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English Language Teaching (ELT) Around the World


English Language Teaching (ELT) Around the World Sandra J. Briggs TESOL Past President 2008 - 2009 sjbtbf_at_earthlink.net Where do we find good, on-going professional ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: English Language Teaching (ELT) Around the World

English Language Teaching (ELT) Around the
World Sandra J. Briggs TESOL Past President 2008
- 2009 sjbtbf_at_earthlink.net
  • Background
  • Language educator throughout my career
  • Degrees in Spanish, Education, English, and
  • Began as secondary Spanish teacher and materials

In ELT Instructor Department chair Curriculum
developer District ESL coordinator Materials
The importance of TESOL in my career It has
broadened my perspective on the field. It has
been an essential part of my professional
development. I always tell teachers and teacher
trainers how important professional associations
Through my textbook writing, ELT consulting, and
work in TESOL, I have had a chance to travel to
many countries to train teachers and speak about
the field.
My first term on the TESOL Board began in 1997
and my second term will end in 2009. It has been
a time of examining the field and working with
ELT educators around the world.
  • My goals today
  • Share my perspective on the state of the ELT
    field with you
  • Help you think about your own perspective
  • That what we do here will be useful in ETAI and
    in your own careers

  • Handouts/Resources
  • Main sections in the talk
  • Some important points
  • Books, Web sites, and other resources I mention

  • Areas to consider
  • English as a global language
  • Educations systems
  • ELT educators
  • What does this mean for ELT educators?

English as a Global Language
Crystal, D. (1997). English as a Global Language.
Cambridge Cambridge University Press.
There has never been a language so widely spread
or spoken by so many people as English. There are
therefore no precedents to help us see what
happens to a language when it achieves genuine
world status. . .
The balance between the competing demands of
intelligibility and identity is especially
fragile, and can easily be affected by social
change, such as a swing in immigrant policy, new
political alliances, or a change in a countrys
population trends.
  • If we cannot predict the future, we can at least
    speculate, and there are some fascinating
    speculations to be made. It may well be the case.
    . .that the English language has already grown to
    be independent of any form of social control.
    There may be a critical number or critical

distribution of speakers (analogous to the notion
of critical mass in nuclear physics) beyond which
it proves impossible for any single group or
alliance to stop its growth, or even influence
its future. If there were to be a major social
change in Britain which affected the use
of English there, would this have any real effect
on the world trend? It is unlikely. And, as we
have seen, even the current chief player, the
USA, will have decreasing influence as the years
go by, because of the way world population is
growing. (p. 139)
13th International Conference Nepal English
Language Teachers Association (NELTA) February
2008 Conference Theme Global Change and Local
Realities Addressing Methodological Issues
Professor Laxman Gnawall NELTA Vice President
Here in Nepal we have been trying to promote
English by bringing about changes in content and
methodology. However, we have seen that, on the
one hand, methodology has been the central issue
in ELT discourse, on the other, the methodology
borrowed from the BANA settings has not always
been compatible in the local context.
  • BANA
  • Britain
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • North America
  • Does English belong to these Inner Circle

  • What should we call ourselves?
  • English as a second language (ESL)
  • English as foreign language (EFL)
  • English language teaching (ELT)
  • English as an additional language (EAL)

Burns, Anne (Ed.). (2005).Teaching English From a
Global Perspective. Alexandria, Virginia
Teachers of English to Speakers of Other
Languages. Chapter 1 Interrogating New Worlds
of English Language Teaching
She contrasts the ELT field as she knew it in the
1970s when the world of English language
teaching (ELT) was a more comfortable and cozy
place of people who followed neat and predictable
methods--secure, especially for a
native-English-speaking teacher, in the
assumption that learning English meant learning
to speak like me with what she sees now in the
21st century.

Now it is a truism that English is a lingua
franca, a language used locally and
internationally, not only among so-called native
speakers but by anyone wishing to activate his or
her role as a member of an international
communicative network. And to be an English
teacher today is to play an inevitable part in
this globalizing
enterprise, to recognize new areas of inquiry,
now raised for perhaps the first time in the long
history of ELT. (p. 1)
TESOL Web site www.tesol.org Click on
News/Position Statements Position Statement on
English as a Global Language (2008)
As a global professional association, TESOL
values individual language rights, collaboration
in a global community, and respect for diversity
and multiculturalism. In accordance with its
Position Statement on Language Varieties (1996),
TESOL encourages the recognition and appreciation
of all varieties of English, including dialects,
creoles, and world Englishes. In terms of
language teaching, TESOL does not advocate one
standard or variety of English over another.
Rather, TESOL urges English language teachers to
make informed decisions at local, regional,
and/or national levels, taking into account the
purposes and contexts of use that are most
relevant to their learners.
13th International Conference Nepal English
Language Teachers Association (NELTA) February
2008 Key Speech Sandra J. Briggs, Think
Globally, Act Locally
Educational Systems
TESOLs mission is to ensure excellence in
English language teaching to speakers of other
  • TESOL Values
  • Professionalism in language education
  • Individual language rights
  • Accessible, high quality education
  • Collaboration in a global community

