Basically about having one being responsible for his/her learning.
Scope for Autonomy in the CEF
The council of Europe supports methods of language teaching and learning.
Which help young people and indeed old learners to build up the attitudes, knowledge and skills they need to become more independent in thought and action, and more responsible and co-operative in relation to other people.
In this way the work contributes to the promotion of democratic citizenship.
The General Competence of Language Learners
Ability to Learn
Which of the following tasks are the responsibility of the teacher?
Material selection / –
Final decision on what is right or wrong / –
Assessing students performance and giving feedback / –
Distributing and collecting materials and works / +
Providing information / –
Seating arrangements / –
Error correction / –
Sequencing of the learning materials / ?
Using tools and resources. / ?
Note: Negotiate with your students as much as possible.
* Aims and objectives
* Self-directed learning
* Ideas to deal with content
* Learner Roles
* Linking learning experiences
* Process and product oriented goals
* Planning, thinking
Free writing, selection of ideas, point of view
* First revision
* Organising content, structural organisation
Reading a text on the related topic
Individual listing ideas
Answering guided questions of the teacher
Free association (clustering..,
İdentifying main and supportive ideas
Deciding how different ideas can be grouped together
Establishing logical links between groups of ideas
Deciding how to present these ideas in a sequence
Finding supportive points (additional knowledge)
Assessment of the Product
Thesis statement, related ideas, delvopment of ideas through personal experience, illustration, facts, opinions, use of description, cause and effect, comparison, contrast
Effectiveness of introduction, logical sequencing of ideas, conclusion, appropriate length
Topic sentences, paragraph unity, transitions, discourse markers, cohesion, rhetorical conventions, reference-deictic words, fluency, economy, variation in the use of language patterns to avoid repetition and redundancy.
Note: Teacher has to be correcting and responding.
It has to do with the individual variables that is individual learners.
How about assessing task difficult that is what makes a tack easier or more difficult than another task.
Existence of hard grammar structures, new word density, use of high frequency and low frequency words
Subject Familiarity, but it does not come just with the topic, so there is this issue of topic familiarity.
Task familiarity, if they regularly do a task, they would get used to it and perform better but if you present them a new task.
As teachers, ask these questions to yourself
Why am I doing this task with the learners?
What is my purpose in doing this task?
You should focus either focus on accuracy, fluency or complexity.
What is the content of the task?
Drawing familiar or unfamiliar information.
To what extent they are familiar with the given content.
How is the task to be carried out?
Will there be planning before doing the task.
Should I give them planning time or should I ask immediate answers.
In what situation is the task to be carried out?
Will it be monologic or diologic?
Task Adaption is preparing the students to the task from the pre-task stage to make it easier for them.
Less structured information tasks = More creativity in the process.
Task Dimensions and Task Difficulty
Linguistic complexity and variety.
Vocabulary load and variety.
Redundancy and density.
Familiarity of topic and its predictability.
Familiarity of discourse genre.
Familiarity of task.
Amount of computation.
Clarity and sufficiency of information given.
Time limits and time pressure.
Speed of presentation.
Number of participants.
Length of texts used Type of response.
Opportunities to control interaction.
Foster & Skehan
…Being able to assess a task’s difficult is crucial to understating how it might be performed
Knowing what demands the task will make opens up the possibility of using task design to manipulate learners…
…in the case of tasks designed for language learning or teaching purposes, performance ,s concerned both kWh meaning and the way meanings are comprehended, expressed andengotiated.
A changing başance need to be established between attention to meaning and form, fluency and accuracy in the overall selection and sequencing of tasks so that both task performance and language learning process
* Is confident about the task
* Is motivated to carry out the task
* Has necessary prior learning experiences
* Can learn at pace required
* Has necessary
* Low cognitive complexity
* Has few steps
* Plenty of context provided
* Plenty of help available
* Does not require grammatical accuracy
* Has as much time as necessary
Text / Input
* Is short, not dense (few facts)
* Clear presentation
* Plenty of contextual clues
* Familiar, everyday content
Text / Input
* Degree of contextualisation of language; difficult of concepts that re needed to do the task.
* Use of graphics, colours, telling the time…
* Whether the language is spoken or written, understanding or production, extended talk or conversation; vocabulary and grammar need, the genre, the amount of L1 and L2
* Type of interaction required.
* Group work, pair work, the participants in talk, the future of interaction.
* The use of technical terms about langue in production or comprehension.
* The ease or difficulty the learner has in engaging with the task; legs of task stages, links to child’s interest and concerns.
* How long the child sits still for; actions needed, motor skills needed.
Abstract things are always more difficult than concrete things.
TBLT follows task-cycle, in the task cycle there is preliminary introduction from the teacher that may be introduction of the task or the topic, there are mini-introduction required for the task.
