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Changing teachers attitudes towards English as a lingua franca20191028 5635 mhiozm

General aims of this chapter This chapter will explore ways in which teachers can enhance their sense of efficacy in teaching English by deeply exploring the concept of English as a lingua franca. After revising some basic concepts related to the
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    !"# %& !#" '(&)*+), -!./0 1%234%, 5 6,3&)%738  *&! 10. Changing teachers’ attitudes towards English as a lingua franca Enric LLURDA (Universitat de Lleida, Spain) Vasi MOCANU (Universitat de Lleida, Spain) General aims of this chapter This chapter will explore ways in which teachers can enhance their sense of efficacy in teaching English by deeply exploring the concept of English as a lingua franca. After revising some basic concepts related to the empowerment of non-native teachers of English and the need to develop ELF awareness, it will be argued that current frameworks of teaching are constrained by limitations of two kinds: exogenous, which are due to what Phillipson (1992) labelled ‘the native speaker fallacy’; and endogenous, which are set up by self-imposed barriers, and the ones that teacher training must aim to overcome. The chapter will emphasize the importance of a change of attitude by teachers regarding ELF and NNS uses of English, and a five-stage training proposal will be devised, through which teacher-trainees should gradually develop an understanding of English language diversity and become aware of NNS uses of English in the world. Thus, ELF will eventually appear a desirable goal rather than a poor version of an idealised NS model. On completing this chapter, you should be able to: •   Develop ELF awareness of non-native English language teachers. •   Deconstruct the idea of the native speaker as model for English language teachers. •   Evaluate your attitudes regarding ELF and NNS uses of English. Key words: •   English as a lingua franca •   non-native English language teachers •   awareness •   identity Introduction Teachers of English are currently facing a change in how English is described at the global level, from being a language that was established and developed in the Centre (i.e., UK and USA) and exported to the Periphery to its current existence as a language that is constantly developed, expanded and transformed globally and locally in a variety of settings and contexts, and embracing a variety of specialised communities of practice. Teachers of English can no longer reduce the language to    !"# %& !#" '(&)*+), -!./0 1%234%, 5 6,3&)%738  *&# the standard variety established and promoted by the economic and cultural elites in the UK and the USA. They must reach beyond and contemplate the vast amount of variation existing in uses of the language, and consequently make pedagogic choices accordingly. Yet, the dominant discourses in ELT continue to be based on the idea of the native speaker as the ideal speaker, and Standard English as the only acceptable form of language use. This puts teachers of English, and especially non-native teachers, in a situation of conflict, whereby they are responsible for the teaching of a language that is not their own and consequently they may feel disempowered and experience feelings of inadequacy, or what Llurda (2009) has compared to the Stockholm syndrome and Bernat (2008) has labelled the impostor syndrome. This syndrome refers to a feeling of inauthenticity that comes along with a fear of being inadequate for their job. Non-native teachers experience constant reminders that point to native speakers as the authority and legitimate bearers of the language, thus being relegated to a secondary role, being denied the right to claim ownership over the language and to use their own intuitions over it. Instead, they have to follow the norm  provided by native speakers endowed with the aura of legitimate owners of the language. Being a competent ELT, a matter of awareness Awareness, empowerment, and ownership of English ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ RQA 1 In the next section we are going to discuss aspects related to the legitimacy of non-native speakers as language teachers. Do you think native English language speakers are better teachers than non-natives? Think about the reasons that determine your perceptions on this matter. After that, you may continue reading. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The reorientation in the description of the English language provoked by research on English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) and/or English as an International Language (EIL) has provided teachers with an excellent mechanism to overcome the limitations imposed by their non-native condition in a context of native-speaker pre-eminence (Llurda, 2004). By claiming ownership over English (Widdowson, 1994), non-native teachers can cease to regard themselves as impostors and become assertive in their contribution to the ELT profession and their own learners’ language development. A  process of empowerment is needed for teachers to become self-determined competent  professionals. Such empowerment requires the development of awareness of ELF and the global spread of English in connection to their own potentialities as competent users of English, regardless of the chronological order in which this language was acquired in their life trajectory.  