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    • #2345
      admin adminadmin
      Keymaster

      In terms of how sustainable monolithic ideas about English are, I can confidently now say that in our globalized world they are not sustainable. It is unrealistic to expect that in a classroom in which the teacher is a “non-native” speaker and their students are Chinese, Mexican, Saudi Arabian, German, Dutch, French etc. everyone’s English will be the same, uniform and “standard”. And it would be quite boring if it were, wouldn’t it?

      It is still a struggle in classrooms in the US or the UK for instance, or in South Korea or China as well (some years ago schools in these countries were requiring that English teachers applying to teach there have a passport from an “English-speaking country” like US, UK, Australia etc. They might still be requiring this), because I think that even if one tried to teach a standardized form on English, it would not ‘come out’ as such in the majority of learners, but it still expected, especially in a highly academic context. And because teachers want their students to get into a US or UK university, they will teach the English needed for them to do so. I suppose one must always adapt to their context.

      With the ELT industry being so profitable, it is hard to imagine English varieties being totally accepted and taught in schools and universities, but I do hope that with the high number of NNS teachers and also different student needs, that this will change in time. Hard to imagine the big proficiency tests accommodating for local varieties though…thoughts on this?

      To view past replies go to: https://changingenglishes.proboards.com/thread/9/unit-1-reflections

      • This topic was modified 1 year ago by admin adminadmin.
    • #3264
      Sahar AmerSahar Amer
      Member

      English is more like a galaxy than a planet Many people have a monolithic concept of English and other languages Linguists believe that monolithic concepts of language(s) are idealisations Monolithic concepts of English are associated with the rise of ‘Standard English’ Monolithic concepts of English developed for both social and cognitive reasons
      Rules can be seen as ‘regularities’ describing ‘actual’ usage

    • #3265
      Sahar AmerSahar Amer
      Member

      English is more like a galaxy than a planet Many people have a monolithic concept of English and other languages Linguists believe that monolithic concepts of language(s) are idealisations Monolithic concepts of English are associated with the rise of ‘Standard English’ Monolithic concepts of English developed for both social and cognitive reasons
      Rules can be seen as ‘regularities’ describing ‘actual’ usage

    • #3271

      English is one of the most popular languages in the world . People from different countries learn English as a second language to get a better job . It’s a global language . People have different concepts of English .

    • #3359

      While accepting the existence of different varieties/forms of English, it is also necessary to pay attention to the hegemonic power of the already established varieties of English which are considered to be the standard/legitimate varieties. It is difficult if not impossible to destabilize the hegemonic power of the so-termed standard varieties of English until these varieties are reinforced by the existing socio-economic and political structures. In view of this, which variety of English is to be taught in a classroom becomes more of a political choice rather than a linguistic one.

    • #3391

      In terms of how sustainable monolithic ideas about English are , I say that people are naturally different. We have different thoughts , ideas , beliefs , family background and cultures . Each one has a different style. Being an Egyptian English teacher , I do my best to help my students communicate in English with native speakers to master the target language . In Egypt , we have information schools , Experimental language schools and governmental schools. Students are taught English by non native speakers of English in governmental schools , but international schools employ teachers with a native passport . Not all students are the same , some students speak English the same way as a native speaker. We must admit that that the term sustainable seems boring .
      Moving to the standard English ,I do believe that it should be given due care for exams and professional career development . We need students to master the standard English to keep up to date with the 21 century .
      English is the most popular language all over the world . Millions of learners attempt to learn it for different reasons . Travelling abroad is the most important reason either to study in a European university or get a job . In Egypt most subjects in universities are taught in English , That’s why all Egyptians are eager to learn the English language .

    • #3429

      English is more like a galaxy than a planet , English is like a wheel go to oneplace to many places , no boundary its flexible.
      English is diversity language.

