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Which English? Whose English? Teachers’ beliefs, attitudes and practices

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tony Young, Professor Steve Walsh, Dr Alina Schartner

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Abstract

Academic debates about suitable target models of English continue to rage around the relative merits of world Englishes alternatives to the hegemony of ‘native speaker’ standards. However, research has not yet engaged sufficiently with actual practice related to models, targets and standards. Gauging teachers’ opinions and perspectives on varieties presents a way of benchmarking some current realities, as seen by practitioners. In the present study, participants in five locations (China, Thailand, India, Spain and Turkey) were asked to reflect on their experiences as teachers and learners of English, and to state which variety or varieties they learned, which are taught in the contexts they work in, which they would like to teach, what they understood about the nature of available varieties, and which they thought will serve as targets in future in the contexts they work in. The methodology included focus groups (n=71) and classroom recordings. Participants were not themselves first-language speakers – the literature is generally under-representative of their views but suggests a relative disempowerment of this group relative to first-language English speakers. Findings suggested that world Englishes alternatives have some appeal at an intellectual level, but that the native speaker hegemony continues, although our findings did not suggest that this leads in itself to a feeling of disempowerment among second-language teachers.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Young TJ, Walsh S, Schartner A

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title: ELT Research Papers

Year: 2016

Pages: 19

Acceptance date: 29/09/2016

Report Number: 16.04

Institution: British Council

Place Published: London

URL: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/sites/teacheng/files/G141%20ELTRA%20Which%20English%EF%80%A5%20Whose%20English%EF%80%A5%20Teachers%E2%80%99%20beliefs%20attitudes%20and%20practices_FINAL.pdf


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