Welcome to the Fourteenth Issue of the Warwick ELT!

Dear Readers,

We are very pleased to release the fourteenth issue of The Warwick ELT e-zine to which practitioners from various ELT contexts contributed, bringing together invaluable experiences, insights, and suggestions.

This issue comprises five freshly engaging articles:

  • ‘Drill tables: Making language drills challenging and engaging’ which explores how to make simple drill activities more engaging and challenging for students. (Jason Anderson).
  • ‘English for MSc Economics: A flipped approach to pre-sessional ESAP’ which unpacks a four-week course demonstrating how the goals, objectives, materials, and assessment methods were chosen and developed in close consideration of EAP literature and the specific needs and context of the prospective students. (James O’ Flynn).
  • ‘Learning to support students with special educational needs (SEN): Telling and using our classroom stories’ outlining an approach for teachers who may potentially undergo continuing professional development (CPD) with the aim of teaching learners with special educational needs (SEN). (Matthew Turner)
  • The play is the thing’: Using process drama to prepare our learners to respond to and enjoy Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night’ which provides language teachers with a series of activities based on process drama, including different drama conventions to get language learners on their feet while going through one of the most famous Shakespeare’s comedies. (Nicole Berríos Ortega).
  • ‘YouTube comments and native-speakerism: An analysis of beliefs on social media’ exploring YouTube reactions to the contentious issue of native-speakerism and its place in ELT. (Priscila Bordon)

For your ease, we have hyperlinked each article below:

  1. Drill Tables: Making Language Drills Challenging and Engaging by Jason Anderson
  2. English for MSc Economics: a Flipped Approach to Pre-sessional ESAP by James O’Flynn
  3. Learning to Support Students with Special Educational Needs: Telling and Using our Classroom Stories by Matthew Turner
  4. “The Play is the Thing”: Using Process Drama to Prepare our Learners to Enjoy and Respond to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by Nicole Berríos Ortega
  5. YouTube Comments and Native-speakerism: an Analysis of Beliefs on Social Media by Priscila Bordon

We hope you will enjoy these articles as much as we did, and that they will inspire responses and further investigations in other contexts. We would love to hear from your as we believe your comments will help improve our publication.

Regards

June-July Issue editors

Cliff Mashiri, Nicole Berríos Ortega

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 Drill tables: Making language drills challenging and engaging. 

Jason Anderson 

Abstract 

This article describes a simple teaching activity that can help to make drill activities more engaging and challenging for students. ‘Drill tables’, as I have called them, require few resources and are potentially useful in large classes and low resource environments. It is suggested that they can be adapted to a range of grammar points, and that they can help learners automate their conjugation of verbs, including in positive, negative and question forms. The article presents several drill tables and also suggests ways that they can be used for pairwork and groupwork activities. A number of references are also provided for readers interested in investigating innovative ways of using drills in their own classroom. 

Keywords: Drills, drilling, drill tables 

Introduction 

Language drills are defined by Scrivener as “common restricted production activit[ies], involving students in repetition or very controlled oral practice” (2005, p. 422). Their use in the language classroom is premised on the belief that such practice will lead to an improved ability to use these structures in future when they are required during real-time, online processing. Whether they do or not is contested, and at least since the 1970s, when behaviourist-based models of language teaching (e.g. audiolingualism) fell out of fashion, drills – heavily associated with such models (Anderson, 2017) – also became less popular within the more academic second language acquisition (SLA) community. 

Despite this, drills have not gone away. Over twenty years of personal experience, both of working with trainers on preservice and INSET courses around the world, and of observing English teachers in over 20 countries worldwide since 1996, tells me that drills are still common among both teachers and teacher educators – many of whom are prepared to defend their validity (e.g., Mumford, 2003; Scrivener, 2005, p.255). As a language learner who has studied over 10 languages in my life, I also feel that drills help me to automate specific structures, especially at lower levels of proficiency, so that I can use them with greater fluency in the future. 

Potential research supporting drills 

While little direct research has been conducted to assess the usefulness of drills themselves, there is evidence from research in cognitive psychology that such proceduralisation of specific structures may lead to faster, more effortless use in the future (e.g. Anderson’s ACT theory, 1983; Cleeremans & Jiménez’s Dynamic Graded Continuum, 2002). There is also research on language teaching and learning that also supports this possibility, for example, evidence that drills can help learners to use the language with more confidence in the future (Ellis, 2007), and that they are likely to assist development of phonological memory in a foreign language, known to be an important aspect of working memory (Hummel & French, 2010). More recently, Scheffler’s (2015) study on bilingual drills (involving L1-L2 translation) found that his learners “expressed overwhelming approval for bilingual drills in terms of their usefulness”. 

However, the key question I ask myself as a practitioner, is not whether they do work at all (I’m confident they do), but whether they constitute a valid use of lesson time. To put it another way, would the time spent doing drills be better spent doing other things? 

Advantages and disadvantages of standard drills 

Drills come in many forms, with cue-response and substitution drills perhaps the most common types known to teachers today (Harmer, 2007, p. 64). As such, they provide useful variety in a lesson. After a grammar or lexical item has been introduced or has emerged more naturally, we can conduct drills to involve learners and provide opportunities for secure, structured practice. As mentioned above, they are likely to help learners to automate structures, and they have particular appeal in larger classes, where they can be a simple way for teachers to ensure that everybody says at least something during the lesson. 