    • #3448

      English is more like a galaxy than a planet. English enables us to know customs and taditions of the western culture. It gives us the chance to meet people and commuicatice With them in English. It helps us to meet new people and make friends With them. We turn to a global citizen who can understand different culture and widen his scope of knowledge. Thanks to English, many doors will be opened infront of you to achieve your dreams.

    • #3796

      In this unit, I think English language is like a galaxy. As an English learner and teacher, we must know the standard English which can get good understanding to communicative each other. In classrooms of non native speakers always get confused with the British and American English. Students always argue about that. Last, being a English teacher, we must know exactly what are the structure words and content words.

    • #4059

      ” It is unrealistic to expect that in a classroom in which the teacher is a “non-native” speaker and their students are Chinese, Mexican, Saudi Arabian, German, Dutch, French etc. everyone’s English will be the same, uniform and “standard”. And it would be quite boring if it were, wouldn’t it?”

      How I love this! Indeed! Teaching English would be dull if we just stick with monolithic English. I am amazed how dynamic English language is! Every language educator must remember that we are teaching diverse students with different English level. Our teaching approach must vary. It would be better if we teach the language based on its need (English for Specific Purposes).

    • #4107

      Varieties of English can be encouraged by English Language teachers in their classrooms around the world unless they teach to face some standard examination at the end of the course. Recognition given or gained by a particular variety gives the learners a kind of inclusiveness in the language identity so that they learn the language with confidence and enthusiasm polishing up fluency reaching proficiency at a certain stage in the language learning cycle.

    • #4192

      The arguments supporting pluralithic view of English are undeniable and I fully support such point of view. Nevertheless, it is quite scary for me as a teacher due to the fact it touches the very foundations of the teaching methodology and there are not many resources that could guide teachers in this new reality. On the surface everything is clear but the devil is in the details and it’s hard to conclude what specific teaching techniques should be used to prepare our students to participate in the global English communication.

      • #5539
        Saul SantosSaul Santos
        Member

        I share some of your fears. We have been put before ideas that, as you say, shake the foundations of our teaching methodology, but as one reads and learns more about the plurilitic view, everything starts making sense…

    • #4205

      As a monolithic view, English has a standard rules that must be follow by the learner. This then define good and bad English, or standard or non standard English. In fact, language is dynamic and it changes, including English. As a lingua franca, English has made contact with different language and culture which then enrich the English language itself.

    • #4497
      Dauda PikawiDauda Pikawi
      Member

      The strength of a language, I can argue, can be found in the variations and different modes of usage that exist in its speech community. No one can pause or keep on hold the dynamism of language, it’s an inherent thing to this phenomenon. Monolithic view of the language may not be sustainable even in the UK. Can all the less than 500 million English NS become teachers to billions of NNS? This approach is not feasible looking at the current spread of the language.

    • #4683

      English is certainly plurilithic. There is no case for English being considered monolithic.

      The idea of Standard English is ingrained. The fact is that as a teacher I need to help students to work towards what Standard English is thought to be – in the written form in particular. I suppose a benefit is that a person who can achieve a high standard will be rewarded. However, this is often due to socioeconomic means rather than only hard work. The disadvantage is that so many are excluded despite being able to communicate effectively.

      I personally wonder if the idea of Standard English will not become even more entrenched due to intense competition among people around the world. Neoliberal ideas have meant an individuals must constantly improve their human capital (by themselves) to stay competitive. Sadly, the ‘haves’ will continue to control what is deemed acceptable.

    • #4685

      All languages are a galaxy rather than a planet, it’s just that the galaxy of English is expanding at a much greater rate. I think it’s folly to expect there to be one kind of English (or one kind of Spanish, French, German, etc.) While I think the role of a native English speaker as teacher remains important, there should never be a rule that states one can only learn real English from a native speaker. I feel that seeking a native speaker as teacher becomes more important if the learner wants to work on using more “sophisticated” English, but that may only be useful for those seeking a higher degree at an English speaking university.