Learners usually engage in pair or group work. First of all students plan how to make the task, then they work on task and finally then they report their conclusion. When this stage is over the stage of language focus comes which is solely focused on practicing lacking language skills.
Meaningful purpose exists in the tasks in which we replicate the real life events.
A reasonable input to act upon. It means that the kinds of input into task-cycle such as instructions.
Optimal level of difficulty, it shouldn’t be more difficult than cognitive development of the learner.
Material Selection Criteria (1st Phase)
Exploitability: Make sure you choose such material but it really gives you chance to different types of tasks by the same topic and same material.
Topic (Variety): Topic has to be a motivated one but at the same time related to real life concerns and make you sure that you include variety to topic selections.
Length: It’s always good to choose a material that can be handled in chunks. If it’s not designed that way that may harm their feel of accomplishment, by completing series of chunks they will feel accomplished.
Linguistic Complexity: If you focus on teaching on new vocabulary, it should be toned down. If it’s optimum it will give students to take a chance and respond.
Accessibility: Can they really respond or would they really know about the given topic. It is mostly about content knowledge and familiarity.
Tasks (2nd Phase)
Optimum Level of Difficulty
Task Difficulty (3rd Phase)
Level of the leaners: B1
Class Population: 20
First of all the teacher greats the students and asks them how are they vaguely. After that the teacher tells his students that he has brought some brochures and asks them to divide in groups of four lastly distributes brochures to the students.
After the distributions phase, the teacher asks the students to guess what are these brochures, what could they be about, what are their purpose etc. (brainstorming)
When the brainstorming phase is over the teacher asks his students if they ever participated in such activities, if they did they he would ask them some volunteers to narrate their experiences or if no one has ever participated in such an activity, the teacher tells his story (anectods)
After the pre-task stage, the teacher asks his students to stay in groups of four decide upon an outdoor activity business. Upon deciding their business they are going to design their own business brochures for advertisement purposes regarding the previously given brochures as the input material. (Media Projects)
Upon finishing their brochures, they will advertise their business by presentation of their brochures.
Form groups of 4 and inspect the given brochures. Discuss what could be purpose of these brochures. Have you ever participated in such outdoor activities, if you did narrate your memory to the class.
In groups of four, inspect the given brochures again and then discuss and decide upon an outdoor business. Imagine that you are responsible for advertisement and design a brochure for your business regarding the previously given brochures in the sense of layout, language and informative value.
After designing your advertisement brochures, present them to the class and advertise your business according to the points you have made on your brochure.
It is an advanced form of the communicative. The need is helping learners gaining fluency in the target language.
It needs to be learner centred
You have to be engaging them in a task-based work.
You give the task, they work on it, they use the language and they try to progress communicatively.
It is really based on cooperative and collaborative learning.
There is space for individual tasks but you can not possibly persue task based learning in your classes without having pair and group works.
It is based upon interactive learning.
Interactive learning in that sense can only be achieved if only the upper conditions are served already as well as using an authentic text.
You have to be proficient in material design.
It supports whole language learning
Means integration of all skills such as listening, speaking and writing.
Task based learning is basically about how we use languages to fulfil certain tasks.
From the very beginning you encourage your students to all these skills.
It is about using language to fulfil social circumstances.
The sum of the parts do not make the whole.
Alination of units.
Task based learning is holistic learning.
The key concern in task based context is meaningful learning.
* Drills never ever can be task based learning.
PPP (Presentation – Practice – Production)
Present the topic (Simple Present Tense)
Practice in a very controlled way (Drills)
You assume that students will be able to produce this (In an other context)
This is a linear approach.
Task based methodology is designed as an alternative way to the PPP model. TBL changes the sequence of this linear model.
It starts with a mini-presentation.
Teacher explains what kind of a task they are going to accomplish.
Teacher gives input for the necessary target.
Students in a way engage in task accomplishment immediately.
This allows the use of learning by doing it.
If there is need for a specific language focus for further work on that language item, then Practice stage comes.
Task Based Learning Framework
* The teacher introduces the topic and provides the necessary input for the upcoming task.
* It is the preparation for the task-cycle.
* After the task is done, the group or the individual have/has to present the conclusion to the other students.
* This is especially important as the students may fall into their native languages to accomplish the task and for this reason reporting stage makes them report their task result in the target language and that is why it is very important.
* If explicit grammar teaching is required after the task cycle.
Task Identification Criteria
Use of language in a meaningful way as you would use it in your daily life language.
Providing a clear input to act upon.
What kinds of materials do I bring in, what kind of task instructions do I give.
It needs to have a language outcome
By doing this task and reporting the task results, they should be engaged in meaningful communication.
Optimum Level of Difficulty
Optimised difficulty for the students.