However, perhaps the biggest concern that teachers voice regarding drills is that they tend to be meaningless and unstimulating, causing learners to switch off and go through the motions, rather than attempting to manipulate language for themselves in real time. As Harmer (2007) notes, over-drilling can be demotivating, especially at higher levels (p. 209). 

A partial solution: drill tables 

Here I present an activity type that I have found useful in a range of ELT classes (adult, secondary, primary) and in a range of contexts (high- and low-income countries, private and 

state sectors). I call them ‘drill tables’. While they aren’t designed to make drills meaningful, (see: Dakin, 1973, for a number of innovative ways of doing this), they do make them challenging and engaging, thereby reducing the negative associations of rote learning that drills tend to invoke. They are easy to create and require no special resources. 

Since I shared suggestions for using drill tables on my own blog (https://speakinggames.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/drill-tables/), I have received feedback from a number of other teachers and educators who do something similar (e.g., Josh Kurzweil, who calls them ‘grammar taps’, pers. comm.) They can be used both for whole class drills and for pairwork or groupwork as ‘peer-drills’. 

I have lunch

+

you use the computer
he listen to music

she cycle
we eat pizza

?

they watch TV

Figure 1: A basic drill table 

Figure 1 shows a drill table. At first glance it looks a bit like the form tables that you often find in the grammar reference section of coursebooks. But look more closely and you’ll see that it is rather different. Importantly, it does not show the correct form of the verb, it includes only the subject, the verb phrase and three symbols for positive (+), negative (-) and question (?) forms. 

How to use drill tables 

Imagine you have introduced a new verb form and already clarified or elicited the meaning, form and relevant pronunciation features. However, you feel your learners need a little more practice before using it in freer speaking activities. Here’s where a drill table comes in useful as an alternative to a conventional drill. You can draw one on the board quickly using any verb phrases you like, or you can keep one pre-prepared on a poster near the board. The following example uses the table in Figure 1 to drill present perfect continuous, but you could do something similar with a range of verb tenses, aspects or other forms (e.g. ‘going to’): First get 

your learners’ attention and then, using your finger or a pointer, point at one box in each column (e.g. ‘she’, ‘eat pizza’, ‘+’). Students must now quickly try to say the correct positive sentence (no writing) using the subject and verb phrase that you just pointed at. The correct response would be: 

“She’s been eating pizza.” 

Then do another (e.g. ‘they’, ‘use the computer’, ‘?’). Now students have to say: 

“Have they been using the computer?” 

And a third (e.g. ‘I’, ‘watch TV’, ‘-’ ): 

“I haven’t been watching TV.” 

Continue doing this at a quick pace until the students are beginning to produce sentences fairly quickly. It’s quite challenging because it requires them to hold both the lexical and grammatical information in their working memory as they compose the sentence. This forces them to concentrate hard, and in some classes a competitive element creeps in (who can say it first?). You can often practise for three or four minutes with good levels of concentration. 

Pairwork and groupwork drills 

Now put the students into pairs or small groups and get them to copy the table into their notebooks. Some classes may enjoy personalising it with their own verb phrases and using the names of classmates instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’. Then they take turns being the teacher, pointing at one box in each column, just like you did, and their partner or other group members have to say the sentence. They can turn it into a game if they like, with the student who says it first correctly scoring a point or losing a point if they make a mistake. This should give them another 3-5 minutes of useful practice working under time pressure to manipulate the verb form and build their working memory speed. Now they’re ready for a freer speaking activity, and they’ll hopefully use the new language more accurately. 

Versatility and variations 

The example table above could be used for pretty much any tenses/aspects or verb forms that are used with dynamic verbs: 

e.g. 1: past continuous: you / listen to music / ? = “Were you listening to music?” 

e.g. 2: ‘(be) going to’: we / watch TV / – = “We aren’t going to watch TV.” 

e.g. 3: ‘used to’: he / cycle / + = “He used to cycle.” 

However, the sentences would not be so logical with tenses that we often use to describe facts or states, so you may need to adapt the verb phrases a little. The drill table in Figure 2 could be used with present simple, past simple, etc. 

I work hard

+

you live in Madrid
he like coffee

she have children
we know a lot

?

they speak 3 languages

Figure 2: Drill table for ‘factual’ tenses 

You can increase the challenge by adding another column, for example with adverbs of frequency (sometimes, never, usually, etc.), or adverbs of completion for use with present perfect simple as shown in Figure 3. Notice that the location of the adverb in the sentence that students must produce varies (the table does not show this), and there is even a possessive form that needs to be conjugated as well. This particular drill is challenging at upper intermediate level. For example, pointing at: ‘he’, ‘yet’, ‘finish cleaning’, ‘?’ would require students to formulate the question: ‘Has he finished cleaning, yet?’ 

I already finish cleaning

+

you
he still do (one’s) homework

she
we yet have dinner

?

they

Figure 3: Drill table with adverbs 

You can also use drill tables with many other types of grammar. Figure 4 shows one for comparatives. If you selected: ‘I’, ‘hard-working’ ‘they’, ‘+’, the sentence would be: ‘I’m more hard-working than them.’ Once more, notice what isn’t included in the table – they have to learn to form the comparative and include ‘than’. 