      I do feel that “standard English” is also very difficult to define when we have so many countries out there that use English as their main language, and their use of the language can vary widely. Just looking at the U.S. versus the U.K. and the divide between the users of each language is evidence enough. For starters, Americans reformed the spelling over a hundred years ago, and the U.S. spelling leaks over the border to Canada on occasion. There are also bits of idiomatic language that can confuse speakers and learners who cross borders.

    • #4688

      “English” is more like a galaxy rather than a planet. Therefore, English is plurilithic. It has more standard varieties, non-standard varieties in addition to the Standard British English and Standard American English. For instance, “Standard English” has to be measured with a set of rules and regulations. For instance, there are standard English varieties in the world, such as Standard Sri Lankan English, Standard Indian English, Standard Canadian English and etc.

      • #5588

        This is an important point. If we only give credence to one definition of Standard English then how can we define what it means for different people? Some learners may favour different accents or different standards for a variety of reasons. I suppose a Standard English is subjective and plurilithic, depending on what the needs of the learner are. Would someone from Colombia interested in studying in the US consider the “Queen’s English” as standard?

    • #5193

      English is more like a galaxy (plurilithic) than a planet, its variable, hybrid and dynamic... but also ´´englishis a planet (monolithic) because we have to let all the things in ´´order` as the planets. The ´´Standard english´´ is important to teach the correct form of writting, speaking.. in english wtih a set of rules and regulations. Therefore, regulation explicitly stated limit on you behavior, the way something sould or must be done (correcteness); and the regularity is a frequent pattern in the way something happens (comunication).

    • #5196

      Denying the plurilithic nature of English is denying the very history and development of not only English but of all languages. As the ‘standard’ variety of English is very much still the norm, there is little space for acknowledging or studying other varieties, such as Puerto Rican English, for example. One would argue that learning a ‘non-standard’ variety would be disadvantageous for a learner in the modern-day competitive global market. However, if localization is to be considered, learning ‘non-standard’ varieties could be a way to stand out in a highly-saturated business context.

    • #5205

      People have different attitudes to language change and frequently portray this process in a negative way because it is compared to ‘the language degeneration’. Such attitude is based on the deeply rooted notion related to the existence of a ‘standard English or ideal language’. The idea of ‘correct or acceptable’ and ‘incorrect or unacceptable’ established the perception that some languages, varieties, and speakers are valued within a culture as high in vitality, while others are stigmatised as non-standard. Such a monolithic view of linguistic diversity causes implications for attitudes towards the language and maintains stereotypes that native-speakers are the only legitimate owners of the particular language (see Widdowson, 1994). The conflict between monolithic and plurilithic concepts will be present until people change their attitude towards language diversity.

    • #5242

      The process of learning English is built not only on studying textbooks but also on the creative process. The psychology of any foreign language is the formation of communication skills.

    • #5276
      Julio TorresJulio Torres
      Member

      There might be just one idealised standard variety of English in peoples´ minds in the planet, but the reality is that there were, are, and will be as many varieties of English as it is needed at the local and global context in the galaxy. These varieties are conventionally used and determined by the speech community and the languages in contact. Besides, the geopolitics of English and structures that impose, maintain, or challenge the hegemony of one particular vareity of language have played a political role in the use of a standard English, English as an international language (EIL)or ELF.

    • #5277

      All languages have a planet(s) and they are in galaxies, so we can consider both perspectives of monolithic or plurilithic in English language teaching and learning domain. However, what has been neglected most is this plurilithic view of English language which is very interesting since the purpose will serve both meaning-making and meaning-sharing in the human’s world through interactions and communications by varieties of Englishes in this context worldwide. Since standards will define our education system, many still continue to support one form of English which is an industry itself and to some extent pathways for entering the high-ranked universities and companies all over the world.

    • #5281

      All languages are fantastic planets.

