Presentation on theme: "Asian English in Use: Implications for ELT Andy Kirkpatrick Da Nang 3 rd International Conference on TESOL, 9-11 Aug 2012."— Presentation transcript:
Asian English in Use: Implications for ELT Andy Kirkpatrick Da Nang 3 rd International Conference on TESOL, 9-11 Aug 2012
ASEAN Charter (ratified Feb 2009) ‘to promote an ASEAN identity through the fostering of greater awareness of the diverse culture and heritage of the region’ ‘in the spirit of unity in diversity’, BUT ‘the working language of ASEAN shall be English’ (Article 34) (cf. EU)
English is used by more than 800 million multilinguals in Asia alone (Bolton 2008); and we need to know something about how these people use English in lingua franca communication (cf. also the BRICS group). If we want to understand the use of English in today’s world, ‘ELF must be one of the central concerns in this line of research’ (Mauranen 2006:147).
The Asian Corpus of English (ACE) One million (110 hours) of naturally occurring English as a Lingua Franca being used by Asian Multilinguals Data Collection teams across East and SE Asia
China (Guangxi University) Hong Kong (Institute of Education) Griffith University, Brisbane University of Malaya NIE Singapore University of Brunei Ateneo de Manila University Chukyo University, Japan SEAMEO RETRAC, HCM City, Vietnam
Examples from ACE Tense marking Ind: I waited] for the official who pick me up ok er and then I tried to look for the official but because er er the plane you know landed so early so (ehm uh oh) the official hadn’t come yet (C: ehm) yeah Myan: what a pity (laugh)
Ind: er er I I I had to stay in the airport and then did nothing (C: ehm) just sit and I check the placard of (ehm) RELC (M: ehm) ok and er and I couldn’t see that’s why I just sit and take a rest…what about you what time
Prepositions ‘and the second purpose is to seek for a discussion’ (Thai) ‘we tell about opportunities for each SEAMEO centres’ (Thai) ‘thanks for the World Bank who supports this programme’ (Indonesian)
VOICE (European) and ACE Compared Non-marking of third person singular Extended use of common verbs Use of uniform question tag Dem ‘this’ with plural nouns ‘Different’ prepositions
In VOICE but not ACE Interchangeability of ‘who’, ‘which’ Flexible use of definite/indefinite articles Treating uncountable nouns as plural
In ACE Base form of verb for past tense Omission of articles Drop of ‘s’ plural marker Omission of copula ‘be’
Base Verb Form for Past Tense pvc> very lazy but then [first name5] said that he want then hh S2: no aha S1: just ask just S2: mhm: S1: but even though he enjoyed and he want to go S2: S1: yeah always missing (1) 14 tsk she said lah then she kept replying then she say how can you erm sue how can you call him erm S2: yes erm er he he say that er erm he ask me for help teaching
Omission of Articles the good student to be more active in helping teacher to help some weaker student to improve erm band two will be the easier for for teacher to deal with to handle with because role of teacher? I mean what’s the role of teacher in classroom?
Omission of plural ‘s’ is test you know h you know the teachers and student they greater h they greater emphasis greater emphasis on it er h so teachers and student on purpose er h learn some test any scores yeah too much of it to to attract student come to class yeah because in school as well you can cos it will attract student to choose something hh they really want that is why some of the it student you see them getting offer more than maybe he was one of the good student the best student in the class S1: ye think about different way of motivating her student that is the start planning right star
Omission of ‘be’ from [place3] S1: this (.) this our traditional things= S2: =that's cor fish S3: it looks like the ( ah S1: yah this our one of our main dish S3: main dis of your apples= S2: =eh eh it's very cool this very cool S1: hey they are saying 1: but looks too young already S2: this the tutorial that that he er that he his guy oh yeah oh this one also very stupid this one very stupid it's become better less m right S2: veRY S1: very very slim eh h but this one very obvious they very slim eh my s one ah ah ah ah i saw this before this one this one very special (.) never tried before ery very slim eh h but this one very obvious they very slim eh my face become like e very rich S2: they S4: yeah they very rich S3: those of (he) even in coll then when they see people enjoy the food they very happy no ah right S1: yeah S2: that hy i was asking i was asking all the guys eh they very S3: h S1: yeah so hard of course can ask aha but just scared they very busy i talk fifteen minutes not so
What’s Going On? (i)Too many shared but distinctive features to be able to argue for substrate language influence: especially as there are so many shared features between British and other vernaculars; (ii)Claiming a universal feature is dangerous – the tyranny of the counter example!