Non-native teachers have been long accustomed to carry out their professional duties with a feeling of inferiority, expressed by a fear of being caught as inadequately    !"# %& !#" '(&)*+), -!./0 1%234%, 5 6,3&)%738  *&$ dealing with a language-related query in the classroom, which may affect their way of teaching, often based on heavy reliance on grammar, textbooks and pre-packaged materials (Medgyes, 1994). They have accepted professional discrimination as a natural aspect of their job. Such discrimination may have been made evident through salary differences or a preference for unqualified native speakers over qualified non-natives in job recruitment (Mahboob, et al. 2004; Clark and Paran, 2007; Selvi, 2010). Therefore, teachers’ awareness of ELF and subsequent empowerment will transform them into active agents of change in ELT, thus improving their professional self-esteem and lowering the learners’ level of anxiety as they will not suffer the pressure to imitate native-speaker models in their language learning process. Arbitrary separation of professionals between native and non-native speakers leading to discrimination of members of one group is what Holliday (2005) called native-speakerism, an ideology that is directly related to racism in that it distinguishes  between humans based on properties that are not part of their professional skills and yet they are used to differentiate and categorise such humans into different categories and levels. ELF-aware teachers develop a vision of English as a lingua franca that will affect their attitude towards the English language and towards how to present the language to learners in pedagogical tasks and activities. A new vision of the language will evolve into a new way of teaching. Yet, changing teachers’ attitudes to the point of embracing the idea of ELF and challenging established norms and beliefs about the value of a standard native variety of the language is a complex process that will not happen by just informing teachers of the existence of ELF and current research on this topic. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ RQA 2 Think about your own experience from the teacher training courses and programmes you have attended. To what extent were those experiences in agreement or disagreement with the points mentioned above? Would you say the teacher training courses offered you the chance to reflect on your attitudes towards the English language and your role as a non-native teacher? Do you think that those courses should have placed more emphasis on empowering non-native teachers and on strengthening their sense of being legitimate language teachers? Please, reflect on whether the English teaching profession has traditionally disregarded the strengths of non-native teachers and if you conclude that non-native teachers’ contributions have effectively been disregarded, think about why this may have happened. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Attitudes are made of a combination of cognitive, affective and behavioural dimensions, and therefore they cannot be changed by simply informing the individual at the cognitive level of a certain type of information. The cognitive dimension needs to be complemented by experiences that penetrate the individual at the affective and    !"# %& !#" '(&)*+), -!./0 1%234%, 5 6,3&)%738  *&%  behavioural levels. Too often, teacher training programmes rely exclusively on cognition, that is, theoretical knowledge, as though this was sufficient for teacher trainees to develop the necessary skills to become successful teachers. Unfortunately, the reality tends to be that teacher trainees, in order to inform their practices, turn to their previous experiences as learners, rather than to the concepts and theories they have been exposed to in their training. Experiential training is therefore fundamental to promote pedagogical change and gradually transforming the teaching profession in any pedagogical area, but more so in ELT, since the establishment of English as an international lingua franca. In this way, training will promote attitudinal changes from a traditional view of ELT as English as a Foreign Language (EFL), and therefore external to the learning community, to a language teaching approach that embraces ELF as an internal language, that is a language that also belongs to the whole community of users. But why is a change of attitude necessary? Let us start by considering how the English language teaching profession has traditionally imposed severe limitations on non-native speaker teachers. Such limitations can be divided into two basic categories: exogenous and endogenous. By exogenous, we mean what more than two decades ago Phillipson (1992) labelled the ‘native speaker fallacy’, which can be described as the belief that native speakers are the only speakers who can speak the language properly and therefore are also the ones who can most adequately teach it. This belief carries with it the accompanying assumption that non-native teachers cannot properly teach the language. Such external pressure is commonly felt by non-native teachers when parents