World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching


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Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Ships in 7 to 10 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Industry Reviews " Acknowledgements p. All Rights Reserved. Are You My Mother? In Stock. National Geographic Reader : Level 2. Hatchet Brian's Saga Series : Book 1. In doing this, we explore the various phases World Englishes teachers may go through as they develop a professional identity. She is originally from Argentina, where she was an English as a foreign language learner.

Her research interests include issues of nonnative-English-speaking teachers, language teacher identity, and TESOL teacher preparation. Accommodations To learn more about accommodation options during the HUPE Conference and the symposium, please download the reservation form and follow directions on the form to make reservation.

Contact learn tesol. Professional Development. Much of this bearing has manifested itself in the lack of a uniform target variety of English for instruction and the prevailing problems in setting suitable teaching goals and objectives commensurate to teaching and learning outcomes. In this paper, I take an exploratory approach to investigate these conundrums relating to ELT. Prevalence of more than one standard variety of any given language may not be entirely unusual. This trend may hold true for various languages in the world such as Arabic, Chinese, French, Greek, and so on.

Difficulties in setting a uniform standard variety while teaching these languages as a second or foreign language may parallel those in English. Besides, the continuous spread of English worldwide has put it in a unique situation. For example, because of its spread over time, English has become more hybridized and diverse, a phenomenon captured by the term World Englishes. In such a milieu, it is natural that English language teaching at present is more challenging than ever before.

ELT in the twenty-first century encounters a myriad of problems. A closer look at them suggests that the root of many of these problems lies in the unprecedented global spread of English in the last few decades that has given rise to different varieties of English language. A brief explanation in this regard is in order.

Different varieties of English mean that ELT can no longer afford to choose between only British or American English as the primary target variety for instruction. As the spread of English continues, nonnative-nonnative interactions have become more common than native-native and native-nonnative interactions Lowenberg, , p. For instance, according to an estimate provided by Crystal , cited in Graddol, , in there were approximately million people using English as their L1, while at the same time there were about million people using English as their second language.

Crystal , cited in Graddol, notes that in 50 years i. In fact, it is argued that at present, nonnative speakers of English have already outnumbered their native counterparts and that native speakers comprise only "a fifth or less" of world's total English users. In spite of this ever-widening spectrum of the English speaking population, ELT is still mostly controlled i. That is, while nonnative speakers have outnumbered their native counterparts, native speakers of English still enjoy the privileges of being "native.

After all, it is the inner-circle speakers who set the standard norms for English, get jobs that are meant only for "native speakers," get a raise or promotion at work just because they identify themselves as native speakers of English e. As one can see, ELT these days is characterized by numerous tensions on the part of both teachers and students.

English as a Lingua Franca (ELF)

What is important to note here is that these factors not only impact teachers and learners but also the actual English language teaching practices e. In the following sections, I organize my discussions as follows: I first draw on issues relating to standards of English and how they have made it difficult for ELT practitioners to set a uniform target variety for ELT. As mentioned above, because there are so many varieties of English, encompassing inner-, outer-, and expanding-circle countries, there is always a conflict as to which variety should be used as a standard norm.

Further, various ownership-related ideologies i. In the subsequent sections, I discuss the difficulties that ELT faces in curriculum design and materials development, testing, and teacher training.

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Finally, I make it a point that a pragmatic and humanistic approach to ELT is necessary for a globalized world that is diverse and fast-changing. The global spread of English in the last few decades has caused an unprecedented growth of the language. What this means is that English has grown into a great many varieties. An important fact about the rise of different varieties of English is that they are not only limited to the outer- and expanding-circle countries, rather varieties of English are equally prevalent in inner-circle countries Widdowson, , p.

With so many existing varieties, maintaining standard norms for English to be used as a single reference point has always been a challenge for its users. The issue is particularly critical for practitioners of ELT since they need to set fixed standards for their teaching purposes. The ownership of English, a related concept, also figures in the discussion. After all, standards are typically set by the "owners" of the language. Widdowson problematizes the concept of standards and ownership of English. He suggests that language maintenance is a task that is not necessarily endowed upon a particular subset of people who are by default native speakers of the language.