I tall I

+

you old you
he happy he

she sociable she
we hard-working we

?

they quiet they

Figure 4: Comparative drill table 

Conclusion 

As mentioned above, learners are likely to need much more than drills if they are to learn to use language fluently in future spoken interaction. Role plays, personalisation tasks, debates and discussions can all provide more extensive, more meaningful language use. Yet providing that they do not take up too much of the lesson time (I might spend 5-10 minutes of lesson time drilling in a 45-60 minute lesson), drills can continue to play a valid role in helping learners to improve accuracy and speed of structure conjugation. I believe that drill tables are one engaging way to do this, potentially useful in both small and large classes, and requiring no more than a chalkboard or poster, and your own voice. 

If you are interested in trying these drill tables out in your classroom, the following website link provides a downloadable pdf: 

http://www.jasonanderson.org.uk/downloads/drill_tables.pdf 

References 

Anderson, J. (2017). The Trinity CertTESOL Companion. Peaslake, Surrey: Delta Publishing. 

Anderson, J. R. (1983). The Architecture of Cognition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 

Cleeremans, A., & Jiménez, L. (2002). Implicit learning and consciousness: A graded, dynamical perspective. In R. M. French & A. Cleeremans (Eds.), Implicit learning and consciousness: An empirical, philosophical and computational consensus in the making (pp. 1-40). Hove, U.K.: Psychology Press. 

Dakin, J. (1973.) The Language Laboratory and Language Learning. Harlow, Longman. 

Ellis, N. C. (2007) “The weak interface, consciousness and form-focused instruction: mind the doors” in Fotos, S. and H. Hossein (eds.): Form-focused Instruction and Teacher Education: Studies in Honour of Rod Ellis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 17-34. 

Harmer, J. (2007). The Practice of English Language Teaching. Harlow: Pearson. 

Hummel, K. M. & L. M. French. (2010). “Phonological Memory and Implications for the Second Language Classroom” The Canadian Modern Language Review / La revue canadienne des langues vivantes, 66/3, 371-391. 

Mumford, S. (2003). Drilling can be fun: getting the most out of your drills. Modern English Teacher 12/4. 

Scheffler, P. (2015). Implementing bilingual pattern practice. RELC Journal. 47/2, 253-261. 

Scrivener, J. (2005). Learning Teaching. Oxford: Macmillan. 

 

Jason Anderson is a teacher, teacher educator, educational consultant, and award-winning author of books for language teachers. He has taught languages, trained teachers, and developed materials to support teachers in primary, secondary, and tertiary contexts in numerous countries across Africa, Asia, and Europe for national ministries of education and development partners including UNICEF, the British Council, and VSO.

 English for MSc Economics: a Flipped Approach to Pre-sessional ESAP. 

James O’Flynn 

Abstract 

This article proposes a 4-week (90-hour) pre-sessional English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) course titled ‘English for MSc Economics’. The primary aim of this paper is to demonstrate how the goals, objectives, materials, and assessment methods were chosen and developed in close consideration of EAP literature and the specific needs and context of the prospective students. The paper concludes that the course has two unique selling points: (1) a purpose-made academic vocabulary list specifically for Economics students; and (2) a purpose-made online learning space to facilitate a flipped approach to instruction. 

Keywords: EAP, ESAP, flipped approach, academic vocabulary, material design 

1. Introduction 

Whereas many EAP courses are generic, ‘English for MSc Economics’ is a 4-week (90-hour) pre-sessional course specifically for students enrolled, or planning to enrol, on an MSc Economics course in the UK. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how the goals, objectives, and materials of the aforementioned course are all based on sound principles of EAP course design and were developed to fit the specific needs and context of the prospective students. Furthermore, the purpose-made course materials (Available to download here: https://jamesaoflynn.wixsite.com/engeco/resourcepack) will be discussed in relation to two key issues in EAP literature: academic literacies; and methodology. Following this, the approach to student assessment and course evaluation will be briefly outlined. 

2. Context 

The reality across pre-sessional EAP courses at UK universities is that international students enrol as a condition of their offer of postgraduate study. This course, therefore, is primarily for students with an overall IELTS score (or equivalent) of 6.0, with no components below 5.5, but who require a score of 6.5 to satisfy the English language requirements for admission to an MSc Economics. However, because this course has been designed in consideration of contemporary approaches to academic literacies, it is also for students who already satisfy the English language requirements for admission, but want to feel more confident about studying on an MSc Economics in the UK and meet fellow specialists before their postgraduate degree starts. 

The course’s process-oriented syllabus is comprised of authentic materials and tasks that have been selected and developed for medium-sized classes of 10-20 students. The course utilises technology to adopt a ‘flipped’ approach to instruction to maximise the effectiveness of the short duration of the course. For this reason, students will be required to work independently, demonstrating a high level of autonomy, and therefore should be instrumentally motivated to develop the discoursal practices of an MSc Economics course. 

