I’m really excited that a book I’ve cowritten with Robert Lowe Teaching English as a Lingua Franca: A Journey from EFL to ELF has now officially been sent to press for printing and should be published in February 2019 🙂
It’s been a long year and a half in the making, and it’s taken us on a fascinating journey. And I don’t think any of us knew exactly where we were going when we started off. Let me explain.
Both me and Robert have been interested in the issue of native speakerism for the last several years, and we both did a PhD on the topic and have published an article together. However, while a substantial body of research has emerged over the years outlining the negative effects native speakerism has on our profession, it became increasingly (and frustratingly perhaps) apparent that there were few practical solutions how we can address native speakerism.
And by native speakerism I don’t mean here simply the discrimination in job ads and professional opportunities, which is perhaps the most visible, but only one of many manifestations of the ideology on our profession.
Native speakerism is a prejudice, an ideology which positions certain individuals as superior or inferior based on their perceived belonging to a ‘native speaker group. And the word perceived is vital, because who gets to be labelled a ‘native’ or a ‘non-native speaker’ is often subjective and ideological.
And similarly to other ideologies, such as sexism or racism, native speakerism does not spread in a vacuum, but is maintained, normalised and justified by powerful, but at the same time seemingly common sense, discourses. These in turn are visible in social practices within our profession.
To give you one example, a fundamental native speakerist discourse or belief is the idea that any ‘native speaker’ is by definition a better model and thus a better teacher of pronunciation. This is clearly reflected not only in biased hiring policies, but also in the fact that we might emphasise standard ‘native speaker’ accents and pronunciation in our materials.
So, what became more and more apparent to us was that the ideology of native speakerism has also very profound effects on how we perceive the English language, its users and – perhaps even more importantly – on how we teach the language.
Our main premise is then that in order to attempt to tackle some of the fundamental beliefs that help spread native speakerism, we need to rethink our approach to teaching English and aim to move from a foreign language that is learnt to communicate with an idealised ‘native speaker’ to a lingua franca that is learnt to communicate globally with a wide variety of English users.
And here is how the book is structured:
Similarly to previous methodology books published by DELTA , the book is divided into three parts:
- Part A outlines the theoretical underpinnings for our arguments
- Part B gives teachers over 40 practical activities to help them raise awareness of ELF and native speakerism among their students, as well as teach crucial skills needed for communicating in international lingua franca contexts, covering pronunciation, lexis and grammar, communication, intercultural skills, pronunciation and listening
- Part C addresses specific areas of teaching which couldn’t be addressed in Part A or B, such as writing materials, teacher training and education, English for academic purposes and business English.
Before the book is published in February 2019, I will be sharing some sample materials so you can take a sneak peek inside it. But if you’re already interested, and would like to
- be the first one to know when the book is published,
- get all the updates right in your inbox,
- download the sample materials as pdfs and use in your classes
then click on the button below to join the pre-launch waiting list:
I will also be giving away an exclusive 30-day FREE trial to TEFL Equity Academy once it launches next year to all those who join the pre-launch list.
We’d love to hear what your thoughts about the book are so far, so definitely leave us a comment below.