It is about their cognitive level, not their English level.
In lıtereature there are alternative ways of defining task types
Open Tasks: Unpredictable as whole
Close Tasks: Spot the difference: Language might be used in unpredictable ways but at the end the outcome will be certain.
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is a dual focused educational approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and language. That is, in the teaching and learning process, there is a focus not only on language. Each is interwoven, even if the emphasis is greater on one or the other at a given time.
There are 216 different ways of implementation.
… & Language
Immersion: Students experience the foreign language in all of their classes.
Sheltered Instruction: You pick those students up and put them in a special classroom with simplified foreign language use in classes.
Adjunct Courses: Two separate courses, two separate subjects but they focus on the same content.
Theme-based Approaches: The most general one is this approach. The emphasise is not only on the content but on the language as well.
Language is not only a medium of communication but a means of managing learning, it’s the tool we use toggle reflective shape t our experience.
Language of Learning
Language for Learning: There would be specific grammatical features that would really help us do the activities related to that content. How do we use our language to shape our knowledge.
Language Through Learning
The difference between ELT and CLIL Based ELT
CALP (Congitive Academic Language Proficiency
* Building on prior knowledge
* Show casing their literacy achievement
* Extending knowledge of and control over language across curriculum. (Take up the content area from different classes such as math, science and make rejoiced connection between those content area. Language courses should not be separated from other classes.
BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills)
Focus is on the language forms and functions which bet serve the learner.
ıNCREASE MOTİVATİON TO PROMOTE EFFECTİVE LEARNİNG.
Any teaching builds upon the previous experience…
You may want your students to brainstorm and write words
Four Box Organiser
The Vocabulary Word > Visual reprenstation of the word > A sentence using the word > Student Friendly definition > The vocabulary word
Graphical organisers should be used greatly.
Texts are hierarchically organised (more important-less important)
Readers tend to focus on and remember information at higher levels
Top-level sctuructual information influence comprehension and recall
Awareness of text structuring aissit students’ content learning.
Present good examples of completed graphic organisers
Model how to construct graphic organisers.
Venn diagram – Comparing two places of Interest
Spider map –
Fishbone Map –
Problem Solution Outline –
Cycle – Describing a weather phenomenon (rain)
Students engage in developing knowledge;
Content Journal: It is like a portfolio, It is about what they already acquired, it needs to be progressive and consistent
What’s in a picture: What do you think the content might be
Question of the day: You want your students to come about a question with no “yes-no” answers such as “How does math resemble the ballet”. You want your students to bring their own questions but these should be not knowledge-challenge question. For one week you choose one and ask it to the class to make a research on it and answer it.
Vocabulary Alert: You want your students to keep a vocabulary journal, |(IDK)————(Sort of)—————(Ik)|, students put an x on the fitting place regarding their knowledge and then making them guess the word. This is important for self-assessment as they will go back to their vocabulary journal and check where they are on the chart at that time.
The ten most important words: You are asking the children to select 5-10 key terms, discussing what is more important, relevant.
Pen-in hand: It is about writing. One of the fallacy in language classes is asking for summary of a book after the learners read, this is very bad as without scaffolding, investing on it, it is not good to ask for a summary as summaries are like making a snowball, how do you make a snowball. You have to gather it, shape it and then we collect more and shape it again, each time we do this we realise that process is important. When someone says writing skill everyone think that it is about writing an essay but its not.
Preci-writing: You have to make a comprehensible text by using randomly given words without changing their order.
I wonder why?
Venn diagram: compering two things
Text structure: outlining a text
Quizzical Quotes: Hoca ne soarer? If you are reading an article when you see an important thing you say woah that Is an important thing.
Missing words: Not to be confused with drills, it has to be a concept, “It is very important to say…………”
Concept Collection: What is already known, what is new material, they make research, what does the text offer
Opinion Guide: What do It take the authority as, agree or disagree, it is like a response paper
Note-taking: take a few key words that defines a paragraph
E-mails: e-mail projects such as mutual projects
Raft: Means çekiliş. You have particular topic to deal with such as Eating habits, rafting is about writing but before writing, together with the classroom you make a raft table consists of “Role, Audience, Format and Topic”, each student will be writing from different role, audience, format and topic, this will give them a chance to experiment about different genres and writing processes.
Discussion Continuum: Pick up a point and make the students battle to the death.
Ethical Choices: Usually dangerous in second and third world countries. You could discuss Genetically mutated humans? Should death penalty be legalised?
Project Journal: keeping a journal of the project
I-search paper: write a paper minimum 300 hundred words and reference to the author
Thinks to Beware While Reading
Gaining competence inreading (getting messages- reading and understating)
Identifying the purpose in reading (acquiring knowledge, taking pleasure) and utilising related methodologies and strategies.