3. Key issues in EAP 

3.1. Study skills versus academic literacies 

For logistical reasons, English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP) courses, which reflect a one-size fits all study-skills perspective on EAP, are still offered to a substantial number of students in many university settings (Rogers, 2016:38). Yet, these courses fail to take sufficient account of context and promote a model of language development that does not reflect the practices of individual disciplines (Murray, 2016:2). Furthermore, many students enrolled on EAP programmes have already completed gatekeeping tests, such as IELTS, and therefore have had their fill of the study skills-based teaching-learning associated with EGAP (ibid:4). Therefore, this English for Specific Academic Purposes (ESAP) course has been designed to reflect the academic literacies perspective, which ‘sees the literacy demands of the curriculum as involving a variety of communicative practices, including genres, fields and disciplines’ (Lea and Street, 159). In this paper, I will discuss how the course endeavours to identify and develop the specific literacies that MSc Economics students require in order to be consumers and producers of economics focused research. 

3.2. ‘What’ versus ‘how’ 

Most EAP research focuses on the ‘what’ rather than the ‘how’ of teaching. This imbalance not only presents ambiguities to EAP outsiders but also to EAP insiders, who it seems may require greater clarification as to the relationship between EAP methodologies and General English (GE) methodologies (Campion, 2016:66). Yet, despite this ambiguity and the research focus on content rather than methodology, Watson Todd (2003:149) verifies the importance of the ‘how’ in EAP, stating that ‘we need to consider the process of reaching the goal at least as much as the content that needs to be covered’. Therefore, this course aims to balance the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ by emphasising five important approaches that, according to Watson Todd (ibid:154), need to be considered in EAP course design. These approaches are inductive learning; the process syllabus; promoting learner autonomy; authentic materials and tasks; and the use of technology. In this paper, I will discuss how these five approaches have been considered and incorporated into the selection and development of the course and content. 

4. Needs analysis in EAP 

Needs analysis (NA) is often cited as the major difference between English for specific purposes (ESP) (within which EAP is situated) and GE. Hutchinson and Waters (1987:53) state that ‘what distinguishes ESP from General English is not the existence of needs so much as an awareness of the need’. This awareness is gained through the collection and analysis of data, meaning that NA is a type of research, and as such, there is a wide range of methodologies that can be useful (Charles and Pecorari, 2015:64). The NA for this course took an academic literacies approach, that is, ethnographic methods were used to gather data about the students’ prospective social context – an MSc Economics course at a UK university (ibid:55). It is, however, important to note that an exhaustive NA is beyond the constraints of this paper (as is the case in many contexts), and for that reason, the NA was informal and small-scale. 

4.1. Rationale for NA tools 

Semi-structured interviews were the main NA tool because, although time-consuming, they provide the opportunity for more extended exploration than do questionnaires or checklists (Robinson, 1991:70). The semi-structured interviews gathered data about the perceptions of stakeholders, particularly the subject-area faculty in the Department of Economics and EAP faculty in the Centre for Applied Linguistics, both at a UK University. The subject-area faculty are, in many ways, best placed to identify the target of EAP instruction because they know the sorts of tasks their students will have to perform and set the standards for successful performance (Charles and Pecorari, 2015:63). However, EAP teachers are also a valuable source of information as they are experts in assessing language skills and planning how to improve them within the scope of a course of study (ibid:64). An observation of MSc Economics students in an in-sessional EAP class was also carried out to allow for the triangulation of data, thus improving the reliability and validity of the NA (Long, 2005:8). 

It is important to note that it was not possible to collect data from the most important stakeholder – the students – as the nature of a pre-sessional EAP course implies planning the course before many of the students have enrolled. Repeated attempts, therefore, were made to gather qualitative questionnaire data from students who are currently studying on an MSc Economics at a UK university and completed a pre-sessional EAP course in the previous academic year. All attempts proved unfruitful, however. 

4.2. Key findings from the NA 

Despite the informal and small-scale nature of the NA, it provided rich information about the students’ target situation and their perceived needs, wants and lacks. The key findings from the NA are summarised below. Key findings: 

  • • Students are newly arrived in the UK and are generally highly instrumentally motivated. 
  • • The IELTS requirement for the MSc Economics course is ‘Band A’ (the lowest band) 
  • • Most students are on the pre-sessional course did not meet the IELTS requirements 
  • • Classes are somewhat homogenous, with 85-90% of students hailing from China. 
  • • The genres of writing that are most important in the MSc course are technical writing, exam writing (short answers), research-based writing, and dissertation writing (using the APA referencing system). 
  • • Assessment is through written work (except 6 largely maths based exams), with word counts ranging from 1000 words to 8000 words. 
  • • Students have to give a 20-minute oral presentation to accompany their dissertation. 
  • • Lectures are the main mode of delivery, but students also take part in seminars, open house sessions and group and individual tutorials. 
  • • A lot of the library research students will do comes from research articles. 
  • • Students are encouraged to take their own notes during lectures to aid concentration and revision. 
  • The Economics faculty is comprised of international lecturers and for some students understanding accents and international variations of English can be challenging.
  • Students are expected to use Moodle as a channel of interaction (among other things)

5. Determining goals and objectives 

Identifying goals and objectives is an important and necessary step in course design after a needs analysis (Nunan, 1988:24). The goals and objectives for this course were determined by considering the academic literacies students would require on an MSc Economics course, as revealed through the NA (see Key Findings above). 

