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Creating opportunity and valuing learners in the digital humanities

Skip to content Skip to search. Published Westport, Conn. Language English View all editions Prev Next edition 3 of 3. Other Authors Friedman, Alan Warren. Carton, Evan.

Physical Description xii, p. Series Series in language and ideology, Series in language and ideology Subjects English philology -- Study and teaching Higher -- United States. Contents 1. A Multicultural Curriculum: Diversity or Divisiveness? Log In Sign Up. Patrick Dodge.

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However, there has been little discussion on the local contextual factors that may hinder or facilitate the teaching of English as a lingua franca. As Seidlhofer , p. Through a narrative account of an EFL teacher and a Communication instructor, this paper examines some local contextual factors that impede the teaching of English as a lingua franca at two local universities in Japan and China, respectively. It then discusses the challenges the teachers face in teaching ELF in their classroom instructions, and the strategies they use to encourage students to adopt a positive attitude towards ELF teaching pedagogy.

Introduction The term lingua franca has been deined in various ways by scholars in sociolinguistics. Kirkpatrick explains that the current spread of the lingua franca use of English is due to the adoption of English as a common language amongst multilingual speakers.

Situating College English: Lessons from an American University

In particular, there is a strong argument for the promotion of the lingua franca use of English to facilitate communication amongst community members in the Association of Southeast Asian ASEAN nations Asean, Since English is currently adopted as the working language in a number of countries, there is a need to relect on the local contextual realities for the teaching of ELF within higher institutions in Asia. We adopt a narrative approach to explore our own teaching experiences via ELF and critical communication pedagogies.

The second narrator, Patrick Dodge Patrick D. Both teachers are luent ELF communicators and have been teaching at their respective institutions for more than 7 years. In the following sections of our paper, we irst provide an account of our teaching philosophy in ELF and explain our immediate teaching environment.

Secondly, we discuss some challenges faced in teaching ELF in our classrooms and strategies to affect a positive attitude towards ELF teaching pedagogy. Then, we examine our narratives to draw out some common contextual factors that hinder the teaching of ELF in our teaching practice. Finally, we provide some implications for ELF teaching and research.

Our Teaching Philosophy The irst author, NG, grew up in a multilinguistic society where English is used as a lingua franca in the local linguistic community. His linguistic and socialisation experiences have an impact on the teaching of ELF: I grew up speaking English in Singapore and have used English to communicate with other ethnic communities Malay, Indian, Eurasian, and Caucasians. During my overseas study in New Zealand, I had a lot of opportunities to interact in English with students from different countries. I am fully convinced that English is indispensable for communication in the globalised world.

To motivate my students in their study of English, I often tell students that English is a lingua franca amongst people in Southeast Asia. My students are often surprised when they learn that English has been formally endorsed as a working and oficial language in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN , and about million people speak English in Asia Honna, During lessons, I have shown students videos of students from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia communicating in luent and intelligible English.


I often remind my students that it is possible for them to acquire a high level of English communication skills even though it will take them several years to be luent native English speakers. I was determined to expose my students to ELF as I was fully convinced that many of my students would use English in the Asian context because Japan is strategically located in Asia and students in China and Korea were also learning English as a lingua franca for communication with the international community.

Patrick D. One of the critiques we start off with is our use of English as a lingua franca ELF in the classroom. I ask students to critically examine how our use of ELF inluences their learning, or the possibility that ELF can be colonizing their education and thinking. Although we collectively embody the space of an American University in an international program, we are physically located in Beijing, China.

The number of Chinese speakers in our environment clearly outnumbers the English speakers so, why use ELF to communicate? Students reply that they are paying for the education, it is their choice, and that they want to think and understand in new ways that an American education can help them achieve. I share with them my belief that ELF is not neutral and cannot be void of or totally outside of culture, history, and power relations.

Thus, while ELF can serve to open up new ways of seeing and thinking, it also needs to be critically examined in context. Linguistic Environment As with the signiicance of the location where the teaching takes place, the linguistic environment can be a motivating or limiting factor in applying ELF pedagogy. However, when English as a lingua franca is a remote idea for EFL students, creating a learning context can be challenging. On one particular lesson, I asked my class: Where and when do you currently use English? To my surprise, there was instant silence.