Identifying text type and communicative …..
Perceive the writtien text
Recognise language structures
Identify the message
Comprehend the message
Interprets the message (critical thinking, etc.)
We usually ask knowledge questions, we don’t give enough space for analysis, synthesis and evaluative questions.
In constructivist approach the most important thing is building upon the already known information.
When new information comes in, cognitively what happens is that you check the new information if it fits the previously learned information or not. This is the stage in which equilibrium comes to the stage but if new information does not fit with the formar information, that means that your existing schema should be changed in order to continue and this is called disequilibrium.
They go hand in hand with very related two other concepts
Zone of Proximal Development: What a person can learn with a support. The teachers role is to arrange the learning environment in a such a way that you help that learner to take a step considering her/his capability. Teacher’s job is to make the students realise her/his potential.
Scaffolding: Not upfront teaching but giving a supporting hand only when the learner needs or demands it. It is not rushing and teaching but it is about organising the environment.
Language is not just a medium, language organises learning. Language helps us construct, shape our experience. Such as when children are talking to themselves to shape their learning.
Problem solving is a part of learning.
Your emphasis is on constructivist approach should be on process learning and it is really important in constructivist classrooms. Process learning is experiencing, experimenting, disequilibrium and equilibrium. You can support this kind of learning with Portfolios, project learning and collaborative learning. There shouldn’t competitive learning.
In terms of assessment, it favours formative assessment rather than summative assessment,
To keep an eye on the process of learning, formative assessment about formation.
After completion of all term, you move into centralised exams and the ultimate objective is to see what they learned (product).
For collobartion activities you could use jigsaw (usually it is a group work, each person knows a different segment of something without showing a piece to other one they communicate with each other fill the gaps).
Constructivist approaches are good for content building
Learner autonomy is extremely important. You can not invest on lifelong learning whiteout autonomy.
Social networking is important for language learning.
Cooperative Learning – Teaching: teachers working together for the same classes.
If we know the desired outcomes for using that IT technology, it is useful
The researchers are Teachers + Students
Mini self assasseemnt form after the tests and measure the results and identify the problems in order to improve and solve problems which is a very valuable way building a good relationship with the student, progressive teaching and a very indispensable part of the action research is autonomy.
Teacher and student cooperation but also it is not something that has to be employed once, if it does that way it would only be a lecture.
In service education
First of all clerification of terminology is very important.
Approach: About our initial question, the way you define language, the way you define. Approach is this understanding of this Lanague learning teaching
Method: The roadmap- plan but it is not just the activity sheets. Aims, specific objectives, teaching content (syllabus), materials, specific procedures and techniques, assessment and evaluation
Process: What do no now and what to do next, how do you things
Technique: Depens on the need and applies on the specific situation.
Within the approach you can use various methodologies
Designer methods: Who created that method would come up with a name. Method if it comes to that point, method is usually used in a very clarified, everything is defined such as Audolingual method, Suggestopedia
Post method: there is no one particular defined method
Audio lingual: structuralism
Sytagmatic: you know what words will come in an order
Paradicmatic: you know which item to take out and put another one instead of it
Drills are widely used
Approach to learning is behaviourism,: if you give a stimulus and get a correct respond you gotta continue.
Errors are not tolerate, importance on accuracy
TPR is a technique
Structural Syllabus: Collection of forms and sturductres usually grammatical of the language being taught
Notinal Syllabus: Collection of the functions that re performed when language is used. Notions that is used to express.
Situational Syllabus: Collection of real or imaginary situations in which language occurs or is used.
Skill Based Syllabus: Collection of specific abilities that may play a part in using language.
Task Based Syllabus: Series of complex and purposeful tasks that the students want or need to perform with the language they are learning.
Content Based Syllabus: Some content or information different from language.
Knowledge can not be taught but must be constructed by the learner.
Constructivist approaches describe how people transform and organise reality according to common intellectual principles as a result of interactions with the environment.
You attract meaning to experience depending on the interaction with the environment.
It is experience based learning.
Effective learning begins from the learner’s active participation in the process of learning.
Learners need to be involved in decisions about the content and processes of learning.
You should allow space for autonomy.
You can not teach a notion but you can show ways of it.
Constructive Approaches to Learning
Human brain is not simply a “mental” or “cognitive” apparatus, but is actually a social organ. (Pool 1997)
Following a social constructivist view of learning, Human beings create their own notion of reality and give meaning to it through the filtering of their experiences and perceptions in social contexts.
The learners should be encouraged to process information, make comparisons, construct knowledge and make critical judgements.
Learning in Constructivist Classrooms
Primary resources are used in the classroom.
Authentic (texts that are not produced for the learners)
Experiential learning is integrated into the classroom.