5.1. Course goals (CG) 

I used Stern’s framework to set goals (1992) because it is comprehensive, comprising proficiency goals, cognitive goals, affective goals, and transfer goals. The following course goals represent the destination of the course (Graves, 1996:17). 

By the end of the course: 

  • CG1: Students will be better able to process and produce the academic written and spoken texts typical of an MSc Economics course (proficiency). 
  • CG2: Students will have gained awareness of the different cultural norms and values of the broader UK context (cognitive). 
  • CG3: Students will have engaged in a range of communicative activities to help them acclimatise to and function confidently in an interactive learning environment (affective). 
  • CG4: Students will have developed the academic literacies required to be functioning members of the economics discourse community (transfer). 
  • CG5: Students will have developed a range of core academic skills and learning strategies that will enable them to work autonomously at postgraduate level (transfer). 

5.2. Course objectives (CO) 

The course objectives express the specific ways in which the goals will be achieved (Graves, 1996:17), therefore each objective references a course goal/s. 

During the course: 

  • CO1: students will identify the features of a range of spoken and written texts that are typical of an MSc Economics course, particularly research journal articles, examination questions, critical literature reviews, technical writing and oral presentations (CG1/ CG4). 
  • CO2: students will process and produce a range of academic spoken and written texts, particularly literature reviews and oral presentations, based on current economics research in order to better prepare them for their MSc Economics assignments (CG1/ CG4/ CG5). 
  • CO3: students will be exposed to a range of international variations of spoken English (through the use of video) in order to better prepare them for instruction by an international faculty (CG1). 
  • CO4: students will engage with a range of activities that explore cultural norms and values in the UK in order to gain greater cultural awareness and prepare them for their year of study in the UK (CG2). 
  • CO5: students will actively participate in interactive learning activities, working in pairs and small groups, to help them acclimatise to the lectures, seminars and discussions that are typical of their MSc Economics course (CG3/CG5). 
  • CO6: students will critically analyse and synthesise spoken and written economics research from multiple sources in order to adopt a stance and construct an argument (CG1/ CG4). 
  • CO7: students will develop the academic grammar and vocabulary of economics discourse in order to produce them in economics written and spoken texts (CG1/ CG4/ CG5). 
  • CO8: students will use and develop a range of learning strategies and academic skills (particularly vocabulary diaries, reading reaction journals, online study, forum discussion, corpora analysis, peer-reviewing and self-evaluation) that will enable them to be efficient and autonomous postgraduate learners who can monitor and check their own learning (CG5). 

As can be seen, these objectives are broadly process-oriented, that is, the objectives ‘describe not what the learners will do as a result of instruction, but the experiences that the learners will undergo in the classroom’ (Nunan, 1988:70). 

6. Designing an EAP course 

6.1. Conceptualising course content 

After formulating goals and objectives, the next step is to select and balance what will be taught on the course (Graves, 2000:39). Many GE courses conceptualise their content along the lines of the four skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. However, as Caplan (2016:28) states, students entering academic programmes can no longer afford to practise these skills separately, meaning that EAP programmes need to find flexible ways to integrate language skills. Therefore, the content of this course has been conceptualised following Guse’s (2011) EAP framework, adapted from The Four Resources Model developed by Freebody and Luke (1990), which encompasses four competences: coding competence, semantic competence, pragmatic competence and critical competence. This framework provides a broad repertoire of textual practices for both oral and written language, while allowing teachers to assist students to produce and receive meaningful language (Guse, 2011:2). For example, developing students’ critical competence is likely to involve the integration of speaking, listening, reading and writing. For the purposes of this course, the framework was adapted to incorporate intercultural communicative competence by removing coding competence. 

6.2. Course content 

Please see Course Content in the Resource Pack (pages 8 to 10) 

The content was chosen to promote attainment of one or more of the course objectives (which in turn satisfy the course goals), and therefore each piece of content references its main objective/s. For example, the content ‘using top-level structure knowledge as a framework for taking notes’ was chosen to promote attainment of CO1, CO5 and CO8, that is, they are the main objectives attained by that content. 

In contract with a product-oriented GE syllabus, which might consist of a list of discrete linguistic items that students will learn, e.g. ‘the passive voice’ or ‘travel collocations’, the English for MSc Economics syllabus focuses on the tasks that students are expected to carry 

out with the language (Richards, Platt and Weber, 1985:289), e.g. ‘analysing errors in student generated texts’ and ‘using corpora to check collocations’. This syllabus, therefore, is broadly process-oriented. 

6.3. Organisation of course content 

Please see Timetable in Resource Pack (pages 11 to 14) 

The final stage of the course design process involves the organisation of content into a course timetable, also known as sequencing. For this, I followed the principle of scaffolding to sequence the content, that is, the principle that ‘A provides knowledge or skills required to do or understand B (or B builds on knowledge and skills provided by A)’ (Graves, 2000:136). This approach is best exemplified by looking at the sequencing of the sessions that focus on the assignment. The assignment brief is introduced in Week (W) 1 Day (D) 4 and then the students are scaffolded towards completing the spoken and written components of the assignments before the deadline in W3 and W4 respectively. Nation and Macalister (2010:83) describe this as a linear approach to sequencing, yet the approach used for this course is a variation known as the ‘matrix model’ which takes into account the need for recycling material. For example, the session ‘synthesising ideas: summarising and paraphrasing’ relies heavily on processes from the session ‘note-taking with top-level structures’. Recycling material in this way provides repeated opportunities for important material to be met and enriched (ibid). 

