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I really like your analogy.
I completely agree. Tailor the class to the students and the level.
I want to introduce other varieties of English to the classroom. This can highlight the plurilithic nature of English, but can also help improve students’ communicative competence. My students are more likely to use English with people who speak English as an additional language. This should help students to develop communication strategies. We also need to remember that almost nobody speaks English like it is presented in textbooks.
My own variety of English – I am employed as a ‘native speaker’ of English. While I completely agree with the idea of communicative effectiveness as a goal of communication. I also have a responsibility to prepare students for specific exams. These still overly value the monolithic version of English. Grammar is still too big a part to be ignored.
When speaking in class, I choose my words carefully and speak more slowly than I would in normal English interactions outside the class. I avoid idioms and I am careful with what contractions I use.
I like to mix modelling useful phrases with student talk time. All students will develop their own variety of English, but I think modelling is useful to help students add to their repoirtore or to at least have a receptive understanding of things they might hear.
Definitely acting as a facilitator. It took some getting used to, but it is much better for students. However, why student talk time is being prioritized over teacher talk time may need to be explained to students.
Proficiency will depend on context. Sometimes just being able to communicate using your full language repertoire, as well as body language (translanguaging) is all that is needed. For others who want to use the language for work – an adherence to the monolithic ‘native speaker’ English will likely be required by potential employers. Or the ability to pass a standardized English test will be all that is needed. From my experience, these individuals are excellent test takers but often struggle to communicate well.16 August 2021 at 6:34 am in reply to: Discussion 3.1 – Places & Contexts of English Exposure #5554
The most common way for my students to use English was when they were traveling. The Englishes they encountered varied widely depending on location. TV shows and Youtube videos are also common. I think they are more likely to experience English that is different from the classroom.
The use of ‘Standard English’ in the Korean classroom – Many students learn English for standardized tests. There is a need to focus on standard English to an extent. Students need high scores to get jobs, etc.
In the real world translanguaging is the norm. I make a point of this in our conversation classes. We need to negotiate meaning as we won’t always have the the exact word we want to use when speaking another language. However, in Korea (like many other places I imagine) there is linguistic insecurity. Most individuals are striving to achieve the ‘Standard English’ they encounter in the common learning materials.5 February 2021 at 12:11 am in reply to: Discussion 2.2 – Misunderstandings in ELF Contexts #5198
In South Korea, the word ‘theme’ has become part of Korean vocabulary. However, it is pronounced ‘tem-ma’. The first time I heard this I did not understand. It has now become a useful point to discuss in class.
In Korea –
Korean does not have friction sounds, so some English words can sound different – film can sound like pilm, coffee can sound like copee
Adding a vowel sound to some English words due to structure of Korean – juice = ju-suh
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.
The beliefs about correct English are ingrained unfortunately.
I am conflicted as I believe using language to communicate is much more important. However, my students need to use ‘Standard’ English in standardized tests. If I don’t offer corrections, I am doing them a disservice.
Consequently, I try to use different activities to focus on form and to focus on meaning.
Standard English is a barrier to Entry. For example, the use of standardized English tests act as a gatekeeper. If you don’t use ‘Standard’ English, you will not get a good score. If you don’ get a good score, you will not be accepted into educational institutes or get the job.
‘Standard English’ as an idealized form is a regional dialect. However, it can be used in different regions and different accents. Perhaps variety is a better term as dialect has negative connotations in English. The linguistic claim is correct – ‘Standard’ English is no better or worse than any other variety. It is only the social importance attached to ‘Standard’ English that means it is viewed as being superior.
To ‘language’ seems accurate from a theoretical standpoint. For the layperson, however, it probably sounds like nonsense. From my experience using English as a plural (Englishes) is considered a grammatical error. This most likely relates to the idea that English is monolithic.