    • #5318

      Let me mention some terminologies: Scouse, Tyke, Munacunian, West Country, Bristolian, Cockney, Geordie, Brummie, Mackem, Pitmatic… Plural… Not singular… Mono means singular, one… Poly means plural, a lot… The answer is not a single word… Just as English… It’s Englishes… 😉

    • #5360

      Viewing English from the monolithic point of view is more of the need to choose a standard form of English. However, as much as we might want to set a standard for English, we must also consider the fact English language learners across the world are from diverse background and that their proficiency in their native languages to some extent influences the language been learnt, this often result to varieties of the target language. In the light of this, English language is more of a galaxy than it is a planet.

    • #5382

      Is ‘English’ is more like a planet (monolithic) or like a galaxy (plurilithic): unbeknown to me (!), I have a rather plurilithic view of English, which is remarkable because I work in a very monolithic context. I totally share the view that “language variation is a difference not a deficit, to be celebrated and not subordinated”.
      the benefits and drawbacks of ‘Standard English’ for English language teachers and learners: briefly, thinking of my low level students, I consider a healthy awareness of accuracy with an overriding objective of communicating as appropriate and realistic.
      the difference between grammatical rules conceptualised as ‘regulations’ and ‘regularities’: I found this distinction particularly fascinating. Needless to say, the former predmoniates in my context, also due its geographical isolation and relatively low level of development, compared to the rest of Europe.
      how true, fair, sustainable and helpful monolithic ideas about English are: categorically not but they will prevail until teaching is often based on pedagogical principles and, where this is being done, not those pertaining to the 18th century!

    • #5394

      English is definitely more like a galaxy than a planet. It should not aim to restrict, but should know how to embrace its own evolution once it is already “conquered” by other speakers worldwide. It is then high time to stop comparing the abilities of a native with that of non-native English teachers in terms of competence and effectiveness in the classroom. At the end of the day, it is not the language alone that can make a difference in the life of a learner, but on how he/she will perceive his/her own learning with the right amount of encouragement and motivation that only a true and sincere English teacher, native or not, can offer.

    • #5407

      The English language has become the global language of our time and therefore is more of a galaxy. As there are many difference language and cultural groups globally language takes it own special form regardless that there is a standard English that is taught. Language is amazing and every country or community has developed their form of language, which is a beautiful thing. Language is amazing so as dialects exist we have a galaxy of different English languages.

    • #5415

      English is a galaxy as there are as many Englishes as there are groups of users multiplied by the different contexts and practices in which they use its resources. Additionally, there are no complete accounts of the knowledge that any given native speaker might possess; this combined with the fact that when users of one language come into contact with users of other languages, they exchange words, many of which are absorbed into the language repertoire of those involved, leads us to a language which is forever in motion and has hybrid multilingual resources.
      Language is not only the symbol of national identity, of education and power but it is also the dialects and the idiolects. It is governed by rules as regulations but also by rules as regularities. Teachers and learners should not be stuck to the monolithic orientation to accuracy and correctness but be oriented to fluency, thus communication.

    • #5425

      Yes, I guess that the so-called standard English is just a myth that has dominated English Language Teaching for long decades. In fact, it is now non-native speakers of English that outnumber native speakers of English, and this is because of the global spread of English as an international language. This means that all those speak English have the right to choose the local veriety.

    • #5511
      Saul SantosSaul Santos
      Member

      For me, it was very enlighting to establish a distinction between the two senses of the word rule: as a regulation and as a regularity, and how each of those meanings lead to two opposing attitudes to language: prescriptivism and descriptivism. Assuming a plurilitic view of language means, in terms of language teaching, that the goal gets away from a desire to achieve the so called ‘native speaker’ lavel, and rather thinking in terms of repertoirs: language teaching as a way of providing students with opportunities to develos linguistic repertoirs of fulfill a range of communicative situations.