The lessons build on students’ prior knowledge.
Their background knowledge. (You start from what they already know)
Constructivist learning is integrated into collaborative and cooperative learning activities.
Hands-on activities are integrated into the curriculum.
Related to experiential learning
Classroom learning is dynamic, ever-changing, evolving, reflective, enquiry-based.
A Construvisit Frmae for Language Classes
Initiating U Constructing U Utilising
Connect what they know with the new information. Always dig deeper.
What does it mean to know a language
1972 A linguistic went to Warsaw and from morning to night the tv was open, he walked the streets, went to the cafes but did he manage to speak the language? No, he didn’t.
It is not just a matter of exposure but quality exposure. Just exposure is not enough to learn a language and if you are just investing on receptive skills, your productive skills will be held back.
The best way to learn a language is to contextualize the learning. What is contextualizing?
That is use of language but on domains, you in a way define what possible intentions, who, where, etc. who is talking to who
People who are engaged in communication are Called interlecuaters.
They are talking about what?
One of the golden things about ELT is contextualizing.
Authentic language means a language that is not adapted for educational purposes, just the real life communication.
Content-based approach to Language is best way to teach a language, you should bring different materials for your classes.
Hearing, speaking, reading, writing, > all these integrated Hallstic Teaching.
If you are talking about communication there needs to be integration among those skills and you have to priotorize holistic teaching.
From the very first lesson of words what you have to do is let people read something respond to it, discuss about it and take notes and share it with others as well as listen to their notes.
(Even note taking is a writing activity)
What does it mean to know a language?
Syntax: what are the rules
The tone the style which suits that particular situation.
Frozen register: Military, airport announcements
It has to be with socio-linguistic competence that means dictionaries can’t help you.
Corpus measures the kinds of words that are used by native speakers of the language in a time.
Corpora – High frequency words – Low frequent words
Phonemes to Morphemes to Words to Phrases to Clauses to Sentence to Paragraphs…. So you need to know about discourse and discourse means organization of the language.
Morphemes are meaningful meanwhile Phonemes are just sounds.
Coherence – Cohesion (Bağdaşıklık, Bağlaşıklık)
Cohesion: Which words are indicators
Genre is a cultural item, because the community decides upon it. For example kız istemek.
We need to know how language functions, what is the speaker meaning, it is knowing about Pragmatics (Edin dili) and it is definitely different from semantics,
Paralinguistic elements that are non-verbal elements
Concordance: the ability to come together as words such as HAVALAR ısındı
Dynamic: language is not static, it constanstly changes.
When we speak languages
Languaging: Language is a verb, taking action, reflecting world. It is a process and it’s not only verbal but it also requires non-verbal aspects such as music, science etc. Multimodel Language: Use of multimodal research, using more than semiotic source, we use sound, visual, color, background, angle etc.
Syllabus: It answer the question of what to teach.
Develop awareness of what we are doing and what is our job.
ESL: English as a second language
EFL: English as a foreign language
TESOL: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Teaching English in Turkey vs teaching English in Nigeria, is it the same thing? Absolutely not, English is an official language in Nigeria but in Turkey it is not.
These separations do not validate in our time, for this reason TESOL has been founded in USA.
In Europe, some people say that Teaching Additional Language to Speakers of Other Languages has been founded.
We are multilingual people, in that sense terms like ESL, EFL are not valid in our time now.
ESP: English for Specific Purposes, English for certain businesses for example.
EAP: English for Academic Purposes such as English Language Teaching major in Istanbul University.
ELF: English as Lingua Franca, We teach English to our students to enable them to talk to anyone.
ELFA: English as an Academic Lingua Franca, such as us speaking in English in our classes due to foreign students in our classes.
WE: World Englishes, there is no one English in the world, such as Singlish, Hong Kong English.
EIL: English as an International Language, some people are suspicious of ELF as if it has got its unique language. So they stand with this.
Commodification of English, English as a Commodity: Monetization of English, Prosperity through English
ELT is different from Teaching German or Russian, as it has much many speakers than the other languages.
Lingua franca, that is a language used widely for communication between people who do not share the same first (or even second) language.
English is also, of course, a mother tongue for many people in the world, though, as we shall see, such “native speakers” are increasingly out-numbered by people who have English as a second or third language.
There are currently around 1.5 billion speakers of English worldwide, of whom only some 329 million are native speakers. A quarter of the world’s population speaks English, in other words, and native speakers are in a proportionately ever-decreasing minority.
The Triumph of English
A Colonial History
When the Pilgrim Fathers landed on the Massachusetts coast in 1620 after their eventful journey from Plymouth, England, they brought with them not just a set of religious beliefs, nor only a pioneering spirit and a desire for colonization, but also their language.
