How Has Language Education Changed Over Time?

This month we published Language Education in a Changing World by Rod Bolitho and Richard Rossner. In this post the authors explain what inspired them to write the book and why they think it is needed.

We’re pleased: after a long period of gestation and writing we’ve just received copies of our new book Language Education in a Changing World.

So what inspired us to write the book, and why do we think it is needed? Combined, our experience in language education spans 100 years. We have become increasingly aware that the time-honoured segmentations of foreign language education, teaching and learning of the language of schooling, language sensitive subject teaching and so on are no longer meaningful, if they ever were.

We have tried to take stock of how language and communication permeate and impact on all education at all ages, and in the book we review some of the thought-provoking work done by the Council of Europe and specialists in the fields of educational applied linguistics, multilingualism and pluralistic approaches. How have these perspectives impacted on learning in the classroom over the last 40 years? What is being done around the world – or at least in the parts of the world where we have been able to glean information – to incorporate holistic views of language and students’ language repertoires in education, and in teacher education? What could be done to foster dynamic collaboration among teachers and teacher educators across the curriculum? These are some of the questions we have addressed. It was quite a learning experience for us!

In the book we take a fairly close look at four or five areas in particular. We start with an exploration of the role of language and languages in learning and teaching, before going on to look at the recent history and current state of foreign language education and the somewhat controversial impact of English in education. In the second part of the book, we examine teacher education, both pre-service education and continuing professional development for teachers of languages, as well as the extent to which language and communication issues are addressed in the education of teachers of other subjects. The third part of the book focuses on policy around language in education and the roles various stakeholders play in influencing and implementing – or resisting – change. Then we end with our own wish list of future developments in policy around language in education and teacher education.

As potential readers, we had in mind education professionals of all kinds who are interested in exploring the role of language in the teaching of all subjects across the curriculum, including teachers of language, other teachers as well as teacher educators. We hope policymakers, textbook writers, curriculum developers and researchers will also find the book useful. Whatever their role and specific interests, we would welcome readers’ reactions to the contents of our book, and the policy recommendations we have made.

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like The Action-oriented Approach by Enrica Piccardo and Brian North.

Does a Language Teacher’s Identity Matter?

Next month we are publishing Language Teacher Recognition by Alison Stewart. In this post the author explains how the book came about and what readers will learn from it. 

Does a language teacher’s identity matter? What about the case of Filipino teachers of English working in Japan?

Filipinos used to be denied access to jobs as English teachers in Japan because they weren’t regarded as “native speakers”, and hence not the right kind of people to teach English. Nowadays, they are being hired in large numbers to work across the range of public and private schools, particularly in elementary and preschool education. What has changed? And how has this affected the lives of Filipinos living in Japan?

I first came across a group of Filipino English teachers a decade ago and have been following the group’s activities and progress since then. The successes of many of the group’s members inspired me to start collecting their stories. Through the narratives of eight women and one man, we can see how the changing social conditions of Japan – from migration patterns to educational reforms to shifts in ideologies about language and identity – are reflected in the career paths and aspirations, the disappointments and the triumphs, of Filipino teachers in Japan.

Seven of the teachers belong to an organization, Filipino English Teacher in Japan (FETJ), which supports and trains would-be English teachers. The different narratives allow us to trace the various, at times conflicting, interests and motivations that have propelled the rapid growth of this organization from informal study group to social activism on behalf of a marginalized minority in Japan to teacher training NPO and conduit to potential employers.

Identity is a hot topic in language education research these days, but this is the first time that it has been explored through the lens of Recognition Theory. In the book I’ve attempted to explain why recognition deserves our attention, how it differs from the poststructuralist approach that currently dominates the field, and how it can underpin a “moral turn” in the field. A focus on mutual recognition in different social domains – between those we care for, in large social groups, and in society at large – places social justice firmly at the center of our research endeavors.

The narratives of the nine Filipino teachers, and my own story as well, are presented in their entirety. This too is a break away from current research practices. Readers will find their own resonances in the stories, but I have used them as stepping-stones into discussions on privilege and marginalization, on language teacher associations, on language teaching as a career, and on the very language that we use to talk about identity in language education research.

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Identity, Gender and Teaching English in Japan by Diane Hawley Nagatomo.

Language Continues to Divide Us, Despite Globalisation

This month we published The Dynamics of Language and Inequality in Education edited by Joel Austin Windle, Dánie de Jesus and Lesley Bartlett. In this post Joel explains the book’s focus and how it came about.

