Teaching English as an International Language: An Intercultural Dimension


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Teaching English as an International Language: An Intercultural Dimension

Contents

  • What is an International Language
  • English as an International Language
  • The Role of Cultural Learning in EIL
  • Types of Cultural Content
  • Reflective Approach in Practice (I) (II)(III)
  • Conclusion

Preface

  • This session is based on Sandra Lee McKay’s work Teaching English as an International Language (2003).
  • In this session, we will see how to introduce interculturality into English Language Teaching.
  • This is still a new field. Any suggestion or comment will be extremely welcome!

What is an International Language?

  • Nationalities
  • Ethnical Backgrounds
  • or

English as an International Language (EIL)

  • Main Characteristics:
  • Cross borders
  • Primary Function:
  • Enable speakers to share their ideas and cultural views
  • Cultural Dimension:
  • No longer connected to the culture of the *Inner Circle Countries
  • (*Native English speaking countries: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, etc.)

The Role of Cultural Learning in EIL

  • Goal
  • Establish a sphere of Interculturality
  • Objectives
    • Have understanding on other cultures
    • Appreciate cultural differences
    • Be able to share one’s own culture in English
    • Reflect one’s own culture to the others’

Types of Cultural Content in TEIL

  • Textbook
  • Teacher
  • Student
  • Target Culture
  • International Culture
  • Source Culture
  • Source Culture
  • Source Culture

Reflective Approach in Practice (I)-1

  • While teaching target cultural text…..
  • Example – A Korean teacher’s experience:
    • One Textbook Exercise asks students to:
    • -Look at photos of various American scenes
    • -Depict and Match them with different periods of
    • American history
    • Problems:
    • -Students found
    • the exercise extremely difficult
    • the activity irrelevant to the purpose of learning English
    • -The teacher experienced
    • limited knowledge in American History
    • difficulty instructing the text content

The Korean Teacher’s Approach…..

  • The Korean Teacher’s Approach…..
  • Replaced the photos in the text with some of various periods in Korea
  • Followed the format in the book
  • Encouraged his students to reflect on their own culture
  • Reflective Approach in Practice (I)-2
  • Results
  • Overcame the difficulty in instruction
  • Increased students’ interest of learning the language
  • Helped students use English to compare and contrast two historical cultures

While teaching source cultural text…..

  • While teaching source cultural text…..
  • Example – A Japanese teacher’s experience:
    • Content in the Textbook:
    • -Ask students to describe annual Japanese events
    • -The events include Children’s Day Festival,
    • traditional arts like Haiku, Noh comedy, etc. Problems:
    • -How could source cultural text establish a sphere of interculturality?
    • -How did students consider their own culture in relation to another?
  • Reflective Approach in Practice (II)-1

The Japanese Teacher’s Approach…..

  • The Japanese Teacher’s Approach…..
  • Asked individual pupil to describe what specific aspects of their culture mean to them
  • Then, encouraged students to consider how they would explain elements of their own culture to foreigners
  • Reflective Approach in Practice (II)-2
  • Results
  • Pupils had opportunity to learn more about their own culture
  • Pupils learned the language needed to explain the cultural elements in English
  • Purposes
  • The approach firstly demonstrated the variance within one culture
  • Second, it promoted a view of culture as difference

While teaching international cultural text…..

  • While teaching international cultural text…..
  • Example – Material presents English as well
  • as non-English speaking countries
    • Content in the Textbook:
    • -The texts provide various cultural information
    • Problems:
    • -Students may be uninterested or puzzled by the information in the text
    • -The teacher may not have access to additional information needed to explain some of the cultural references
  • Reflective Approach in Practice (III)-1

An Approach Recommended…..

  • An Approach Recommended…..
  • Extend the text in which a bilingual user interacts with other speakers of English
  • Exemplify the manner in which English can be used internationally
  • Examples can include lexical, grammatical, and phonological variation in context
  • Illustrate cross-cultural pragmatics and appropriateness
  • Purposes
  • Provide a basis for students to gain a fuller understanding of how English today serves a great variety of international purposes
  • Encourage students to reflect on their own local and global uses of English as an International Language
  • Reflective Approach in Practice (III)-2

Conclusion

  • English is situated at the interface of foreign and native cultural values to a greater extent than any other language because of its greater use around the world.
  • In TEIL context, it is important for teachers to consider how to create a sphere of interculturality.
  • Try to draw students’ attention to their own history and culture, as well as to those of the target culture, in order to explain and contrast the differences.

- End -

  • Thank You !

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