That is, he implicitly concedes that the ownership of the language belongs to all. But in reality the fact remains that inner-circle countries determine the standards of English. ELT courses modeled after inner-circle norms do not address local needs and preferences. What is more, the measures used to evaluate the standards vary across time and space. For instance, in Britain many people relate spelling errors to a non-standard variety of English.

World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching

For others, it might be the lexical, grammatical, or phonological system. Widdowson distinguishes between two major functions of language: communal and communicative. While communal functions relate more to the conventions such as spelling and accent of a given language, communicative functions have more to do with communication among its users. It also allows the followers of the standard variety of English to wield power and prestige Lowenberg, over those who do not belong to the "community" see also Kachru, , pp.

In contrast, at the communicative level, the fact remains that as long as communication is accomplished, the English language remains fully functional. This is not to say, however, that the communal function of English should be considered unimportant. As one can see, the ownership of English and the "standards" of the language are inseparably related. The concept of SE is relative to how the native speakers define the term to maintain its communal functions. As discussed above, no matter how important standards are for maintaining communal integrity, they may not simply serve any purpose in accomplishing communicative functions.

In the current scenarios in which English language teaching and learning take place, it is the communicative function that matters the most to both learners and teachers e. Since the main purpose of most English language education is to make learners communicatively competent, addressing the communal function of English, making students learn about the nuanced conventions or standards of the language may be a misfit in the long list of ELT goals and objectives.

One of the most commonly made arguments by native speakers is that a lack of standards allows a proliferation of what they label as deficit English. One may notice that this argument involves more material than practical considerations; it involves material stakes such as the control and ownership of English on the part of native speakers. An example to this end would help clarify this point: It is predominantly the native speakers who control, design, and produce the majority of ELT materials worldwide and provide themselves with a huge share of the ELT market Kirkpatrick, Therefore, a complete control and ownership of English are of significant material interests to them.

However, considering the volume of the global spread of English in the twenty-first century, restricting the language to native speakers is as impractical as it is inappropriate. Indeed, pluricentricity is the theme of much of the work related to the spread of English in recent times. While Kachru's , concentric model sets the tone for conceptualization of what is now popularly known as World Englishes WE , the trend has moved on and continued to promote the importance of viewing English as a language of the world, owned by the peoples around the globe.

Indeed, helping learners develop communicative skills in English has been one of the primary teaching goals in ELT curricula. However, with so many different indigenous varieties of English e. A corollary of this has been a tremendous impetus for the codification of the characteristics of different varieties of English, which has resulted in new research agenda in WE. Efforts have been well underway to describe and codify varieties of English language spoken by nonnative speakers.

Research in this area of English studies has increased exponentially in recent times see Jenkins, for more to signal a welcome shift from a monocentric approach to English to a pluricentric one. Interestingly, this shift of approach to English language studies is directly related to the issue of ownership of the English language. While a monocentric approach would give more power to the native speakers, their norms and ways of using English; pluricentricity, by contrast, is everyone's norm, everyone's usage.

This invariably puts the custodians of English to use Widdowson's, words , the native speakers, in a less powerful position with regard to the future course of the English language.


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Graddol's observation regarding the ownership of English may be relevant at this point. Graddol further points out that ultimately the native speakers of English might be uncomfortable with the effects of these changes on the English language. Because the spread of English is occurring so fast and these days so many nonnative speakers use the language, the control over English may go into the hands of the nonnative speakers.

Control here does not necessarily indicate hogging the language as a possession. The measure of control of English in this case is determined by the sheer number of people using the language. As mentioned earlier, nonnative speakers of English have already outnumbered their native counterparts. As a result, nonnative-nonnative interactions in English are far more common than native-nonnative interactions.

This alone has significant implications relating to the concept of SE. For example, with the continuing rise of nonnative speakers of English and interactions among themselves, it is believed that English will be used more for its communicative functions more in line with what is described above , leaving standards to be of less significance.