Some of the world’s most enduring and pervasive social divisions are maintained through language practices and ideologies embedded in education. If we scratch beneath the surface of globalization’s connectivity and mobility, we find an underbelly of linguistic inequality, but also, more encouragingly, resistance to oppressive language practices. This is they central premise of The Dynamics of Language and Inequality in Education.

Our focus is on the Global South, where the promises of European modernity are exposed as underpinned by a geopolitics of imperialism that structure linguistic inequalities in sometimes surprising ways. For example, for two centuries the Portuguese crown and Jesuit missionaries relied on an Indigenous language, Língua Geral, to conquer and exploit the peoples of the Amazon, rather than Portuguese. In contemporary African schooling, a complex linguistic market sees old colonial languages displaced by new ones as markers of distinction. English, replete with ideologies of race, class and coloniality, plays a central role in the contemporary scenario. It has gradually displaced Russian as the prestige language of Mongolian higher education, revealed in online practices and lines of exclusion that mirror ancient urban-rural divides. In the Pacific Islands and Latin America, the teaching and policing of English brings practices of shaming and feelings of inadequacy in which race plays a central role. Sensitive ethnographic work by authors from each of these settings, amongst many others, brings out the complexity of boundary formation as not only delimiting, but also structuring linguistic contacts and exchanges around education.

The chapters also highlight the emergence of critical consciousness of the ideological dimensions of language and resistance to linguistic inequalities, along with the wider social divisions they shape. This is evident in feminist pedagogies in language education in Saudi Arabia, queer pedagogies in Brazilian teacher education, and plurilingual literacy pedagogies in South Africa. The book emerged from a shared commitment amongst the editors and authors to these resistant pedagogies and from an emerging research network of critical scholars, most of whom are connected through Brazil.

The initial idea emerged from discussions I had with Dánie de Jesus during a post-graduate course on Bourdieu and literacy which I taught at the Federal University of Mato Grosso. Dánie and I both work as teacher educators in Brazil, while Lesley Bartlett, an anthropologist based in the US, has long-term Brazilian connections through her work on adult literacy in Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco. In contrast to work from the global north that often sees globalization as a unifying, boundary-weakening process, our Brazilian experiences suggested the need to counter this view with perspectives from what Raewyn Connell, in Southern Theory, termed “the pointy end of globalization”.

Joel Windle

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Multilingualism, (Im)mobilities and Spaces of Belonging edited by Kristine Horner and Jennifer Dailey-O’Cain.

Why Choose Duoethnography as a Research Method?

This month we published Duoethnography in English Language Teaching edited by Robert J. Lowe and Luke Lawrence. In this post the editors explain what duoethnography is and why you might choose it as a method for research.

Duoethnography as a best-fit method for research

Duoethnography is an emerging qualitative research method that involves two researchers working together to harness the power of dialogue and the researchers’ own lived experiences to uncover new insights and challenge grand narratives. Here we talk about how we came to duoethnography, lay out the main characteristics of the method and offer it up as a method of best-fit, especially for new researchers.

Finding a research method

Finding an appropriate research method, especially for new and emerging scholars, can be one of the most challenging aspects of carrying out any research. You might have read up on all the literature, found an area in your field that you are passionate about, and come up with a great idea for a project – but then the problems start! One problem is simply finding the confidence that you have the skills to carry out the research, and another is that the research methods available don’t seem to fit what you want to do. For us, although there were a number of alternative qualitative research methods out there, the problem we found was that our own voices and experiences – the very people whose knowledge and experience had inspired the research projects in the first place – were shut out at every turn.

How we came to duoethnography

We both came to duoethnography when we found that our own personal experiences didn’t quite chime with what we were reading in the literature. However, there didn’t seem to be an academic frame within which to explore these experiences. As well as not seeing our own experiences reflected in what we were reading about and studying, we also realised that our individual experiences were just that: individual experiences. Although valuable and valid in their own right, they would benefit by being juxtaposed with the experiences of others, preferably someone coming from a different background or perspective.

Key points of duoethnography

Duoethnography is designed to be simple enough for beginner researchers to try out, but also sophisticated enough to handle the complexity of the modern ELT and applied linguistics field. Although it is flexible to individual needs and style, some key points of carrying out a duoethnography are:

  • The self as research site – in duoethnography the researchers and their personal histories are the site of the research, but not the topic
  • Dialogic – conversation and dialogue are used to explore topics. These dialogues are then reconstructed into readable and accessible scripts
  • Requires trust – due to the often intimate and personal nature of duoethnography, trust between researchers is very important
  • Disrupts grand narratives – duoethnograhy uses personal stories to question taken-for-granted ideas

At first glance duoethnography may seem like an unorthodox method of research, but we believe that as researchers, rather than bending to outdated methods that are ill-fitting for what we want to do, it is best to find the research method that best fits our own needs. Duoethnography is a flexible, accessible method of research that any researcher, whether just starting out or a veteran in the field, can make use of to find their their own voice and forge their own path in ELT.