7. Developing EAP course materials 

Developing course materials depends not only on the goals and objectives of the course but also the course designer’s beliefs (Graves, 2000:166). Therefore, I will discuss the development of the course materials in relation to the key issues outlined above (see 3.1 and 3.2), in which my beliefs regarding EAP course design were briefly discussed. 

7.1. Academic literacies 

The academic literacies approach ‘emphasizes that there are many different literacy practices in academia’ (Charles & Pecorari,2015:55). Therefore, the specific literacies that Economics students require on an MSc course, as revealed by the NA, have been closely considered in the development of the course material. For example, whereas many EAP courses use the 

Academic Word List (Coxhead, 2000), a list of ‘general’ academic vocabulary, to design and select the most relevant teaching materials, this ESAP course uses the purpose-made Economics Word List (EWL), a subject-specific academic word list for economics students. Rather than misrepresenting academic literacy as a uniform practice, which might be inferred from such general lists as the AWL, the EWL acknowledges that different items occur and behave differently across disciplines, thus engaging with current conceptions of academic literacies (Hyland and Tse, 2007). The EWL is introduced to the students early in the course (W1 D1) and has been used in the selection and development of all the materials, particularly for the session ‘note-taking with top-level structures’. In this session, the EWL items on the handouts are bolded for use in the extension activity (see Resource Pack, p. 28-37). 

7.2. The process syllabus 

While process approaches are becoming more widespread in GE, much of the impetus came from EAP, where they are still frequently used (Watson Todd, 2003:151). Hyland (2006) suggests that this is because they are learner-led and extend the idea of developing language through negotiation of meaning during tasks to negotiation of the teaching learning process itself. All the materials follow the processes of a task-based approach but are perhaps best exemplified in the material for the session ‘understanding assessment questions’. In this session, the students negotiate meaning through a series of tasks involving deconstructing assignment questions and generating and discussing ideas, before reaching a conclusion about how they would answer the assignment questions. This is referred to by Dudley-Evans and St John (1998:117) as the thinking stage of a process approach to writing (see Resource Pack, p. 17-21). Following this session (aka the thinking stage) there are multiple sessions following Robinson’s (1991:104) writing processes of draft – feedback – revision – input – redraft (see Timetable in Resource Pack – W3 D4/ W3 D5/ W4 D1/ W4 D2/ W4 D3). 

7.3. Authentic materials and tasks 

A key feature of this course is authenticity because EAP students, moreover ESAP students, have clearly-defined real-world purposes for the use of English, which promotes the use of authentic materials and tasks (Watson Todd, 2003:153). Furthermore, academic texts are embedded within specific disciplinary contexts in terms of both content and structure (cf. academic literacies), therefore it is vital to ensure that the materials (and tasks that they generate) closely reflect those that the students will encounter when they move onto their 

economics studies (Charles & Pecorari, 2015:75). Authenticity is best exemplified in the materials for the session ‘synthesising ideas: summarising and paraphrasing’. In this session there are two key pieces of authentic material (an economics video lecture and an economics journal article), which generate a series of authentic tasks involving note-taking, summarising and paraphrasing (see Resource Pack, p. 41-46). 

7.4. Inductive Learning 

An inductive approach requires the teacher to facilitate the learners’ processes of discovery (Charles & Pecorari, 2015:48). In EAP, there is a preference for inductive approaches over more teacher-centred deductive approaches because, as Watson Todd (2003:151) suggests, ‘if we want students to gain understanding of (as opposed to knowledge about) the conventions and values of academic communities, an inductive approach is likely to be more successful’. Therefore, much of the course content is based on inductive learning practices, particularly investigating the discoursal practices of the economics community. This is best exemplified in the materials for the session ‘synthesising ideas: summarising and paraphrasing’. In the extension activity, students are required to find all the examples of reporting verbs in an economics journal article and then make inductions regarding their function and strength (see Resource Pack, p. 44). 

7.5. Learner autonomy 

There is a greater than usual emphasis on learner autonomy in EAP, particularly on short pre-sessional courses, such as English for MSc Economics, where students ’need to be able to continue their EAP learning without EAP teachers after they have moved on to their specialist studies’ (Jordan, 1997:116). Therefore, because EAP students have the characteristics which are most likely to lead to successful learner autonomy (Watson Todd, 2003:153), this course incorporates the explicit teaching of learning strategies that foster autonomy and can be transferred to work outside of class. This is best exemplified in the course materials for the session ‘understanding assessment questions’. This session emphasises learner autonomy through online self-access learning, peer-reviewing using a checklist (see resource pack, p. 20 & 22), vocabulary learning strategies (see Resource Pack, p. 19 & 24) and interaction and collaboration (see Homework Task). 

