GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

Family Name:
First Name:
Ali Fuad
Title of Paper:
English as an International Language Pedagogy: A Sustainable Alternative for Teaching English in the GCC Region
Paper Proposal Text :
English as an International Language Pedagogy: A Sustainable Alternative for Teaching English in the GCC Region

Known as a truly global language or a lingua franca, the English language has “touched the lives of so many people, in so many cultures and continents, in so many functional roles, and with so much prestige” (Kachru, 1990, p.5). Being an English language teacher in the age of globalizing English and in a world more globalized by means of English is an unfathomably complex endeavor within a global context of increasingly fluid ethnolinguistic, geographical and ideological boundaries. As English language and teachers of English cross these boundaries, teaching of English as an international language (EIL) “must be based on an entirely different set of assumptions than the teaching and learning of any other second and foreign language” (McKay, 2002, p.1).

The new linguistic landscape of the world where NNSs of English outnumber their native counterparts three to one (Crystal, 2003) necessitates a reconsideration of the ‘ownership’ of the language. English is no longer an exclusive commodity of native-speaking communities (Widdowson, 1994). Today, people are more likely to use English to communicate with “multilingual speakers than with monolingual speakers, and for their own cultural, social, political, and economic purposes, removed from Inner Circle norms” (Burns, 2005, p.2). Its ownership is now shared by the native and non-native English-speaking communities since English “belongs to all people who speak it, whether native and nonnative, whether ESL or EFL, whether standard or non-standard” (Norton, 1997, p.427). This understanding redistributes the rights to determine norms and standards to those who use the language. From a pedagogical point of view, NS norms perpetuate monolingualism, essentialize Anglo-American user of English as a reference point, marginalize NNSs, and fail to recognize proficient speakers in Outer/Expanding Circles (Jenkins, 2009).

The EIL paradigm has a number of implications for teacher education practices such as English as an international language/English as a lingua franca norms, native speaker as a goal and model of competence, native speaker as a quality of the ideal teacher, the standards of World Englishes, going beyond the monolingual and monocultural approach in language teaching. This set of implications influencing the global landscape of the English language teaching and teacher education enterprise becomes even more complex as both native and non-native English-speaking teachers bring a plethora of unique qualities, characteristics, orientations, past teaching and learning experiences to the teacher education programs in the U.S. and abroad.

Responding to the critical response to the unprecedented need for pre- and in-service preparation of teachers of EIL in international contexts such as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, this presentation presents an accessible introduction to the past, present and future of EIL and provide essential knowledge and useful discussion about EIL pedagogy as a sustainable alternative for teaching English. We believe that this is a very timely moment in the history of ELT to introduce a fundamental discussion of the global spread of English and its explicit links to EIL pedagogy for ELT practitioners in the GCC region.

In this session, the presenters set the scene by presenting a rationale for an international language perspective to teaching English and describe the reasons why it should stand out as a viable response to the need for English language teaching in general and particularly in the GCC region. Then, they briefly present theoretical underpinnings of EIL pedagogy with specific references to varieties, standards, models and policies that are highly relevant to the teaching and learning of EIL. Finally, the presenters share some key strategies for teachers, teacher educators to appropriate EIL pedagogy in such a way to suit their particular individual contexts, needs, learners and teaching settings. The primary audience of this session includes but not limited to teacher educators, administrators, policy makers and researchers who are engaged in variety levels of teaching and education of pre- and in-service teachers in or for the GCC region.


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