Robert J. Lowe and Luke Lawrence

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Critical Reflections on Research Methods edited by Doris S. Warriner and Martha Bigelow.

What Do Staff Think and Feel when Creating Service Encounters in Tourism, Events and Hospitality?

We recently published Service Encounters in Tourism, Events and Hospitality by Miriam Firth. In this post the author tells us what to expect from the book.

Satisfying customers and management is not enough. What do the staff think and feel when creating service encounters in tourism, events and hospitality?

The industries of tourism, events and hospitality require service encounters to offer customers intangible products. The service encounters form customer opinion on the business and are often referred to when evaluating service quality and customer satisfaction. But what are the staff perspectives on completing these? Where is the TripAdvisor for staff who want to complain about customers who do not behave appropriately? How does the front/back of house culture affect the service? What culture shocks does an Asian staff member have when serving a European customer in a UK business? These are some of the questions students can consider when using this book. Staff voices are presented in storied incidents from graduates working as staff in businesses associated with these industries to enable understanding and reflection on staff positions when creating service encounters.

In the book I present an examination of existing key terms often taught in programmes management in further and higher education: service quality, soft skills, intercultural communication/sensitivity, emotional/aesthetic/sexualised labour, co-production/-creation, humour use, and legal frameworks are all discussed and aligned to graduate/staff storied incidents for students to consider the staff perspective. When using these stories in my own classes students naturally open up further discussion of their own stories, or opinions on the stories. I have found that these stories enable easier access to theory by considering how and where these manifest in ‘real life’ situations and support critical examination in a more approachable frame. Rather than showcasing a case study of industry, this book offers insights from the staff creating the industry.

Within the discussion presented I question the validity of consistent focus on ‘management’ and ‘customer,’ or how management can support staff to do more, or how staff can listen and work with customers to offer more. I also expand current models on service encounters to include colleagues, management and suppliers and question the large cultural positions taken in contexts of transnational flows of people (including the staff themselves).

As a former worker and manager from these industries I often think of my own stories and incidents when serving customers. The people are what make these industries a fantastic and enjoyable location to pursue a career within, but these experiences are mostly created by the staff, not the customers nor management. This book praises the work completed by staff delivering service encounters and outlines the armoury of skills and knowledge utilised when delivering an intangible product. It also shows ways in which individuals and small cultures form the experiences and how the staff not only create, but educate management and customers within these contexts.

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Tourism and Humour by Philip L. Pearce and Anja Pabel.

What Opportunities do Modelling and Simulation Techniques Offer to Researchers and Practitioners?

We recently published Modelling and Simulations for Tourism and Hospitality by Jacopo A. Baggio and Rodolfo Baggio. In this post the authors explain the need for new methods in tourism and hospitality research.

Tourism is a complex phenomenon because of the many interdependent activities and organizations that deal with the movement of millions of people across the world for the most diverse purposes. The enterprise of understanding tourism’s main characteristics and attempting to predict future behaviors of tourism systems is thus complex. What is more, there is no satisfactory definition for “tourism”, despite a vast and enduring effort of a wide number of scholars and practitioners, thus making the endeavors of rigorously framing many questions even more difficult.

This complexity, as many scholars have recognized in recent times, requires tools and methods that are more sophisticated than the qualitative and quantitative techniques traditionally employed.

Today there are a number of methods that are facilitated by the availability of good hardware and software applications, which can be used to model systems and phenomena, and stimulate possible configurations and the effects that these have on many dynamic processes. These tools come from the work done in several different disciplines but are, however, not very widely diffused in the tourism and hospitality domain, even though they could prove quite effective in analyzing, assessing and predicting complex systems and phenomena, such as those observed in tourism and hospitality.

In recent years we have studied and used many of these methods, applying them in different contexts, often with a special focus on issues connected with the tourism and hospitality domains.

In Modelling and Simulation for Tourism and Hospitality we provide an introduction to the main opportunities modelling and simulation techniques and tools offer to researchers and practitioners. The approach we follow is mainly “practical”. We do not delve into complicated theoretical descriptions of the methods, and when we do, we mainly focus on highlighting the conceptual nature of the technique at hand.

