Presentation on theme: "Applied Linguistics Research Seminar –Newcastle University 13th March"— Presentation transcript:
1 Applied Linguistics Research Seminar –Newcastle University 13th March Intercultural communication through English as a lingua franca: the role of intercultural awarenessWill BakerCentre for Global EnglishesUniversity of SouthamptonApplied Linguistics Research Seminar –Newcastle University 13th March
2 OverviewHow are we to make sense of culture in English as a lingua franca communication?What does this mean for language pedagogy?Theoretical backgroundELF, intercultural communication and cultureIntercultural competence and intercultural awarenessThe study – A course in global Englishes, intercultural communication and intercultural awarenessSyllabus and materialsStudents’ and teachers’ evaluationAttitudes towards global Englishes/ELF and intercultural communication
3 English as a lingua franca "English as it is used as a contact language among speakers from different first languages."(Jenkins, 2009: 143)A functional definition of ELF as “any use of English among speakers of different first languages for whom English is the communicative medium of choice” (Seidlhofer, 2011: 7)Both definitions include NES but they are the minority and are “less likely to constitute the linguistic reference norm” (Seidlhofer, 2011: 7)
4 ELF communication and culture Language is the prime semiotic system for enacting and creating culture (Geertz, 1973; Halliday, 1979; Vygotsky, 1962)Problematic with global languages such as English – what is the culture that English creates or enacts?Is culture inevitably linked to a target culture (e.g. the UK or US)? (e.g. Whorf, 1939; Byram, 1997) ?Is English used as a lingua franca culturally and identity neutral? (Kirkpatrick 2007; House 2002; Meierkord 2002)?
5 Intercultural communication and culture “Languages and intercultural communication are never just neutral” – Phipps and Guilherme (2004: 1)Languages and cultures are not inexorably linked at the level of ‘national’ conceptions.While participants bring individual lingua-cultural histories, the relationship is situated; created in each instance of communication.Culture in intercultural communicationThird places/ Symbolic competence (Kramsch, 1993; 2009)The local and the global (Canagarajah, 2005; Pennycook, 2007)Trans-cultural flows (Risager, 2007; Pennycook, 2007)Communities of practice (Wenger, 1998; Seidlhofer, 2007; Ehrenreich, 2009)
6 ELF communication and culture ELF approaches reject simplistic correlation between language, culture and nation – we cannot speak of a culture and a language (English – UK/US)Cultures of ELF - Complex, emergent, situated relationship between cultural context and language“Cultural frames of reference [are] perceived of and made use of in a hybrid, mixed, and liminal manner, drawing on and moving between global, national, local, and individual orientations” (Baker, 2009: 567)National frames of reference are still present - constant tension between fluidity and fixity (Pennycook, 2007; Holliday, 2011)
7 Examples1. PHILIPPE: no Marseilles is really nice really nice city south of France close you have Nice Cannes it’s really cool the food is amazing and they drink err Ricard 2. NAMI: Ricard 3. PHILIPPE: they play err petanque 4. NAMI: err 5. PHILIPPE: petanque 6. NAMI: petanque ahh petanque 7. PHILIPPE: yeah (?) 8. NAMI: there’s some there’s some people from my school that 9. PHILIPPE: you know that the French embassy they organise err a championship every year in Thailand 10. NAMI: yeah 11. PHILIPPE: I’ve been there a few times 12. NAMI: do you play 13. PHILIPPE: ah 14. NAMI: do you play 15. PHILIPPE: no . I’m shit 16. NAMI: ((laughs)) you’re really young ((laughs)) 17. PHILIPPE: I know you have to be really old to play that game 18. NAMI: NO ((laughs)) 19. PHILIPPE: maybe I’m not old enough 20. NAMI: no at school a lot of young students play petanque 21. PHILIPPE: maybe they think it’s cool (Baker, 2009: )
8 ELF and communicationHow are such multifarious communicative practices undertaken?“…it may turn out that what is distinctive about ELF lies in the communicative strategies that its speakers use rather than in their conformity to any changed set of language norms.” (Seidlhofer and Widdowson, 2009: 37-38)Need to go beyond a focus on grammar, lexis and phonology to understand intercultural communication through ELFCommunication skills of bilingual, multicultural communicators – e.g. accommodation, code-switching, negotiation, cooperation and linguistic and cultural awareness (Canagarajah, 2007; Cogo, 2009; Jenkins, 2007; Kramsch, 2009; Seidlhofer, 2011)
9 Intercultural competence Examination of knowledge, skills and attitudes that are needed for intercultural communicationIntercultural communicative competence (e.g. Byram, 1997; 2008; Guilherme, 2002; Risager, 2007)an understanding of the relative nature of cultural norms which leads to the ability to compare and mediate between different cultural norms present in intercultural communicationCritical cultural awareness – “an ability to evaluate, critically and on the basis of explicit criteria, perspectives, practices and products in one’s own and other cultures and countries” (1997:101)
10 Intercultural competence – problems for ELF Fixed cultures (e.g. Nations) and languages – however complexFor English a focus on inner circle native speaker communities (UK/US) e.g. Byram (1997)Distinctions between ‘native and foreign cultures’ (e.g. Guilherme, 2002: 219)Where national cultures are transcended, still ‘target communities’ (Risager, 2007: 236)Either ignored (Byram) or rejected (Risager, 2007:197) ELF communication
11 Intercultural awareness Intercultural awareness is a conscious understanding of the role culturally based forms, practices and frames of reference can have in intercultural communication, and an ability to put these conceptions into practice in a flexible and context specific manner in real time communication.