After a while, a male student raised his hand and explained that he has had very few opportunities to travel beyond his hometown; other students also nodded in agreement. I then realized that although my students have acquired a wealth of English vocabulary and grammar skills in my class, English has no conceptual reality in their daily socialisation experiences. But who do we use English to communicate with? Everyday, I use Japanese with my friends in school and when I come home, I speak Japanese to my family. There is a strong testing culture at my university. I began to realize why Japanese students were not able to make good progress in their spoken English.

Few students ind it necessary to speak English well but rather, they need English to obtain good scores in standardized examinations. He explains that the lack of practice outside the classroom can hinder the ability of students to function in English and affect their understanding: The possibilities and opportunities of ELF can be expanded by how it is used in a place but it can also be a hindrance to understanding if its function determines how it is practised regardless of the general context, place, and culture.

This topic usually comes up at the outset of each year when new faculty members are orienting to the intercultural context at our international college.

Situating College English: Lessons from an American University - Google книги

Once students are out of class oftentimes even during group time in class and the context people, place, environment changes, they revert back to using Chinese to communicate. We use English to communicate in class and students take four or ive classes and spend an average of twelve to ifteen hours per week in the classroom. The lack of practice outside the classroom can hinder the ability of students to engage in English and affect their understanding in the classroom. In the following paragraphs, we gain some insights to the classroom realities that hinder the teaching of ELF.

In the Japanese classroom: After teaching English for several months at my university, I observed that a number of students were reluctant to engage in class discussions because they felt embarrassed to speak accented Japanese English in class.

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I tried to develop conidence amongst my students by telling them not to underestimate their Japanese English, which can help to express their Japanese values in international communication Hino, A particular student later wrote in his journal about his sense of shame towards his own Japanese English: I was always afraid to speak English. The reason is that I care that I am not a native speaker. My English is different from native speakers or someone who could speak English well.

So when I speak English, I was very ashamed. I was surprised that my students felt a deep sense of inadequacy in their own Japanese English. In their previous English learning experiences at the junior or senior high schools, most Japanese students were taught by native English teachers from America. She explained: In Japan, only American English is taught to us.

We have little opportunity to hear other Englishes. So, we usually are ashamed of using our own English. As a teacher of English, I was determined to help my students gain conidence in adopting Japanese English as a legitimate variety of English for international communication. Through interactions with several Japanese students, I realised that a majority are reluctant to speak English in class because they felt ashamed of their accented Japanese English to be an acceptable variety of English for communication.

The learner is ideally expected to meet exonormatively given target requirements. In the Chinese classroom: Up through high school Chinese students spend an extraordinary amount of their time in preparation for the Gaokao Examination Chinese university entrance exam. Much of their educational use of English is geared toward the English section of the examination.

Rather than raising levels of comprehension, students focus on raising their examination scores. Instead of overall understanding, students are preoccupied with getting into the best-ranked programs, overall. I come from the standpoint that at times it is more important for students to understand an idea, concept, or theory in Chinese if ELF itself is the obstruction.

It starts off with students shooting for conceptual understanding. I hear students speaking Chinese, together talking their way through a concept, during teamwork time. When a team member understands the concept, they explain it to other members in Chinese. At this point the Chinese medium works to spread conceptual understanding throughout the team and shortly after, there is a point when the conversation shifts to translating that understanding over to English.

The tactic here is to speciically look for and capitalize on opportunities that supplement ELF to make advances toward and remove notions that obstruct understanding. In other words, in my speciic classroom context — comprehension and overall understanding in Chinese — at times, can be the starting points that lead to the practice of ELF.

ISBN 13: 9780897894609

Read preview. Synopsis This book takes up, and takes seriously, the institutional sites and pedagogical investments of professional identity for college English teachers and examines how these site and investments both constitute and complicate the space of our politics. Drawing on contemporary critical theories, learning technologies, classroom experience, and personal self-reflection, the contributors examine the issues that proceed from our simultaneous occupation of pedagogical and political spaces, institutional and larger sociocultural positions, and differently constructed, empowered, and constrained identities.

Their vigilant attention to their own academic practices marks a major step in English studies - a step beyond "political correctness" and toward a more richly principled contextualism and a better situated pedagogical conscience.