English Archive

Results in L2 Journal Articles

Creative Collaborations in Adult ESL Classrooms: Three Community Language Tutors’ Pre-Understandings, Contradictions, and Growth Points

This study draws upon Mindful L2 Teacher Education (Johnson & Golombek, 2016) to explore how volunteer community tutors of adult English as a Second Language (ESL) conceptualize and enact their roles as creative teachers. Through three case studies, I explore community language teachers’ pre-understandings, contradictions, and growth points. Findings revealed that tutors felt obligated to use survival ESL and grammar-based frameworks for teaching. Contradictions included their frustration with inconsistent student attendance, their fatigue creating lessons, and their feelings of isolation. Research on teacher education for community volunteers is important so that volunteers feel emotionally and pedagogically supported as they commit to teaching learners who otherwise might not have access to language instruction, including adults with immigrant and refugee backgrounds.

Time for New Thinking about ELT in Latin America and Elsewhere

Instructors' Perspectives ELT in Latin America and elswehere in public schools and higher education and parts of the private sector has long been failing badly. The coronavirus pandemic should focus minds on changing that situation. Going back to TEFL business as usual should not be an option. In this article areas where radical change is needed are discussed and ideas for change proposed.

Critical Pedagogy and L2 Education in the Hemispheric South

Colombia, as other Latin American countries, has not been indifferent to the power of English as the language of business, international communication and academia. Since the end of the 20th century, there has been a great push in the country to promote the teaching of English: language policies have been formulated, ideal levels of proficiency have been established (based on a framework initially designed for European countries), and a national English curriculum for all grade levels has been distributed among schools. The status English has gained competes with that of other foreign languages and more evidently with heritage languages. The field of L2 education in Colombia is experiencing a tension between neoliberal interests of L2 education to support social mobility and the nation’s economic growth and political power (with a focus on linguistic and communicative competence), and alternative academic agendas grounded on the analysis of the influence of social, cultural, and economic factors on L2 teaching and learning, and on learners’ identities. In this article, I use the example of an analysis of L2 education, from a critical pedagogy standpoint, using a Latin American university as a context to depict such a contrast. This University is a place where there is confluence of diverse languages that have different social statuses: English as lingua franca, European and Asian foreign languages, and heritage languages. I argue that critical pedagogy, partly inspired in the work from intellectuals from the Hemispheric South, serves as a framework to guide analyses of power in the relationship between these languages and L1, and the effect of such relations of power on learners’ identities. Also, I contend that by using critical pedagogy in this context, it becomes transformed, nurtured, as it overlaps and dialogues with other knowledges developed in the Hemispheric South.

Unraveling the Affordances of ‘Silas Marner’ in a Japanese University EFL Context

Graded readers, simplified versions of literature and other texts at graduated levels of difficulty, are widely employed in contexts of foreign language pedagogy and are widely considered to be a form of written-language input ostensibly suitable for a wide array of developmental stages. However, the efficacy of graded readers is not unchallenged, among which criticisms is that the language in a graded work of literature is, by nature, aesthetically inert and inauthentic, in comparison to the original. Still, from an L2 literacies-development perspective, could one not justifiably accept that aesthetic impoverishment and inauthenticity are reasonable, perhaps also unavoidable, compromises? Practically, what, for example, could a typical intermediate-level ...

Negotiating Power In L2 Synchronous Online Peer Response Groups

Many synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) studies have been conducted on the nature of online interaction across a range of pragmatic issues. However, the detailed analyses of resistance to advice have received less attention. Using the methodology of conversation analysis (CA), the present study focuses on L2 peer review activities in a synchronous online context: that of giving and receiving advice based on participants’ writing drafts. In L2 peer review activities, advice givers are momentarily positioned as the ...

The Impact of a Computer-Mediated Shadowing Activity on ESL Speaking Skill Development: A Pilot Study

This pilot study explored the instructional value and potential of a computer-mediated shadowing activity for improving English as a Second Language (ESL) learners’ speech intelligibility. Prospective International Teaching Assistants (ITAs), who were enrolled in an ESL classroom communication class at a large public university, completed a computer-mediated shadowing activity using two web resources, Go Animate and TED talks. Then, these adult ESL participants ...

Translations and Paradoxes of ‘Western’ Pedagogy: Perspectives of English Language Teachers in a Chinese College

This paper engages the perspectives of teachers working in an English language department of a vocational college in China. It takes a transdisciplinary approach, applying constructs from the fields of comparative education, postcolonial theories in education, and critical applied linguistics to a case study of English language teaching; while the study assumes somewhat one-way flows of ‘best practices’ from ‘West’ to ‘East,’ it maintains a postcolonial skepticism of the East-West binary and of essentialist notions of culture and progressive education. Specifically, it situates the shifting conditions and practices of so-called Western pedagogies in China under heightened transnationalism ...

Language Learning as a Struggle for Distinction in Today’s Corporate Recruitment Culture: An Ethnographic Study of English Study Abroad Practices among South Korean Undergraduates

Young adults in South Korea are encouraged to constantly develop their skills and qualifications to meet the challenges posed by the job market in the country’s neoliberal post-IMF crisis economy. This paper examines the ways in which changes in South Korea’s labor market and corporate recruitment culture have affected ...

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