Instead, we concentrate on discussing examples aiming to show the basic features, the possibilities of the different techniques and how these methods complement each other in providing a wider array of tools for all those interested or involved in studying or managing tourism or hospitality organizations. Finally, we complement the book with suggestions for further readings and with a list of software tools usable for the different modelling techniques discussed.

Jacopo A. Baggio, jacopo.baggio@ucf.edu

Rodolfo Baggio, rodolfo.baggio@unibocconi.it

 

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Quantitative Methods in Tourism by Rodolfo Baggio and Jane Klobas.

What is “Contents Tourism”?

This month we published Contents Tourism and Pop Culture Fandom edited by Takayoshi Yamamura and Philip Seaton. In this post the editors explain where the concept of “contents tourism” originated and what it means.

If you ask someone what “contents tourism” is, they will most probably not be able to tell you. If you explain to someone what contents tourism is and then ask them if they have done it, they will most probably say that they have, and many times …

Let’s take a fan of Harry Potter as an example. She has read the novels, watched the films, visits the Pottermore website occasionally, and has purchased various merchandise. One day she goes to King’s Cross Station to see Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. We might be tempted to call her a “literary tourist” because she first wanted to visit King’s Cross after reading the Harry Potter novels as a child. But then, after visiting King’s Cross she makes her way to the Millennium Bridge crossing the Thames. The bridge was an important filming location for the sixth film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but the bridge does not appear in the novel. At this moment she is a “film location tourist”. Her final destination for the day is an exhibition about Harry Potter and magic at the British Library. This features in neither the films nor the novels, but gives insights into the magical background of the world created by JK Rowling.

Sarah engaging in some contents tourism at Hobbiton in New Zealand

The common denominator in her day out is “the contents”, in other words the characters, narratives, locations and other creative elements of mediatized works of entertainment (in this case, Harry Potter). The concept of contents tourism is of particular use when fans visit real world places connected to either fictional or non-fictional narrative worlds that have been created by multiple works of entertainment in various media formats. The concept originated in Japan, but as we demonstrate in Contents Tourism and Pop Culture Fandom, contents tourism is a truly worldwide phenomenon. The book contains 13 chapters by authors looking at transnational case studies of contents tourism in North America, Europe, East/Southeast Asia and Oceania. From fantasy games in Poland to cosplay in Indonesia, and from the pilgrimages of anime fans in South Korea to riding in the footsteps of poets in Australia, we take you around the world and show you the many ways in which “contents” have turned ordinary places into tourist sites with special meaning for fans of popular culture.

Takayoshi Yamamura and Philip Seaton

For more information about this book please see our website

If you found this interesting, you might also like Heritage, Screen and Literary Tourism by Sheela Agarwal and Gareth Shaw.

Writing about Brexit: The Challenge of Uncertainty

This month we published the very topical Brexit and Tourism by Derek Hall. In this post the author talks about the challenges of writing about something uncertain and ever-changing.

To many, relationships between Brexit and tourism may not at first sight seem obvious or even significant. But the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, and the issues surrounding it, have influenced, and will continue to exert profound impacts upon, tourism and related issues.

The value of sterling, availability of labour and migration, agriculture, food and catering, visa policies, taxes, travellers’ health and welfare provision, transport, accommodation, regional development, imagery and identity are just some of the more obvious tourism-related dimensions of Brexit’s direct and indirect impacts that are addressed in the book.

Continued uncertainty and the successive postponement of a withdrawal date have posed an ongoing challenge in maintaining the book’s integrity. Such uncertainty was – and continues to be – exacerbated by the absence of any coherent medium- or long-term national policy for coping with Brexit’s consequences. The outside possibility that a UK withdrawal from the EU might not actually take place was also dangled, and that as a consequence the book could prove to be a hypothetical historical document, an exercise in writing alternative history.

Critical analysis within the book has needed to look beyond the superficial rhetoric and political mendacity that has surrounded so much of the divisive Brexit debates. Acknowledging that academics have their own vested interests in such debates, sustaining objective arguments within the book has also been a challenge.

As no sovereign country has previously left the EU, the precedent of Brexit opens up unknown territory and many intriguing questions to explore. Thus, for example, one chapter of the book is devoted to examining a range of possible theoretical frameworks that can be employed to understand Brexit’s impacts on tourism.

One objective of the book is to broaden and inform debate in areas that have been neglected or even ignored in the UK. Thus the position of Gibraltar, voting 96% to remain in the EU but tied to a UK withdrawal, has barely been mentioned in UK debates. This merits a chapter, as do the likely environmental consequences of Brexit. The roles and situations of EU nationals in the UK and of UK nationals living, working and retiring in (other) EU countries also receive close attention.