In fact, the new "world order" might just compel them to forgo the purists' version of English for a more hybridized and "impure" version of "world English," known by terms such as ELF English as a Lingua Franca and EIL English as an International Language. First, it is extremely difficult to come up with a uniform set of characteristics with so many varieties around. Finally, even if researchers in the field successfully come up with proper descriptions of the characteristics of ELF and EIL, in the end it is feared that it may only yield a set of prescriptive formulae for ELT, much like what native-speaking varieties of English have done over the years.

In fact, it is true that the monocentric, "native-speaker-oriented" perspective of SE is extremely difficult to do away with. Seidlhofer , for example, maintains that the "Anglo-Saxon attitudes" p. That is, while on the surface we have moved away from monocentrism, in reality pluricentrism is still to be materialized at various levels of English language teaching and learning.

Seidlhofer calls this phenomenon "submission to native-speaker norms" p. This tendency of submission is so strong that in certain non-native contexts educators are establishing the so called "English village" in order to immerse nonnative English learners Jenkins, , p. As one can see, ELT in the twenty-first century suffers from a lack of a uniform variety of English for instructional purposes. The discussions above illustrate how issues such as "standards" and "ownership" of English play significant roles in ELT today.

The continuous spread of English has been a tremendous boost for the recognition of nonnative varieties of English as viable alternatives to inner-circle English for ELT.

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In spite of a considerable amount of work in this regard, it seems as though it is going to take a while before such a pluricentric approach to English becomes the norm rather than exception in ELT. While setting a uniform target variety is important for English language instruction, designing effective curricula although there are disagreements, I use the term syllabus and curriculum interchangeably in this paper, see Brown, for more and developing suitable materials are also part of important considerations in ELT. With an ever-expanding landscape of English, ELT curriculum and materials need to be innovative to meet the burgeoning complexities surrounding English language pedagogy.

Below, I discuss why it is often difficult to make ELT curriculum and materials effective while facing the challenges that various WE phenomena pose. Innovation and flexibility are two major themes in the twenty-first century to deal with the new challenges one encounters on a daily basis. Like other spheres of life, this phenomenon is applicable in ELT as well. The ensuing discussions will show this task is not easy. Hadley reports on novelty in ELT curricula at the tertiary level in some Japanese colleges and universities. To keep up with the need for effective English language pedagogy and at the discretion of the Japanese Ministry of Education, these colleges and universities introduced what Hadley describes as "innovative" ELT curricula.

Also prevalent were practices such as "English lounges" where English was the only language for communication, native-speaker-conducted English classes, pairing students with native-English-speaking roommates e. Furthermore, English content courses taught exclusively in English were introduced. As one examines the characteristics of "innovative" ELT curricula, several interesting phenomena emerge. Clearly, making learners communicatively competent is an objective that was taken seriously by administrators at these institutions. Furthermore, there is an attempt to provide learners with as much exposure to English as possible, by creating English-speaking environments within a non-native context.

While it is heartening to see efforts for innovation in ELT, one cannot help wondering about potential challenges associated with it. For instance, implementing the mandatory use of English at all times may help improve learners' spoken abilities, but the question remains as to how an instructor may objectively write and give a test on such open-ended skills acquired by learners. Having as many native-speaking teachers as possible may sound exciting, but is it not, in essence, reverting to the old days of approximating native varieties of English, and thus undermining the "World Englishes movement"?

Issues such as these continue to baffle ELT circles far and wide. She identifies four areas of language use on which learners need to build their knowledge, namely, text structure, experiential, interpersonal, and textual grammar. Each of these four areas serves various aspects of language use in everyday life. Knowledge of text structure, for example, would help learners with different types of written and spoken texts in different cultures and contexts.

Knowledge of experiential grammar provides learners with "grammatical resources for representing the world" p. And, while interpersonal grammar relates to knowledge of successful incorporation of linguistic choices based on various social relations and attitudes, textual grammar helps learners organize the message so as to facilitate the smooth "flow of information" Coffin, Coffin argues that a careful and systematic analysis of these four areas of language use can provide important insights into devising syllabuses for English language learners.

