The ESL/EFL Classroom as Gateway to the World: Learning English in Different English Language Settings

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This paper compares how teachers of English as an additional language (EAL) approach teaching in two contrasting settings--higher education vs school, in Thailand and Australia. Data in Thailand are drawn from the delivery of an intensive course on curriculum for teacher-learners in a doctoral program. Data in Australia come from teacher-learners in a graduate course on inquiry-based teaching. In both settings English is seen as necessary to achieve life goals. The perception of cultural issues differed, however. While cross-cultural communication was essential in ESL classrooms (English was the lingua franca), culture and language were seen as separate entities, generating different goals in teachers and students. In EFL classrooms, language and culture were seen as inextricable, teachers exhibiting respect for English culture alongside their heritage culture and seeing themselves as well as their students as learners of both. Both teacher groups agreed, however, that teaching English as a lingua franca was insufficient for their students. They were teaching a living language with its own heritage. The data suggest overall that EAL teachers have two main language teaching goals: Broadening the acceptance of different forms of English and speakers; Maintaining the heritages of English speakers and other-language speakers.


Keywords: English Language Teaching
Stream: Learning, Education, Training
Presentation Type: 30 minute Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Associate Professor Jill Burton

Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics, Division of Education, Arts, and Social Sciences, University of South Australia
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

I teach postgraduate teacher education, specializing in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL). Having taught English in Uganda, Southeast Asia, and Australia, I became a language teacher educator and have been in higher education for 15 years. I currently teach doctoral students, who include international students and Australian teachers. I am a member of 6 journal editorial boards, and edited PROSPECT: A JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIAN TESOL for six years. From 2001 to 2006, I series-edited CASE STUDIES IN TESOL PRACTICE, a 21-volume series for TESOL Publications, Inc. in the U.S. I have just completed co-editing LANGUAGE TEACHER RESEARCH IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND for publication by the same publisher. My research interests are inquiry-based teaching, language curriculum, and the role of writing and publication in teaching communities.

Ref: D08P0087