12 Level 1: basic cultural awareness An awareness of:culture as a set of shared behaviours, beliefs, and values;the role culture and context play in any interpretation of meaning;our own culturally induced behaviour, values, and beliefs and the ability to articulate this;others’ culturally induced behaviour, values, and beliefs and the ability to compare this with our own culturally induced behaviour, values, and beliefs.
13 Level 2: advanced cultural awareness An awareness of:the relative nature of cultural norms;cultural understanding as provisional and open to revision;multiple voices or perspectives within any cultural grouping;individuals as members of many social groupings including cultural ones;common ground between specific cultures as well as an awareness of possibilities for mismatch and miscommunication between specific cultures.
14 Level 3: intercultural awareness An awareness of:culturally based frames of reference, forms, and communicative practices as being related both to specific cultures and also as emergent and hybrid in intercultural communication;initial interaction in intercultural communication as possibly based on cultural stereotypes or generalizations but an ability to move beyond these through:a capacity to negotiate and mediate between different emergent socioculturally grounded communicative practices and frames of reference based on the above understanding of culture in intercultural communication.
15 The study Using online learning objects to develop intercultural awareness in ELT: a critical examination in a Thai higher education setting
16 The study - aimsTo develop a short online course in intercultural communication for users of ELF in ThailandTo produce insights concerning the use of new technologies in online courses to help develop intercultural awareness among English language learners, equipping them for the demands of English as a global lingua francaTo survey participants’ attitudes towards and evaluations of such a course – in relation to mode of delivery (e-learning) and content (global Englishes, intercultural awareness)
17 SettingMaterials (online course) developed in e-languages at the University of Southampton, UKDelivery of course at Silpakorn University, Thailand with tutor from University of Southampton and support from both institutionsAcademic contexts have emerged as a fruitful site for ELF studies (for example VOICE, ELFA)Thailand is a setting in which the role of English is often characterised as a lingua franca (Foley, 2007; Baker, 2009; Kirkpatrick, 2011)
18 Participants 30 undergraduate English major students Average age 21, 25 female/5 maleAll Thai L1 speakersAverage of around 15 years studying English – all reasonably proficient English users6 English instructors – 4 Thai and 2 BritishResearcher from outside institution but previously worked in this institution
19 Methodology Case study of programme Qualitative and quantitative data Development of course and materialsParticipants’ and teachers’ attitudes and evaluations of the courseParticipation in the courseQuestionnairesInterviews
20 Course10 week course in intercultural communication, intercultural awareness and Global Englishes - predominantly independent learning10 topics with interactive learning tasks, discussion tasks, chat sessions1. Defining culture2. Intercultural communication3. Cultural stereotypes and generalisations in communication4. The individual and culture5. English as a global language6. Exploring my own culture7. Intercultural communication and the Internet8. Comparing cultures: Politeness9. Globalisation and transcultural global flows10. Intercultural Awareness
21 Course English as a global language Different varieties of Englishes Explicit discussion of the manner in which English can be related to many different cultural contextsRange of cultures represented in the materials as well as hybrid and transcultural communicative practicesViewing language learning as intercultural communication and the range of knowledge, skills and attitudes associated with this
23 Student response and evaluation InterviewsPai: good er it’s like I have travelled the in er you know in an hourOr: l like the chat se- session better because um we can er have a real intercultural communication . and I feel like we can share the opinions face to faceAnya: I think it’s useful…to do this course makes me to be aware of er the relation of culture and language especially er . the people who use English to communicate with other peopleButYam: I do think that err it will be better if we learn if we learn like about the British English or the American English I don’t really think that we we should learn something different than that
25 Teacher response and evaluation Nun: learning about this is very useful especially when they go to study abroad or have a job in the futureNiti: I think we need to be more aware of the variety of English these days it’s there’s no such standard as you know it has to be Oxford accent British or American or Australia … so um I think there there is um an awareness it’s an awareness that we need to haveNo: I think we should cover all kinds of English because we we cannot predict what English the student will face in the future so we have to prepare for all kinds of EnglishButJames: It is always a good thing for the students to have access to knowledge in any form, but this is so far removed from my teaching methodology that I cannot see that it would become part of my teaching.