7.6. The use of technology 

Technology supported courses ‘provide better support for the less able, engage students who do not respond well to ‘traditional’ classroom learning, provide opportunity for accelerated learning for gifted and talented students, and develop independent learning skills’ (Boulton, 2008:11). Furthermore, they provide additional channels for interaction and opportunities for collaboration (Richardson, 2010). This course, therefore, uses technology to adopt a ‘flipped’ approach to instruction. Peachey (2012:72) states that using a flipped approach ensures that participants come to the face-to-face sessions readily prepared with a strong understanding of background issues and basic technical skills and experience. The flipped approach is particularly suitable for this this short EAP course because it maximizes the effectiveness of the face-to-face sessions. The flipped approach is best exemplified in the materials for the session, ‘note-taking with top-level structures’. Before the session, students use the purpose-made online learning space to watch two short videos about note-taking and read three short web pages about top-level structures in order to prepare them for the practical tasks of identifying and applying top-level structure knowledge in the face-to-face session (see Resource Pack, p. 28-33). 

8. Assessment and course evaluation in EAP 

8.1. Formative and summative assessment 

Formative assessment will be carried out informally by both the students and teacher throughout the course using three assessment tools: self-assessment questionnaires; peer-to-peer observations; and teacher observations. Self and peer assessment were chosen because they are closely linked to autonomy, encouraging students to monitor their own progress (Hughes, 2003:5), which ‘enable[s] [them] to assume greater responsibility’ (von Elek, cited in Bailey, 1999:42). Teacher observations were chosen for reasons of practicality and to diagnose problems to be dealt with by the teacher. To ensure reliability, the teacher observations will be carried out using a criterion-referenced assessment rubric based on the course objectives (Harris and McCann, 1994:10). 

The summative assessment of this course is an assignment with two components: an oral presentation and an essay. These were chosen to reflect the assessment methods of an MSc Economics course, on which students are required to propose their dissertation research through an oral presentation. To that end, the oral presentation component of the assignment is 

of the research proposal genre, and proposes the topic and research for the essay component. The essay, then, is of the literature review genre because it is an important sub-genre of postgraduate research and dissertation writing (Cooper, 1988), moreover economics writing, which requires students to critically analyse and synthesise research from multiple sources in order to construct an argument (Turner and Bitchener, 2008) (see Resource Pack, p. 23). To promote beneficial backwash, the assessment rubrics for both components of the assignment will be criterion-referenced and based on the course objectives. Furthermore, the students will be provided with the assessment rubric so that they know and understand what is expected of them (Hughes, 2003:55). To improve scorer reliability, both components will be marked independently by two scorers, with the scores being compared to produce a reliability-coefficient that should be above 0.70 (Ibid:39). 

8.2. Formative and Summative Evaluation 

This course will be evaluated by both the teacher and the students using formative and summative evaluation tools. Formative course evaluation will take place during the course through an observation sheet, filled out by the teacher, based on Long’s (1984:57) suggestion of ‘process evaluation’, whereby classroom behaviour is systematically observed with reference to the theory which underlies the course being evaluated. Further to this, qualitative/ quantitative questionnaires will be distributed to the students mid-way through the course (formative) and at the end of the course (summative). Questionnaires provide focused data that can be compared quickly and easily (Long, 2005:37), which will be important when triangulating the data from the three sources of evaluation (observation sheet, formative questionnaire and summative questionnaire). The triangulated data will be used to retain effective aspects and change ineffective aspects to improve the course for future use (Graves, 2000:208). 

9. Conclusion 

This rationale proposed an ESAP course with two unique selling points: the use of the Economics Word List; and an online flipped approach to instruction. Firstly, whereas many pre-sessional EAP courses, both EGAP and ESAP alike, rely on the AWL to select and develop materials, this course uses the purpose-made EWL. By doing so, the course disengages with the study skills approach to EAP and engages with current conceptions of academic literacies. Secondly, while many EAP courses rely on pre-packaged online learning spaces, such as 

Moodle, this course utilises a purpose-made website to adopt a flipped approach to instruction. By doing so, the course designers have maximised what can realistically be achieved in a 4-week course of study. 

References 

Bailey, K.M. (1999). Washback in Language Testing. Available at https://www.ets.org/Media/Research/pdf/RM-99-04.pdf [accessed on 3/11/2016] 

Boulton, H. (2008). Managing e-Learning: what are the Real Implications for Schools? The Electronic Journal of e-Learning 6/1: 11–18. 

Campion, G. (2016). The learning never ends: Exploring teachers’ views on the transition from General English to EAP. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 23. 

Caplan, N. (2016). Putting it Together – Integrated Skills in EAP. Modern English Teacher, 25/1 

Charles, M. & Pecorari, D. (2015). Introducing English for Academic Purposes. Routledge. 

Cooper, H. (1988). Organizing Knowledge Syntheses: A Taxonomy of Literature Reviews. Knowledge in Society Spring: 104–126. 

Coxhead, A. (2000). A new academic word list. TESOL Quarterly, 34, 213–238. 

Graves, K. (1997). Teachers as Course Developers. CUP. 

Graves, K. (2000). Designing Language Courses. Heinle and Heinle. 

