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What is This Thing Called ELT? – It all depends on how you look at it. Martha C. Pennington.

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Presentation on theme: "What is This Thing Called ELT? – It all depends on how you look at it. Martha C. Pennington."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is This Thing Called ELT? – It all depends on how you look at it. Martha C. Pennington

2 ENTERPRISE Broad meaning: an activity, undertaking, or project Specific meaning: a business or company

3 FRAMING OF ELT AND THE ELC Frames of ELT/ELC Work Instruction Academic Discipline Profession Business Service ELT/ELC Context Frames Global Local Sociocultural

4 INSTRUCTION FRAME Content orientation Skill orientation Specialised “microfields” Syllabus type

5 INSTRUCTION AS TYPE OF SYLLABUS (Syllabus TypeFocus FormalForms, system, and rules FunctionalLanguage use in social functions Task-basedCommunicative, specific-purposes, metacommunicative tasks ProcessMeanings derived and created through negotiated decision-making [adapted fr. Breen, M. P. (2001). Syllabus design. In R. Carter & D. Nunan (eds.), The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Ch. 2, pp ). Cambridge University Press. p. 155.]

6 CRITICAL PEDAGOGY AS FOCUS FOR PRACTICAL RESEARCH [T]eachers [like their students] must become border-crossers and practice a pedagogy that negotiates competing discourses and cultures…[and] to be researchers (at least in informal ways) to learn from their students and constantly rethink their pedagogical practice. Such undertakings as teacher-led classroom research and classroom ethnography play a useful function in developing such a practice. [Canagarajah A. S. (1999). Resisting linguistic imperialism in English teaching. Oxford University Press. p. 194.]

7 ACADEMIC DISCOURSE FRAME “Big brother/sister” discipline of ELT: applied linguistics Disciplinary heritage: linguistics, psychology, education ELC site to develop disciplinary knowledge ELT a “second-class” discipline ELT a potentially powerful discipline via EIL

8 ELT: A CYNICAL SUPPLY-AND-DEMAND VIEW As in the case of other commodities, scarcity or inaccessibility of information to the average consumer drives up its value and, by projection, the value of anyone who possesses it…. Unfortunately, English language teaching is generally perceived as entirely transparent and ordinary in the extreme, as a type of work that nearly any native speaker can perform or claim to perform. [Pennington, M. C., (1992). Second class or economy? The status of the English language teaching profession in tertiary education. Prospect, 7(3), 7-19.]

9 The English language is … (1) the primary lingua franca and so the basis for effective communication within and across cultures, and thus critical to education, politics, and international business and exchange; (2) the primary medium within which much of the specialised knowledge which humans possess is transmitted and comprehended.

10 PROFESSION FRAME Specialised knowledge and skill Ability to handle problems arising Peer-developed standards and accreditation ELC as a site for developing professional expertise

11 BUSINESS FRAME Education run on a business model “Bottom-line” orientation ELT as commodified service or product Huge market for English language instruction Potential conflicts with other framings of ELT/ELC

12 SERVICE FRAME ELT as language support ELC as service unit Teachers and administrators as helpers ELC provides support for larger unit Service and business goals often complementary Potential conflicts with instruction, discipline, profession

13 GLOBAL FRAME Ethnoscape the landscape and movement of people around the world Technoscape the global configuration and movement of technology Financescape the disposition of capital around the world Mediascape the dissemination of information and images by media Ideoscape the dominant ideologies and counterideologies [adapted fr. Appadurai, A. (1996). Modernity at large: Cultural dimensions of globalization. University of Minnesota Press. pp. 51-3]

14 Its global orientation gives ELT and the ELC a cutting-edge position in terms of leading in: Instruction with diversity of instructors and perspectives from different cultures; Outreach to the largest possible audience of students, drawn from the world over; Creation of disciplinary knowledge on a broad scale and with broad relevance, incorporating strong intercultural and international components; Service to larger educational and community contexts to assist in dealing with students and teachers from other cultures and their outreach to other countries; Positioning the ELC and larger academic unit strategically for growing business and economy in a global marketplace.

15 LOCAL FRAME Competing globalism and nationalism ELC as responsive to local scapes ELC as responsive to immediate context Institutional position of ELC

16 ELC DISTANT FROM LOCAL CONTEXT [Language centres] are often both a part of and apart from the educational contexts in which they operate…. Even though an [ELC] exists within the culture of the university at large, the [ELC] culture contrasts sharply with the institution of higher education, and as a university entity it is often misunderstood. [adapted fr. Henry, A. R. (1997). The decision maker and negotiator. In M. A. Christison and F. Stoller (eds.), A handbook for language program administrators (pp ). Alta Book Center. p. 77]

17 SOCIOCULTURAL FRAME Characteristics of teachers and students High proportion of female / L2 teachers Diverse instructor / student populations and strong female base – assets to counter tradition and evolve critically aware communities of practice Egalitarian, liberal orientation – not power players or big money makers but humanists and pragmatists

18 ORIENTATION OF ELT PRACTICE Humanistic Focus on relationships; Focus on satisfaction of needs; Idealistic, even altruistic, view of people; Facilitative and supportive to students and staff; Cooperative, interactive in decision-making and power-sharing. Pragmatic Bottom-line view of language centre operation; Highly achievement-oriented instruction; High responsiveness and willingness to change as needed to satisfy customer and market demands and remain viable. [adapted fr. Pennington, M. C. & Hoekje, B. J. (2010). Language program leadership in a changing world: An ecological model. Emerald/Brill. p. 52]

19 Questions on ELC as Instruction Is there sufficient innovation in instruction to keep pace with global trends in the linguascape, ethnoscape, mediascape, technoscape, and ideoscape? Is the centre director facilitating adaptation of instructional innovations to the local context and connecting these to the build-up of disciplinary knowledge and academic prestige?

20 Questions on ELC as Profession What is the centre director’s performance and the record of the program in securing or raising the status of teaching and administrative staff, and in ensuring good employment conditions? How are the ELC director and teachers connecting to professional bodies and using them to develop themselves and the centre?

21 Questions on ELC as Academic Discipline Are the ELC director and teachers maintaining or pursuing productive linkages with academic departments for academic advancement? Is the centre director and its teachers fostering quality and high-level achievement in development of the ELC and its academic reputation?

22 Questions on ELC as Business How well does the ELC function as a business in terms of bringing in revenues and operating on a balanced budget, and how has this functioning been enhanced in program development? Is ELC revenue being spent wisely and productively to ensure ongoing development and improvement?

23 Questions on ELC as Service Is the ELC doing enough to achieve high service and satisfaction, even to exceed expectations? Are the ELC director and teachers contributing to the various communities connected to the program, in ways that enhance relationships and local and global connections?

24 Questions on ELC Context Frames Is attention to local context taking away needed attention to global factors, or vice versa, in program development? Is the specific sociocultural context of the centre being considered in terms of its positive or negative effects on instruction or other quality issues? What potentials are not being developed and what opportunities are being missed in relation to the centre’s contextual frames?


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