Home Forums Discussion Board Discussion 5.2 – Problems of public belief about English

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    • #2340
      admin adminadmin
      Keymaster

      Some problems of public belief I can identify in my context are:

      – the idea that there is only one English and the only acceptable varieties are those in the Inner Circle.
      – the insistence on “Standard English” grammar & pronunciation.
      – the idea that any deviation from “Standard English” is a mistake that must be corrected.
      – the idea that local varieties are not valid but simply errors of language use.
      – the idea of “English only” in the classroom as the key to learning English immersively and the golden rule to be followed.
      – the idea that proficiency means sounding like a “native speaker”.
      – the idea that using a dictionary (especially L2 to L1) is detrimental to the learner.
      – the idea Lingua Franca means simply “Standard English” used between “non-native” speakers.

      Addressing these is the difficult part…I suppose some ways are the ones touched upon in the course, like teacher workshops, asking the learners for their views on language and language learning and introducing them to some of the concepts, taking more official action by addressing the proper authorities. It is indeed an oil tanker and turning it around is not an easy task! Any paradigm shift is a question of great effort, perseverance, reliance on research findings in order challenge those opinions presented as facts, and a great deal of time.

      What are other thoughts and ideas?

      To view past replies go to: https://changingenglishes.proboards.com/thread/28/problems-public-belief-english

      • This topic was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by admin adminadmin.
    • #3754

      – the idea that local varieties are not valid but simply errors of language use.
      – the idea of “English only” in the classroom as the key to learning English immersively and the golden rule to be followed.
      – the idea that proficiency means sounding like a “native speaker”.

    • #4644

      The issue with the public opinion is that most of them look up to the standards and trying to change that might cause drastic effects in some contexts. However, what we have to encourage is the pluralistic view in all aspects of teaching a language such as designing curriculum, planning teaching and learning material, testing and evaluation etc.
      We’ll have to have much faith in our potentials in changing our ways of looking into learning a language.

    • #4663
      Dauda PikawiDauda Pikawi
      Member

      The status and prestige accorded English spoken by any white skinned person is a problem in my contexts. Many people don’t have the idea that the NS English has its own variations and standard. So they target the so called standard English by proxy, with attempts that make them appear fake.

    • #4737

      -the idea that you need to be good and fluent in English so that you would be accepted easily by people around you
      -the idea that being good in English means you are more intellectual than others
      -the idea that you are qualified to speak English only if you’re enunciation and grammar is correct
      -the idea that American English and British English are only accpetable

    • #4810

      In Sri Lankan context, there are many controversial ideas regarding English language. English language is considered as a measure which symbolizes a person’s social class. English is considered as owned by the elite class. Furthermore, sometimes people who speak English language is discriminated by the people who do not know English very well. At that time, they humiliate the proficient Eanglish speakers as “Kadden kotana ayo”, it means “people who use the sword”, here sword is English language. Another important factor, Sri Lankans do not have a proper understanding about “Standard Sri Lankan English” and they tend to be proficient in “Standard British English.”

    • #4850

      There are a lot of problems with the “establishment” not accepting the idea of more than one type of valid English. Yet, I feel fortunate to live in a place where we’ve even named one of the English variants and that name is known far and wide, and that variant is “Spanglish”. Not only is that a variant of English, it’s a variant of Spanish, so we get to anger two old-fashioned institutions for the price of one!

    • #5235

      – the idea that using a dictionary (especially L2 to L1) is detrimental to the learner.

    • #5261

      Public opinion can have a strong effect on anyone.

    • #5309

      I do not care about anyone’s opinion. You know the proverb… 😉

    • #5342

      As I have written it before some of my learners hate accents and dialects when I show them to them.
      The media is a culprit or lack of motivation.
      So I used to take some of my classes to British pubs here in Budapest then they were astonded and dumbfounded… Then they understood what i was trying to imply.

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