It was the same in Australia, too. When commander Philip planted the British flag in Sydney Cove on January 26th, 1788, it wasn’t just a bunch of British convicts and their guardians who disembarked, but also a language.
It became something little like a lingua franca in India, where a plethora of indigenous languages made the use of any one of them as a whole-country system problematic. The imposition of English as the one language of administration helped maintain the colonizer’s power.
Economic power that ensures languages survival and growth. A major factor in the growth of English has been the spread of global commerce, pushed on by the dominance of the United States as a world economic power.
Commercial activity has helped fan the flames of English, but it is no longer possible to see this only in terms of one-way traffic.
A great deal of academic discourse around the world takes place in English. It is often a lingua franca of conferences, for example, and may journal articles in fields as diverse as astrophysics and zoology have English as a default language.
The first years of the Internet as a major channel for information exchange also saw a marked predominance of English.
Much travel and tourism is carried on, around the world, in English.
A visit to most airports around the globe will reveal signs not only in the language of that country but also in English, just as many airline announcements are glosses in English, too.
English is also the preferred language of air traffic control in many countries and is used widely in sea travel communication.
Many people who are regular cinemagoers (or TV viewers) frequently hear English on subtitled films coming out of the USA.
The advent of film and recording technology greatly enhanced the worldwide penetration of English. In addition, countries such as the USA, Britain, Canada and Australia do their best to promote their culture overseas and to attract people to choose them as a study destination.
The Effect of English
Not everyone sees the growth of English as a benign or even desirable phenomenon. Many people worry about what it means for the cultures and languages it comes into contact with, seeing its teaching as a form of cultural or linguistic “imperialism”. They argue that, as we have seen, English has been regarded by some as a way of promoting military, cultural or economic hegemony.
The view that learners and non-native speakers of English are victims of linguistic and cultural imperialism is not shared by everyone.
An issue that concerns everyone who follows the rise of English is the impact it has on the other languages it comes into contact with. This concern is articulated in the knowledge that of the approximately 6000 extant languages in the world, at least half may be lost within the next hundred years.
Language death is a frightening and ongoing problem in much the same way that species loss is a threat to the biodiversity on our planet; for once lost, a language cannot be resurrected and its loss takes with it cultures and customs and ways of seeing the world through its use of metaphor, idiom and grammatical structuring.
In this context, a powerful argument is that as more and more people speak English, languages will gradually be lost.
Although there can be no doubt that the spread of English has some impact on other languages, creating a casual link between this language death seems somewhat simplistic.
In the first place, languages are under threat from a wide variety of sources, not just English. Spanish threatens some Andean languages, French battles it out with Euskara and Flemish, and the number of Mandarin and Arabic speakers is growing all the time – not to mention the growing growing influence that speakers of these languages exert in the international community.
A much more important predictor of language survival will be whether there is till a viable community with its own social and cultural identity to keep a language alive. In other words, survival is as much social as linguistic.
It is possible, of course that many of these languages may be lost from one generation to the next. But language is bound up with identity, and there are many examples of successful identity-grounded fightbacks.
Since the Balkan wars of 1990s, for example, Serbians, Bosnians and Croatians have all taken the original “Yugoslavian” Serbo-Croatian and started to mold it into three new varieties (Serbian, Bosnian and Croatian), emphasizing as many differences between these varieties as possible.
Members of the European Parliament who are competent speakers of English nevertheless use their own languages in plenary sessions as a highly charged statement of political and cultural identity.
Rather than fearing English as a destroyer, we should, perhaps, concentrate on how to maintain communities with a strong enough identity to preserve the language they represent. It is even possible that the presence of English as a lingua franca actually provokes speakers of minority languages to protect and promote their own languages.
English as a Global Language
In 1985 Kachru described the world of English in terms of three circles. In the inner circle he put countries such as Britain, USA, Australia, etc. where English is the primary language.
The outer circle contained countries where English had become an official or widely-used second language. These include India, Nigeria, Singapore, etc.
Finally, the expanding circle represented those countries where English was learnt as a foreign language such as Poland, Japan, Mexico, Hungary, etc.
It was once assumed that there was some kind of inbuilt superiority for inner circle speakers. They spoke “better” English, and there were more of them. Among other things, this situation “bred an extremely enervating inferiority complex among many a non-native speaker learner/teacher”
Since the majority of competent English speakers are not native speakers, but second-language users – the inner circle has lost much of its linguistic power, real or imagined. As a result, a consensus has emerged that instead of talking about inner, outer and expanding circle Englishes, we need to recognize “WorldEnglishes”
Nobody owns English any more, in other words – or perhaps we could say that we all, “native” and “non-native” speakers alike, own it together in a kind of international shareholders’ democracy since whatever English we speak – Indian English, British English or Malaysian English, we have, or should have, equal rights as English users.
