This month we published Critical Perspectives on Global Englishes in Asia edited by Fan Fang and Handoyo Puji Widodo. In this post the editors list 10 important things for language teachers to take away from the book.
As language researchers and practitioners, we frequently encounter the unequal use of languages where different languages co-exist. This inequality happens because some languages are deemed as dominant or major languages, while others are considered minor or underrepresented languages from socio-historical and socio-political perspectives. In more multilingual contexts, socio-economic and cultural globalisation exerts influence upon the status of a particular language. For example, English has gained popularity as an international language, a transcultural language, and a global lingua franca in which people of different countries with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds interact with each other for different purposes, such as education, business and tourism.
Critical Perspectives on Global Englishes in Asia reframes our English language education by situating the theory of Global Englishes into English language policy, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. Here are 10 important things for language teachers to take away from the book:
- Raising a critical awareness of the global spread of English to challenge the ownership of English – as English is used as a global language, no certain country can really own the language
- Going beyond the prescribed language curriculum to experience real-life communication with people of different lingua-cultural backgrounds – it is important to go beyond classroom instruction and encourage independent learning for learners to discover linguistic and cultural diversity
- Engaging with both native and non-native English accents themselves and providing such accent exposure to students – this is of pivotal importance because many textbooks today still focus (only) on Anglophone varieties of English and may serve as an agent of the native speakerism ideology
- Focusing on communication strategies instead of teaching dominant English accents through drilling from a de-contextualised approach. Language teachers may teach students how to re-appropriate their own English accents
- Understanding and introducing local varieties and other varieties of Englishes so that students can increase their awareness of different Englishes used in different countries
- Designing curricula that fit their students’ needs and goals of English learning – it is important to contextualise ELT practices
- Designing testing and assessment that contextualise the situation of learning and reflect students’ needs. Language assessment can be New Englishes-sensitive
- Understanding linguistic and cultural diversity and respecting students’ use of L1 and translanguaging practices – learners’ linguistic resources should be recognised instead of reinforcing an English only classroom
- Challenging the fixed native speakerism model and norm of English language teaching – such awareness should also be developed in job application and recruitment processes
- Challenging the native/whiteness privilege and non-native/race marginalisation to readdress both teachers’ and students’ identities
This edited volume both theoretically and practically addresses various issues and involves both established and emergent scholars to present a critical perspective of English language education in the Asian context. We understand that such ‘things to take away’ may not be generalised in every context. The issue, however, is how language educators, policymakers, and recruiters view the English language from an ecological perspective to respect multilingualism and multiculturalism.
For more information about this book please see our website.
If you found this interesting, you might also like English as a Lingua Franca for EFL Contexts edited by Nicos C. Sifakis and Natasha Tsantila.