NB ‘English’ English also has non-standard forms Britain’s universals for British vernaculars. ‘Standard English is a minority dialect in England’ (2010:37) ‘Every corner of the country demonstrates a wide range of grammatically non-standard forms, reminding us that such forms are the rule rather than the exception in spoken English English’ (2010:53).
Where’st thou bin? Cooks peels the potatoes and then they wash and boils them He make them and farmers make them Folks sings RU34T?
If Asian speakers are using English primarily as lingua franca, what should be the target/goal of English language teaching for Asian learners? To approximate the native speaker? To be mutually intelligible?
Data from ACE allows to explore these questions. For example, does the use of non-standard forms necessarily cause problems in communication? If so, what features cause problems in communication? Some phonological features:
There are also non-standard phonological features that are shared by ASEAN speakers from different linguistic backgrounds (e.g., Deterding and Kirkpatrick 2006, Deterding, Wong and Kirkpatrick 2008, Kirkpatrick 2010). Examples Dental fricatives Reduced initial aspiration Monophthongal diphthongs, e.g., ‘please’ and ‘go’
Examples Continued Lack of reduced vowels Stressed pronouns Heavy end-stress (Note that many of these are common in many varieties of English.)
There is no evidence that these cause problems in communication among the speakers. In fact it has been argued that some of these features (lack of reduced vowels and bisyllabic triphthongs) enhance mutual intelligibility What non-standard phonological features did cause problems of communication?
Examples ‘barl’ for ‘pearl’ beads (Myanmar) ‘tree teachers’ for ‘three teachers’ (Lao) ‘honez’ for ‘holes’ (Lao) ‘shauce’ for ‘sauce’ (Viet) ‘uts’ or ‘us’ (Myanmar)
How do speakers repair problems in communication? Listener strategies Lexical anticipation, lexical suggestion, lexical correction (rare) Don’t give up, request repetition, request clarification, let it pass Listen to the message, participant paraphrase, participant prompt
Speaker strategies Spell out the word, repeat the phrase, be explicit Paraphrase, avoid local / idiomatic references (Kirkpatrick 2007)
What do people typically talk about? Professional topics (Ear, nose and throat surgeons) (Lawyers and NGOs Leisure Topics (Windsurfing)
And Islamic finance Yin and Yang slippers Chilli as metaphor for jealousy Identity and the L1 Coffee as the soul of Vietnam Asian and Middle-eastern communication Qualities of Asian rice brands Thai-Burma border conflicts
In many Asian/ASEAN contexts, we have moved beyond the postcolonial period and are now in the ‘post-anglophone’, ‘post- anglocultural’ period. It is the age of the multilingual. International intelligibility replaces native-like proficiency as the major goal.
6 Principles of the ‘Lingua Franca Approach’ to ELT in Asian Contexts 1 The native speaker (inner circle) of English is not the linguistic target. Mutual intelligibility is the goal. 2 The native speaker’s culture (inner circle) is not the cultural target. Intercultural competence in relevant cultures is the goal.
3 Local multilinguals who are suitably trained provide the most appropriate English language teachers. 4 Lingua franca environments provide excellent learning environments for lingua franca speakers.
5. Spoken is not the same as written 6. Assessment must be relevant to the context and aims of learning.
We need an ELF curriculum for ASEAN/Asia (i) that includes Asian cultures and literatures in English; (ii) that validates local varieties of English, ELF and the multilingual (iii) that validates local trained and linguistically proficient multilingual teachers. (iv) that sees local languages as important.
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