Long before the 2016 EU referendum, some Eurosceptics were arguing that the Commonwealth could replace the role of the EU if the UK left the latter. Such arguments later faded away, but the role of the Commonwealth has deserved further scrutiny, not least in relation to the appalling treatment the UK government has meted out to some of the ‘Windrush generation’ regarding their UK citizenship rights.

So, while the book’s focus is placed firmly on relationships between Brexit and tourism, these are set within broad (geo)political, economic, social and environmental perspectives that help to illuminate and illustrate the central themes.

Derek Hall

derekhall@seabankscotland.co.uk

For more information on this book please see our website

Understanding Sport Heritage

We recently published Heritage and Sport by Gregory Ramshaw. In this post the author explains why the book is needed.

Sport is undoubtedly part of our cultural heritage. As Canadian author Roy MacGregor once wrote “it is impossible to know a people until you know the game they play.” Sport heritage tells us much about our shared past, what we remember, and what we value today. Indeed, we see manifestations of sport heritage everywhere! Many communities erect statues and sculptures to their sporting heroes; cities use sports museums and halls of fame as anchors of tourism development; teams, clubs, and organizations regularly employ heritage-themed events and souvenirs; chants, cheers, and rituals at matches are often thought of as a kind of intangible heritage, while sporting stadia and venues are regularly provided heritage designation and protection.

Because of this growing interest in sport heritage, a book like Heritage and Sport could not be more timely. Although there have been other texts which look at elements of the sport heritage phenomenon – such as sport museums, or heritage-based sport tourism – this book is the first which examines the whole of sport heritage. In particular, the book looks at some new topics in sport heritage – such as marketing sport heritage, managing sport heritage, and intangible sport heritages – while also bringing new perspectives to more familiar topics such as sport heritage in the fields of museums, events, and tourism. As the sporting past becomes more a part of our present, it is imperative that we have a broad understanding of sport heritage.

One of the primary aims of this book is to provide the reader with a wide-ranging understanding of sport heritage. In many ways, it is a launching-pad for other investigations, understandings, and research. A reader might associate sport heritage with, say, historic stadia, a hall of fame, or perhaps with a specific sport. What this book helps to do is demonstrate that sport heritage includes these topics – but that it is so much more! If a student, for example, reads the chapter about existential sport heritage – understanding how sport heritage is related to both bloodlines as well as the practice and performance of sport heritage – she or he might think about this in their own culture and experience. Similarly, if a researcher or practitioner reads the chapter about heritage-based sporting events or sport heritage landscapes, it may help spur ideas for future research and development.

Sport heritage has become an integral part of both the sport and heritage landscape. It is hoped that Heritage and Sport will help others to explore this fascinating topic further!

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Sport Tourism Development by James Higham and Tom Hinch.

How Language, Religion and Society are Interconnected

We recently published Language Maintenance, Revival and Shift in the Sociology of Religion edited by Rajeshwari Vijay Pandharipande, Maya Khemlani David and Miriam Eisenstein Ebsworth. In this post the editors introduce us to their new book.

Language Maintenance, Revival and Shift in the Sociology of Religion is dedicated to the memory of two great minds, Tope Omoniyi and Joshua Fishman, who revealed to sociolinguists and sociologists the interconnectedness of language and religion. Inspired by their insights, we are proud to present this volume, which includes the work of scholars from different parts of the world, working on a range of languages and faiths.

One of the striking features of this volume is the authors’ use of multidisciplinary approaches and perspectives regarding the relationships between language, religion and society, which significantly enhances our understanding of the phenomena. The landscape of this collection covers a vast terrain of geographically and historically diverse societies across the globe with astonishing variation in their sociopolitical and religious conditions and their influence on the maintenance, revival and shift of languages.

Presenting rich, empirically validated data evaluated within sound theoretical frameworks, this volume will be a valuable resource for scholars who would like to discover local (culture and region-specific) as well as global (universal) determinants of the phenomena of maintenance, revival and shift of languages and religions in past and current social settings.

Readers can travel to diverse locations including Algeria, England, India, Israel, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, Uganda and the United States to discover how religious traditions and practices impact the trajectory of languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, Malay, Mandarin, Pali, Portuguese, Punjabi, Sanskrit and Yoruba. They can explore the intersectionalities of language, religion, identity, policy, and history in societal and educational contexts through the research and interpretations of international scholars through this unique volume.

For more information about this book please see our website.

If you found this interesting, you might also like Spirituality and English Language Teaching edited by Mary Shepard Wong and Ahmar Mahboob.