Native speakers may actually be at a disadvantage, especially if we compare less educated native speakers with highly competent and literate second-language English users. The speaker of World English is, perhaps, capable of dealing with a wider range of English varieties than someone stuck with native-speaker attitudes
The emergence of global English has caused Kachru to propose a new circle diagram where language affiliation (and ethnicity) is less important than a speaker’s proficiency. He still wishes to make a distinction between the inner core and everyone else, but outside that inner core, the main difference is between high and low proficiency users.
The Future of English
In 1998 David Graddol considered a number of future possibilities, all of which questioned the certainty of English as the number one world language. He pointed out, for example, that the fastest-growing language community in the USA was (and is) Hispanic.
It is highly possible that in the foreseeable future the entire American continent will be an English-Spanish bilingual zone. He also suggested that other languages such as Mandarin, Hindu and Arabic would gain in status and importance as their geopolitical and economic power increased.
He now suggests that there will be about 3 billion English speakers by the year 2040.
In 1999 the company Computer Economics said that the proportion of first language English-speaker users to speakers of other languages was 54%:46%, but that by 2005 that balance would change to 43%:57% – in other words, the number of other-language users would rise sharply.
What we do know is that because native speakers are becoming less and less “powerful” in the daily use of the language, we will have to adjust the way in which both native and non-native speaker experts have traditionally thought about learning and teaching English around the world.
EFL, ESL, ESOL & ELF
ESP (English for Specific Purposes): English for specialties such as nursing or paper technology or banking.
EAP (English for Academic Purposes): To describe courses and materials designed specifically to help people who want to use their English in academic contexts.
EFL (English as a Foreign Language): Described situations where students were learning English in order to use it with any other English speakers in the world – when the students might be tourists or business people.
ESL (English as a Second Language) students, on the other than, were described as usually living in a target-language community (e.g. Britain, USA, etc.) and needed the target language in order to survive and prosper in that community, doing such things as renting apartments, accessing the local health service, etc.
The distinction has become difficult to sustain, however, for two reasons.
Firstly, many communities – whether in English – or non-English-speaking countries – are now multilingual and English is a language of communication.
Secondly, however, many students of EFL use English in a global context, as we have seen.
Using English for international communication, especially on the Internet, means that our students are in fact part of a global target-language community.
With the picture shifting like this, it makes sense to blur the distinction and say, instead that whatever situation we are in, we are teaching ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages).
English as a Lingua Franca
Lingua franca – that is between two people who do not share the same language and for whom English is not their mother tongue.
Barbara Seidlhofer at the University of Vienna has noted a number of somewhat surprising characteristics, including:
Non-use of third person present simple tense -s (She look very sad)
Interchangeable use of the relative pronouns who and which (a book who, a person which)
Omissions of definite and indefinite articles where they are obligatory in native-speaker English, and insertion where they do not occur in native English.
Use of an all-purpose tag question such as isn’t it? Or no? instead of shouldn’t they? (They should arrive soon, isn’t it?)
Increasing of redundancy by adding prepositions (We have to study about … and Can we discuss about …?), or by increasing explicitness (black color versus black and How long time? versus How long?)
Heavy reliance on certain verbs of high semantic generality, such as do, have, make, put, take.
Pluralization of nouns which are considered uncountable in native-speaker English (informations, staffs, advices)
Use of that clauses instead of infinitive constructions (I want that we discuss about my dissertation)
As Jennifer Jenkin’s points out “…the belief in native-speaker ownership persist among both native and non-native speakers”the evidence suggests that non-native speakers are not conforming to a native-English standard. Indeed they seems to get along perfectly well despite the fact that they miss things out and put things in which they “should not do”. Not only this, but they are actually better at “accommodating” – that is negotiating shared meaning through helping each other in a more cooperative way – than, it is suggested, native speakers are when talking to second language speakers.
In other words, non-native speakers seem to be better at ELF communication than native speakers are
Jenkin’s discusses “the need to abandon the native speaker as the yardstick and to establish empirically some other means of defining an expert speaker of English, regardless of whether they happen to be a native or non-native speaker”
The traditional “gatekeepers” of English (inner circle teachers, publishers, and testing organizations) may have to think again, in other words, and it is only a short step from this realization to the suggestion that – knowing what now know about ELF – we should start to think about what kind of English to teach.
Teaching English in the Age of ELF
For Jennifer Jenkin’s, instead of conforming to a native standard such as British English, learners “need to learn not (a variety of) English but about Englishes, their similarities and differences, issues involved in intelligibility, the strong links between language and identity, and so on”.