26 Attitudes towards Global Englishes and ELF – Reasons for studying English
27 Attitudes towards Global Englishes and ELF – Ranking factors that help in intercultural communication through English
28 Attitudes towards Global Englishes and ELF – Attitudes towards different types of English
29 Attitudes towards Global Englishes and ELF Interview data:Pan: because like peo- everybody use English now so it’s not just the British and the American’s anymore um and that will open up like a window for us for er business doing business in the futureAim: Nowadays English becomes like the official language in many countries not only in the UK or the US and . each country have their own culture so even though they are using English they have some things that something that are different from in the US or in the UK so if if we got to learn all of them I think we will. I think we it can make us like open up our mind like betterTip: Nowadays English is truly global language and people in many nationalities in the world use English to communicate and I think it’s interesting . to to learn about English much more than in English in the UK or in the United StatesNo: I think it’s ok . because English has plural now I mean World EnglishES is not- English has a plural
30 Attitudes towards Global Englishes and ELF But:Nun: Singapore they have their own English and something I think it is ok it’s part of the way they communicate yeah ... I don’t feel bad about them but sometime it just not quite nice or beautiful as beautiful as err the native speakerYam: English is from basically from the UK right and then to the US so are they are like the what to say the origins of English so if we basically talk about English in Asian countries then it might give a weird feeling to me
31 Attitudes towards Global Englishes and ELF Discussion board commentsAnn - We don't have to speak like the Native speaker because we are not them. We are born in our country so it is ok for us to have Thai accent in EnglishJan- I agree with (Ann). They can choose any accent they like or remain their own.ButPat - In my opinion, I think it's good to sound like native speaker. However, it's the issue of prestige, we mostly think that if we have the native accent, we look more honourable.Nit - Standard English isn't an important thing to be considered as a factor of speaking. Even in native speaker country, there are different accent, grammar and words as well. However, for academic writing or public speaking, it's needed to consider about grammatical correct.
33 Attitudes towards intercultural communication Chit: I think I can know the different perceptions of culture include in Thailand culture so you can see that there are many different things about peoples thoughts towards their cultures of our culture or foreign culture… your course made us to clarify about our culture first…about the language and about the culture that is something that concerned together…and we can compare our culture with othersMore: I have never heard of er intercultural awareness … lead me to think about the stereotype of Thailand and the generalisation of cultures in the world and about the . about . um about our my country our Thai cultureGai: I learn that people should be open minded when they communicate to each other because we will raise from um different background and it’s not like people from certain country will be the same because um family background are not the same they don’t go to the same school so um we must be really open when we communicate with people even people in my own er country er we use the Thai language but everybody’s differentNit (teacher): I think by learning other cultures they then . sort of have to have to think and look at other cultures and then there it’s like when their comparing their starting to to look back at their culture as well I think
34 Summary and conclusions In answer to research questions – materials based on Global Englishes/ELF perspective are possibleGenerally positive attitudes to an English course that adopts an Global Englishes/ELF perspectiveHigh level of awareness of varieties of English and use as a global languageSome evidence of increase in intercultural awareness – although positive attitudes towards intercultural communication existed before course
35 But some ambiguity‘native’ English is still regarded as standard and ‘native speaker ideology’ is still presentNot clear if students have understood hybridity and fluidity of ELF uses or interpreted it as one of many distinct varietiesSmall scale studyBrief course – focus on knowledge and attitudes (i.e. little actual intercultural communication)
36 Standard language ideology is part of L1 attitudes Ambiguity of attitudes to ELF and NES well documented (e.g. Jenkins, 2007)Standard language ideology is part of L1 attitudesSimilar concerns in intercultural communication studies with tension between:fluidity/fixity (Pennycook, 2007)Individual/local/national/transnational (e.g. Holliday, 2011)Nonetheless, study shows interest in and positive reception of ELT materials which have less emphasis on ‘inner circle’ cultures and adopt a local focus alongside a global Englishes/ELF perspectiveQuestion why such materials form such a minor part of ELT
37 Thank You!Contact: (Centre for Global Englishes, University of Southampton)