Home Forums Reflection Forum Reflection 3.2 – ‘Learning/teaching cultures’

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    • #2735
      admin adminadmin

      Not sure if this goes against plurilithic approaches directly, but one educational philosophy that comes to mind regarding teaching English in the US in the “English only” policy that many (if not all?) language schools have. Students must abide by this rule when inside the classroom and are encouraged to use it around the school during their free time as well. While I understand the good intentions behind this policy, it does feel a bit like a coercive measure. Perhaps advanced speakers have no issues with this but what about the beginner level learners who need to use all their linguistic resources to express a thought? It also feels like their own languages are somehow kicked to the curb and seen as inferior and must not be used or else. I don’t feel like this is sending a positive message or creating an inclusive environment for the learner, yet we constantly hear teachers complain about the use of L1 in class. I agree that if a group of students in constantly talking about their weekend plans in their L1 during class that can be disrespectful and can disturb the class, but if they are trying to create/negotiate meaning, this should not be penalized. Does any one have experience with this policy, and what do you think of it?
      (I read an article once about an issue at a university in the US where a director had sent an email to the Chinese student population asking them to refrain from speaking Chinese in the cafeteria (!) This was after professors had complained about this to the head. I couldn’t believe it and it goes against human rights at that point, in my view. Thoughts?)

      To view past replies go to: https://changingenglishes.proboards.com/thread/18/learning-teaching-cultures

      • This topic was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by admin adminadmin.
    • #3744

      learners who use their L1 in class should not be penalized. it is helpful to both the learners and the teacher.

    • #4166

      I find it absurd if someone prohibits someone from speaking their local language in the foreign country. We must have linguistic freedom wherever we are. After all, if they (Americans or other English native speakers) come to our country, we never impose them to speak English. As a matter of fact, we communicate using their language. Linguicism must not be promoted.

    • #4356

      Constant change in policy decisions of shifting regimes paves the way for an unstable status of ESL teaching/learning in school education to a certain extent and at tertiary and higher education to a greater extent. The failure of addressing these issues at least to a satisfactory level makes the scenario here a bit ‘tricky’, but it should be streamlined and taken to a correct track !

    • #4576
      Dauda PikawiDauda Pikawi

      The prestige accorded the speakers of what is seen to look like ‘standard’ English in Nigeria is a cultural factor. There was a time if a politician does not sound to be speaking ‘educated’ English he may not win the people. Politicians may speak in lingo that only them may understand and the people may hail them for being brains.

    • #4753

      In Sri Lanka, both Standard Sri Lankan English and Standard British English are promoted in educational institutes. Most of the times, Standard Sri Lankan English as a subject is promoted at the university context, but everyone dreams to learn and be proficiency in Standard British English which is far more reaching than the possible Standard Sri Lankan English, for instances; prepare with Cambridge university exams.

    • #4761

      My school has an English only policy, and my enforcement of it in the classroom tends to increase as their levels do. Our level 1 students can barely introduce themselves in English, so they need their first language to build their English on.

      They all group up and speak their native languages outside of class, and the school rarely regulates the rule in the lobby and student lounge, which I think is fine. I think students have to make that commitment to “English only” themselves, it can’t be forced on them.

    • #5250

      I would say that even a native speaker is not sure of their knowledge.

    • #5301

      Even natives are flummoxed sometimes.

    • #5332

      At lower level I always explain grammar in L1 because there are some KEY differences between English and Hungarian (English has a strict word order, Hungarian DOES NOT have any), which result in serious grammatical mistakes.
      But at higher levels I advocate speaking giving leeway to expressing themselves (and I also advocate non-standard English).

    • #5386

      Some language school penalizes the learners just because they are L1. And, in my opinion they shouldn`t be penalized.

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