  • Interaction of research and reflective practice
    for educational improvement
  • Respect for diversity and multiculturalism

Have you noticed that teaching English involves
much more than just teaching English? Some of the
issues we face in the ELT field are not directly
related to the English that is taught in the
  • Who has access to a high quality education?
  • Private versus public schools
  • Urban versus rural
  • Social class, race, religion
  • Legal status in the country in which the students
    are studying

At what age do students begin to learn English
and what part of their curriculum is in
English? Young learners need to develop oral
language and literacy in their native language as
a basis for learning other languages, including
The TESOL Position Statement on Language and
Literacy Development for Young English Language
Learners (2001) Directed at young learners in an
ESL/ESOL situation in which the official position
is that they must learn English
  • For young children, the quality of education they
    receive in their first years of schooling is
    often a critical indicator of their long-term
    academic success. Early literacy and language
    development are interlaced with social and
    cognitive development and are vital elements in
    the education of young children. For young ESOL
    learners, the complexities involved with literacy
    and language development are

  • compounded by the fact that they must be achieved
    in a language other than their native language,
    and often before they are literate in that
    language. Successful early childhood programs
    build upon the knowledge that young learners
    bring from home, and for young ESOL learners,
    this knowledge is learned and expressed in the
    native language.

  • What is the interaction of various languages in
    the educational system for students of all ages?
  • These are my observations from conversations with
    ELT educators over the last two years in
    Argentina, China, India, Mexico, Nepal, Spain,
    Ukraine, and the United States. Of course, I have
    also talked to a lot of people from countries
    that I havent visited during this time.

  • Matagallinas, Mexico in the classroom of Hilario
  • Professor Peter Sayer at the MEXTESOL Convention
    in November 2007
  • Peter and I began corresponding about his work.

Sayer, Peter. Authenticity in Marginalized EFL
Contexts in Dantas-Whitney, M. and Rilling, S.
(Eds.). (Under contract). Authenticity in the
language classroom and beyond Children and
adolescent learners. Alexandria, VA. TESOL.
  • Peter observes and analyzes what goes on in
    Hilarios classroom.
  • In this classroom authenticity and authentic
    materials do not mean made for native
  • In Matagallinas authenticity means English as
    the students encounter it in their own lives.

  • Languages in Hilarios classroom
  • The English the students learn in Hilarios
  • Spanish
  • Mixe, a local indigenous language
  • English brought back from teacher and relative
    experience in the United States

The students in Matagallinas may be learning a
global language, but they are learning it to use
in their local context.
TESOL-SPAIN Convention March 2007 in
Donostia/San Sebastián Theme Content and
Language Learning-- Two Birds, One Stone
  • This theme sounded like what I do in the United
    States I train mainstream teachers to work with
    ESL students, making their content comprehensible
    to them.
  • The convention was held in a private school in
    the Basque-speaking region of Spain. At that
    school students were taught in Basque, Spanish,
    English, and French.

  • This theme was very exciting and important for
    the participants.
  • Which courses should be taught in which
  • How can content teachers be trained in ELT?
  • What happens to ELT educators in this new

  • 21st Century/Lenovo Cup
  • National English Speaking Competition in China
  • Exceptional proficiency in English
  • Chinese educational structure to the competition
  • Local context was very important

  • Structure of competition
  • Part I 4-minute prepared speech on given topic,
    Living with Globalization Learn to Compete in
    the Global Era
  • Part II 3-minute impromptu speech on a topic
    given to contestants 20 minutes ahead of time

  • Part III Contestants answer three questions
    asked by a question master

ELT Educators
I havent found a country yet where the
requirements and standards for teaching English
as an additional language are really set and
  • Why?
  • The demand for English teachers is tremendous.
  • Teachers are often thrown into classrooms with
    minimal training.
  • They are left to train themselves and their
    students in English.
  • They have to find their own professional

The old native versus nonnative English-speaking
teacher controversy Prejudice that native
English -speaking teachers, even if they are not
trained to teach English, are superior to
nonnative English-speaking teachers, even if they
are highly proficient and highly trained in ELT.
  • TESOL Position Statement Against Discrimination
    of Nonnative Speakers of English in the Field of
    TESOL (2006)
  • The distinction between native and nonnative
    speakers of English presents an oversimplified
    either/or classification system that does not
    actually describe the range of possibilities in a
    world where English has become a global language.