In her research she has noticed that some allophonic variation is not evident in ELF conversations (e.g. ELF speakers do not differentiate between strong and weak forms; they substitute voiced “th” with /t/, /s/ and /d/ – think becomes sink or tink), she suggests only concentrating on core phonology. And finally, she suggests that in lexis teaching we should “avoid idiomatic usage” – because ELF speakers don’t use idioms.
Vicky Kuo argues strongly against the view that native speakers are irrelevant or that native-speaker varieties have little prestige.
She points out that there is more to language use than “mere international intelligibility”. She says that the phenomenon that people are making use of their imperfect L2 repertoire to communicate more or less effectively “is interesting and revealing”, but doesn’t necessarily have any implications for teaching.
Based on responses from students in her doctoral research, she suggests that while a degree of inaccuracy may be tolerated in communication, it does not constitute an appropriate model for learning purposes, especially in a highly competitive world where accuracy and linguistic creativity not only in speech, but also in reading and writing may contribute towards success.
Native Speaker Varieties and Other Englishes
The differences between British and American English are well documented. For example;
British English speakers regularly use the phrase have got in utterances such as I’ve got a book about it or Have you got the time? when American English speakers are more likely to say I have a book and Do you have a time?
While British speakers in conversation make us of the present perfect in questions such as Have you read her latest article yet? an American English speakers might well say Did you read her latest article yet?
And there are many differences in vocabulary use (lift/elevator, flat/apartment, trousers/pants), pronunciation [/lɔː/ – law (British English) versus /lɔ/ (American English), advertisement (British English) versus advertisement (American English)] and even spelling (analyse/analyze, colour/color).
But there is a danger in calling in variety by the name of a country, since in doing we fail to take account of regional variety.
If we consider “British English”, for example, it only takes a moment’s thought to realize that there are many varieties of English withing the British Isles, each with its own vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar.
While a Londoner might get a take-away meal to eat at home, a Scottish person will order a carry-out. While an East-end Londoner might talk about having a “barf” (/bɑ:f/), a Yorkshireman talks about a bath (/bæθ/social class).
In addition to geography, factors such as social class, ethnic grouping and sex affect the language being used and influence the way in which listeners judge speakers.
In Britain, while some accents are admired (such as “BBC English” and some Scottish varieties), others (such as “Birmingham” accent) are still seen by many as less attractive. Though it is true that such attitudes diminished towards the end of the twentieth century – and some accents, such as “Cockney” and “Geordie” became widely admired, particularly in broadcast media – it is still the case that many British people ascribe status, educational background and social position to a person largely on the basis of accent.
World English Education
Around the world English is taught in a bewildering variety of situations. In many countries it first appears in the primary curriculum, but many universities in those and other continue to find that their entrants are sufficiently competent in English use, even if, as David Graddol points out, good English is an entry requirement for much tertiary education in a global market where English gives the user a “competitive advantage”.
English is taught in private schools and institutes all over the world, and even in specialized “English villages” in countries such as Korea and Japan, where pupils live in English-only environments in specially constructed theme-park-like environments.
A growing trend has been for Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), where, in secondary schools, a subject is taught through the medium of English. It other words, the students learn the language for mathematics at the same time as they learn the mathematics they are talking about in English, the language and the subjects are taught side-by-side.
It is clear from this short summary that the old world of English language teaching is in transition, especially in terms of the language schools which have traditionally taught general English.
But whatever kind of English it is, we cannot escape the need to decide on the variety or varieties which students are exposed to and learn. As we have seen, the choice seems to be between adopting one (perhaps native-speaker) variety, or, on the other hand, raising students’ awareness or “pluricentricity” so that they can adjust their speech “in order to be intelligible to interlocutors from a wide range of L1 backgrounds, most of whom are not inner circle native speakers”
Inner circle varieties become noticeably inappropriate when, for example, students in the Far East or South America are taught particularly British idioms such as I may as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb or learn the language for renting a flat in the south of England.
What seems to be the case, therefore, is that especially for beginner students, a prestige variety of the language (whether from the inner circle or from anywhere else) will be an appropriate pedagogical model.
The actual variety may depend on the wishes of the students, the variety the teacher himself uses, the learning materials that are on offer, or the school or education authority policy. Within that variety, it seems entirely appropriate to say what is and is not correct or acceptable so that students have something to aim at and some standard to judge their performance by.
As they become more advanced, the variety’s richness – including metaphor and idiom- should be offered for the students to absorb, provided that it is not too culture-specific. But at the same time, as Jennifer Jenkins has suggested, we need to expose our students to the reality of World English. As they become more advanced, our students should be made more and more aware of the different Englishes on offer.
However, we will have to ensure that they are not swamped by diversity, but rather guided gently into an appreciation of the global phenomenon that is English.
Important Notice: This note was prepared by Musa Kaan Durmuş, none of the used information here belongs to him.