of a Russian middle class and puts pressure on the ruling oligarchic elite. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we benefit in NZ? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We gain cultural diversity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is possibility of improved trade relations with a country that is very rich in natural resources . </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Are we as L2 teachers prepared to accept the responsibility? <ul><li>We must consider the prevailing culture from which the students come when deciding what and how to teach. </li></ul><ul><li>We must address the dominant language notion if we are to create a learning environment that is non threatening and is seen as potentially beneficial. </li></ul><ul><li>We must negotiate ways of accommodating the cultural differences that exist. </li></ul><ul><li>And furthermore </li></ul><ul><li>materials should be modified with reference to their context of use with consideration given to: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>socio-cultural background. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>attitudes to learning. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>previous language learning experiences. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>expectations of the learning process. (Tomlinson,p.143) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. References <ul><li>Crystal, D. (1997). English as a global language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.pp.5-20. </li></ul><ul><li>Oxford, R.,Massey, R.& Anand, S. (2005) Transforming teacher- student student relationships: Toward a more welcoming and diverse classroom discourse. In J.Frodensen&C. Holten (Eds), The power of context in language teaching and learning (pp.249-266). Heinle:Boston . </li></ul><ul><li>Tomlinson, B.(2005). English as a foreign language: Matching procedures to the context of learning. In E. Hinkel (Ed), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (pp. 137-153).Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Acknowledgments <ul><li>I want to acknowledge the time given, </li></ul><ul><li>the effort made and the candid discussions I had with the Russian students; Liudmila,Alena,Natalia and Kirill, about their experiences in studying English as a foreign language in New Zealand. </li></ul>