  • TESOL strongly opposes discrimination against
    nonnative English speakers in the field of
    English language teaching. Rather, English
    language proficiency, teaching experience, and
    professionalism should be assessed on a continuum
    of professional preparation. All English language
    educators should be proficient in English
    regardless of their native languages, but English
    language proficiency should b viewed as only one
    criterion in evaluating a teachers

  • professionalism. Teaching skills, teaching
    experience, and professional preparation should
    be given as much weight as language proficiency.

  • Pasternak, Mindy and Bailey, Kathleen M.
    Preparing Nonnative and Native-English Speaking
    Teachers Issues of Professionalism and
    Proficiency in Kamhi-Stein, Lía D. (Ed.).
    (2004). Learning and Teaching from Experience
    Perspectives on nonnative English-Speaking
    Professionals. Ann Arbor, Michigan The
    University of Michigan, pp. 155 - 175.

FIG. 2. Continua of target language proficiency
and professional preparation (p. 161) Proficient
in the target language 1
3 Professionally Not professionally prepar
ed as a _________________________ prepared as
a language teacher language teacher
2 4
Not proficient in the target language

  • This grid is very powerful. It gives us a way to
    talk about the proficiency and professionalism of
    ELT educators without reference to native and
    nonnative speaker status in English.

  • What subjects should be taught in English and who
    should teach them?
  • There is a trend in many countries toward
    teaching certain subjects in English and asking
    the content instructors to do this most of the
    time without the proper ELT training.

  • My example has been the TESOL-SPAIN conference
  • Mainstream teachers attended because they wanted
    any help they could get from the abrupt change to
  • It is the educational systems responsibility to
    train the teachers for what they ask them to do.

  • The educational systems need to consider the
    linguistic and educational issues involved before
    making the change to English.
  • As ELT educators we need to advocate for
    educational policy changes made thoughtfully and
    with the help of ELT researchers and educators.

  • Where do we find good, on-going professional
  • If not in the educational system, where?
  • Professional associations can provide some
    excellent professional development.

  • Two good examples from TESOL
  • Donna Brinton, a leading expert in Content-Based
    Instruction (CBI)
  • She participated in the TESOL Symposium on
    Teaching English for Specific Purposes in Buenos
    Aires, Argentina and her paper is available on
    the TESOL Web site.

  • In 2007 she also presented a virtual seminar on
    English as a Global Medium of Instruction. It
    will soon be available on the TESOL Web site.

  • Teacher training and professional development are
    very complicated and expensive undertakings. They
    are crucial components for high-quality ELT

  • What does this mean for ELT educators?

  • TESOLs Position Statement on Research and Policy
  • This position statement defines both research
    and policy for the ELT field and asks both
    researchers and policy makers to think carefully
    and conduct and use research wisely.
  • Here is the definition of research

  • Research refers to a spirited inquiry and
    systematic investigation that contributes to the
    knowledge base of a field. Research-based
    knowledge provides a principled basis for
    understanding language teaching and learning, and
    making decisions about policies, plans, and
    actions. Research has the potential to help
    English language

  • teaching professionals improve the processes,
    outcomes, and conditions for language teaching,
    learning, and assessment. It also can help the
    profession address urgent social and political
    issues around the world, improve the materials
    used for second language teaching in schools,
    institutions, and workplaces,

  • as well as clarify debates and debunk myths
    regarding second language acquisition. A strong
    commitment to research as a means of improving
    professional knowledge is vital to the field of
    teaching English to speakers of other languages

Here is the definition of policy and TESOLs hope
that policy decisions will be made with reference
to sound research Policy makers must go beyond
the consideration of the conclusions of research.
They must consider important variables within the
research, the specific purposes and
constituencies of the research, and
the impact of decisions made based on limited--or
inconclusive--results. TESOL encourages
researchers and policy makers to reflect on how
their beliefs about the nature of language,
language learning, and language teaching relate
to policy decisions, and to discover what
research has to say about these beliefs.
  • I am of the belief that teaching is researching.
  • We need to keep up on the research.
  • We need to carry out action research in our
  • We need to allow researchers access to our
    classes in order to carry on their work.

  • We need to share what we know about the research
    among instructors, administrators, policy makers,
    and the public.

We also need to stay connected to other ELT
educators locally and globally.
  • We also need to advocate for the ELT field, for
    the ELT educators, and for the students we teach.
  • We have access to the facts needed to make good
    policy decisions, good program decisions, and
    good decisions about what and how to teach

  • We are the experts and we need to share what we
    know with those in charge so that we really are
    providing high quality ELT education to our

I firmly believe that belonging to and
participating in good professional associations
helps us do all the things that we have talked
about today. This participation will make us
better educators and it will also strengthen the
ELT profession.
Sandy Briggs TESOL Past President 2008 -
2009 sjbtbf_at_earthlink.net
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