and learners demand native teachers in their schools and more so when they realise that their native colleagues are paid higher salaries for the same type of jobs, or when they are not hired for a job for not being a native speaker. So, they can feel the bias against them both from their employers and their potential clients. Yet, another kind of limitation exists that does not come from outside but from their own inner perceptions of inadequacy. This endogenous limitation srcinates in self-imposed barriers based on feelings of inferiority and inadequacy for the language teaching job. Exogenous limitations are difficult to tackle as they imply several external agents. Changes will not happen until all those agents gradually change their attitude and this, in addition to needing a great deal of time, will depend on several other factors, including a very active advocacy by teachers and applied linguists especially in their surrounding social environments. Endogenous ones are more subtle, but at the same time more accessible and easily approached through teacher training. One of the worst aspects of racist ideologies, such as native-speakerism, is how they may actually penetrate the mind of their victims to the point that they willingly accept discrimination as unavoidable, logical, and necessary. Applied linguists, teachers, and teacher trainers may feel rather powerless to change social  perceptions, but it is actually in their hands to have an impact on how teachers  perceive themselves and how they regard their role as legitimate actors in the teaching  profession. The main difficulty lies in finding the way to effectively act on self- perceptions and change teachers’ attitudes from self-deprecation to self-esteem, from acceptance of discrimination to rebelliousness and assertiveness of their own value as teachers of ELF. Llurda (2009) drafted three lines of action to increase non-native teachers’ self-confidence and awareness of their role and status as English teaching  professionals: increasing opportunities for using English in international contexts,    !"# %& !#" '(&)*+), -!./0 1%234%, 5 6,3&)%738  *&& developing critical awareness, and engaging in discussions regarding EIL/ELF. In this chapter, we are going beyond these basic lines and will attempt to provide a more detailed model for changing teachers’ attitudes in training programmes. We propose a series of stages that aim at impacting teachers at the cognitive, affective and  behavioural levels, thus creating the conditions for a change of attitude that will ultimate contribute to the development of new ways of teaching and an ELF-based  perspective being adopted in an increasing number of ELT settings. An awareness-raising model for non-native English teachers The model we are proposing contains five stages, aimed at gradually contributing to a change of attitude among non-native teachers, from a native-speaker oriented  perspective to a global English approach that takes into account the central role of non-native speakers in the use of English as a lingua franca in international contexts. Stage 1: Exposure to ‘realistic’ situations, with examples of cultural and linguistic diversity ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ RQA 3 Take a few minutes to think about the linguistic and cultural diversity of our world. Which kind of communicative situations do you think your learners will encounter? How many possibilities are there to encounter native speakers of English? Which variety of English do you think will be more useful for communicating in a high diversity of communication situations? ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Spending some time abroad is an enriching linguistic and cultural experience, and the effects of studying abroad on English teachers have also been shown to be beneficial. There are, however, some issues to be considered, since not every period of study abroad comes out with the same results. For instance, Llurda (2008), in a study with 101 NNES English language teachers, demonstrates that studying for a period of more than 3 months in an English-speaking country can have a positive effect on teachers’  proficiency, their views and their perceptions of the NES-NNES dichotomy. If we think about the possible causes of these benefits, contact with cultural and linguistic diversity might come to our mind. It is true that many of the studies on this topic are mostly conducted with subjects that have spent some time in an English speaking country, which we would situate in Kachru’s Inner Circle of English speakers (Kachru, 1982), but, even in this case, being exposed to the real situations where English is used can play an important role in realising that English usage takes many diverse forms and they are all valid and acceptable, and thus English does not belong exclusively to those who have it as a first language, but it belongs to all users, no matter their place of srcin and chronological order in which the language was learned. However, and given the fact that most of the NNES English language teachers receive their teaching training in their own countries, and not all of them have the chance to spend a period abroad, it is necessary to look for alternatives to
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