What is interesting in Coffin's argument is that she proposes the identification of a set of spoken and written genres that directly relate to the social and cultural contexts in which language learners are most likely to operate. These genres then could be incorporated into the language syllabus. While Coffin's acknowledgement of social and cultural sensitivity renders support to the pluricentrism that is central to the discussion of a World Englishes perspective of ELT, there are potential shortcomings to her notion of ELT syllabus.

English education in the twenty-first century has crossed all national borders. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to devise a localized, context-specific syllabus that would address all possible social and cultural contexts in which English learners would operate.

World Englishes

Also, for the most part, the major theme of ELT in our time is to acquire communicative competence. Having students learn a handful of spoken and written genres would certainly not serve them well to this end. Adding second language acquisition perspectives to the current discussions on ELT, Ellis argues for structural syllabuses in English language programs. Structural syllabuses would incorporate structures of the language at various levels e. The rationale behind Ellis' argument rests upon the claim that grammar teaching should be done as part of "consciousness-raising" act among learners.

In short, consciousness-raising refers to instilling an understanding of the various "formal and functional properties" of the target language in learners' minds. This process of consciousness-raising is compatible with L2 acquisition theory of "learnability" Ellis, While Ellis' accounts add interesting L2 acquisition perspectives to ELT syllabus design, it must be remembered that there have been long-drawn debates regarding whether or not grammar instruction helps language learning in the first place e.

Furthermore, much of English language learning in the twenty-first century occurs in informal, out-of-class settings and learners are generally exposed to a myriad of language input, derived from different varieties of English in various contexts. Therefore, ELT syllabuses that do not account for contextual variables such as these may turn out to be ineffective.

As research aims to reach a common ground for intelligibility of different varieties of English across the world, Jenkins presents some core phonological issues to be included in the pronunciation syllabus of English language programs. Jenkins identifies problems with setting the unrealistic goal of approximating native speakers e. EIL norms would have three core areas of instruction namely segmental, nuclear stress, and the effective use of articulatory setting. Jenkins maintains that EIL norms of pronunciation would promote international intelligibility, freedom to express EIL speakers' own variety, and stop approximation of native speakers' norms.

Jenkins' argument, while persuasive, it is just a proposal and likewise, we must examine it carefully. As one would imagine, codifying all pronunciation problems with non-native speakers of English is an extremely difficult task. Also, it is quite daunting to address pronunciation difficulties of non-native speakers with so many different L1s and to come up with a uniform set of core pronunciation instruction areas. All in all, one may see that designing an effective English curriculum entails a great deal of difficulty.

Since curriculum design and materials development go hand in hand, failing to shed some light on materials development, this section of the paper would remain incomplete. Good materials are essential for achieving the goals and objectives stated in the syllabus. One of the problems voiced by Guariento and Morley is the mismatch between authentic texts and language tasks.

They argue that authentic materials are of no help unless they can derive authentic responses from language learners. This phenomenon is especially true in the case of English language materials. In ELT, for example, learners' tasks are typically based upon guessing rather than a complete control and understanding of the tasks as students cannot relate the tasks to the contexts i. The claim that authentic materials stimulate motivation in language tasks also needs to be considered with caution. Peacock shows how authentic materials were found less interesting than artificial materials.

On a separate note, Wong, Kwok, and Choi maintain that the effectiveness of authentic materials depends upon, among other things, teacher's knowledge of "each student's ability," students' "temperament and readiness," and the teacher's judgment on manipulation of the materials.

As one can see, materials by themselves cannot involve students in tasks for language learning. It requires a great deal of perseverance and hard work on the part of the teachers. In fact, without teachers' conscientious efforts, it is extremely difficult for language learners to make the best use of the materials.

The bottom line is that unless more localized culture- and context-specific materials are used in ELT classrooms, it is difficult for both teachers and learners to relate to the language tasks.

World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching
World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching
World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching
World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching
World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching
World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching World Englishes: Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching

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