    • #5555

      In Italian schools we mainly teach “Standard” British English, as this is what coursebooks mainly include, and because in the future students may want to take some standardised test. With groups of people that are leanring English outside the school system to communicate with some specific geographic area, it’s useful to teach something more specific for that area (whether this is a country with English as a national language or not). However, the most important thing for me as a teacher is that students, whatever variety of English they learn, are aware of the fact that different varieties of English exist. This means that students learning British English should also learn that the so-called Standard is an abstraction, that if you move around the UK you’ll find different accents and not just RP, that grammar and vocabulary may differ, etc. I always find that if I use the Italian situation as an example, students accept this “new” concept more easily, then I move to telling them about Ireland and the US, to stress how different it can be just next door (Ireland) and to use a variety of English they know from songs, tv series, videogames, etc. (US), so that it’s easier to point out differences with Standard British English. After this, I list a few more English-speaking countries (Australia, South Africa, etc.) and point out how far from England and from one another they all are, then give a few examples of words that are different in these places, hoping students find them interesting. Finally, I point out that there are countries where English has a special status and a lot of countries where people are learning English as a foreign language, as they themselves are doing just now, and they all speak a different kind of English. As regards standadised texts, I guess sooner or later some new ones will come out, specific for some local variety that may gain more importance for economic or cultural reasons. At this point, traditional standardised texts would have either to adapt or to create their own versions of these new texts for local varieties, if they don’t want to lose a share of their market.

    • #5582

      I will be teaching an Introduction to Language and Linguistics course to teacher trainees in a few weeks, and I found some good stuff to incorporate in here! I had been using the idea of “English is a bouquet, not a single flower”, but I like the visual impact of the planet – galaxy distinction (especially given the roots of the words ‘monolithic’ and ‘plurilithic’!).

      Also, the explanation of the ambiguity of the word rule was really helpful. As you say, this is a key point to understand if we want our teachers to understand the distinction between monolithic and plurilithic views. I was reminded here about Austin’s (?? I think…) distinction between constituative and regulative rules. I had been thinking about doing some sort of activity with card games (something most students here know like Uno). There are a lot of different variations in the way these games are played, and sometimes you have to discuss ahead of starting which rules you will follow. (Can you stack draw 2 cards? If you do, does the next person have to draw 4 or just 2? Can you play a draw 4 card if you have the current color of play in your hand or only if you don’t?) Yet there must be some basic rules that let us recognize that the game is Uno and not something else. Which rules are constitutive and which are regulatory? It’s not always as straightforward to tease those out, and uses of English as a lingua franca, for example, may even challenge what we thought or were led to believe were constituent rules. We might demonstrate this by asking, for example, can you play Uno with regular playing cards? I think if we could find a game that everyone was familiar with, this might be a good tool for uncovering these complex ideas as well.

    • #5587

      It is very interesting to see the distinctions made between regulations and regularities. Certainly the notion of regularity seems to carry greater traction with Non-Native Speakers, particularly when using English among themselves as a Lingua Franca. They may learn grammatical habits that are not strictly among the rules of Standard English but are conducive to communication regardless. Speakers of Latin languages for example often have issues with prepositions of place (in/on/at) but these particles rarely reduce or impair meaning. The need for communication in a natural setting should be given greater importance. There is no point having flawless grammar if you cannot express your meaning. The case in point was the Chinese student whose command of English as a communicative tool was excellent.

      Monolithic ideas of English seem to be more archaic in our increasingly globalised world. English is hard to determine as a single entity with so many countries using it as a primary or secondary language. It is therefore harmful to focus on the grammar of Standard English as the one of the salient determiners of “good English”. In fact, creating an exclusivity around Native speakers will only cause frustration and alienation for learners. It is therefore a lot wiser to pivot to plurilithic concepts of English. Speaking, fluency and writing (productive skills) for specific purposes, as well as an understanding of register need to be emphasised so that learners can use their English confidently in different contexts with less fear of making grammatical errors.

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