Gronlund, N. E. (1981). Measurement and Evaluation in Teaching (2nd Edition). NY: Macmillan 

Guse, J. (2011). Communicative activities for EAP. Cambridge University Press. 

Harris, M & McCann. (1994). Assessment, Macmillan Heinemann 

Hughes A. (2003). Testing for Language Teachers (2nd ed). CUP 

Hutchinson, T. & Waters, A. (1987). English for Specific Purposes. CUP. 

Hyland, K. (2006). English for Academic Purposes: An advanced resource book. Routledge 

Hyland, K., & Tse, P. (2007). Is there an “Academic vocabulary”? TESOL Quarterly, 412(2), 235–253. 

Lea, M. R. & Street, B. V. (1998). Student writing in higher education: An academic literacies approach. Studies in Higher Education, 23:2. 

Long, M. (2005). Second Language Needs Analysis. CUP. 

Jordan, R. R. (1997). English for academic Purposes. CUP 

Murray, N. (2016). An academic literacies argument for decentralising EAP provision. ELT Journal, 70/4 

Nation, I.S.P. & Macalister, J. (2010). Language Curriculum Design. Routledge 

Nunan, D. (1988). Syllabus Design. Oxford University Press. 

Peachey, N. (2012). A blended learning teacher development course for the development of blended learning in English language teaching. In B. Tomlinson & C. Whittaker. (2012). Blended learning in English language teaching: course design and implementation. British Council: London 

Richards, J.C., J. Platt, J. and H. Weber. (1985). Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics. London: Longman. 

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Corwin Press. 

Robinson, P. (1991). ESP today: a practitioner’s guide. Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall International 

Rogers, L. (2016). Teaching EAP groups from different academic fields: the pros and cons. Modern English Teacher, 25/1. 

Stern, H. H. (1992). Issues and options in language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Turner, E. & Bitchener, J. (2008). An Approach to Teaching the Writing of Literature Reviews. Available at https://zeitschrift-schreiben.eu/globalassets/zeitschrift-schreiben.eu/2008/turner_approach_teaching.pdf. [accessed on 1/5/2018] 

Watson Todd, R. (2003). EAP or TEAP?. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 2 

Learning to Support Students with Special Educational Needs: Telling and Using our Classroom Stories 

Matthew W. Turner 

Abstract 

This paper outlines an approach for teachers who may potentially undergo continuing professional development (CPD) with the teaching special educational needs (SEN) learners. Within the field of English language teaching (ELT), an emphasis on instructing and supporting SEN learners is limited, with relatively few studies being documented over the decades, and even less specific training currently provided on pre-service teacher training programs. As each instance of working with a SEN learner is highly dynamic and individualised, with SEN learners displaying a range of specific learning differences that require a variety of accommodations, personal classroom narratives such as the one presented here, may be a useful way to not only raise awareness of SEN considerations in ELT, but to also encourage other educators to write and share their stories, prompting others to take part in a CPD journey that would be of benefit to themselves, other practitioners, and indeed their learners. 

Keywords: Special educational needs, continuing professional development, narratives, collaboration 

Introduction 

For many language teachers, instructing SEN learners will be something they are unfamiliar with and generally underprepared for. A SEN learner can be defined as someone who “has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age; or has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age” (DfE, 2015, p.16). Yet, issues relating to SEN are scarcely focussed on in pre-service training courses (Lowe, 2016), with few publications dedicated to SEN instruction in English and foreign language learning (see Connor, 2017). Teachers may wish, therefore, to observe situations of working with SEN learners as chances for CPD, and as ways to add firsthand anecdotal and experiential data to this burgeoning field of concern (Pugach, 2001). As each case of supporting a SEN learner is unique, it may be difficult to apply broader generic approaches to classroom practice, with the telling of individual narratives arguably providing an insightful and reliable gateway to learning about the multi-faceted nature of these teaching situations. 

Like Kikuno (pseudonym), the learner at the centre of this narrative, there are a growing number of SEN learners entering mainstream education not only in Japan, where the writer of this 

article works, but worldwide. Teachers need to be prepared to handle such demands when they arise, before potentially undergoing a process of CPD and making any necessary classroom provisions. It is hoped that the details presented here portray the power of reflection, in the documenting of classroom occurrences, and subsequent exploration of meanings, implications, and associated emotions. The importance of collaboration is also highlighted, with the listening to, and communication with various stakeholders enabling wider insights. Perhaps, after all, it may be the learners themselves who could effectively guide teachers towards realising more reliable and beneficial practices, given that they have grown up with their condition and can reveal to teachers what may, and what may not be possible. 

Learning to Support a SEN Learner: A Vignette 

Kikuno was a deaf learner in an undergraduate English communication class at a university in central Tokyo. The course tutored learners on how to conduct effective academic discussions, where the emphasis was on learners actively listening to, and developing each other’s ideas by asking supportive questions. Having had special education growing up, Kikuno wanted to join regular classes on beginning university. Provisions would be sought to provide her with an inclusive and equitable learning environment, such as introducing note-takers and written instructions to the class, with me choosing to pursue a journey of professional development to better understand and learn about a teaching situation that was unfamiliar to me, having never knowingly had a SEN learner in any of my previous classes, and the pedagogical puzzles it could generate. 

Classmates were generally supportive of her condition, and along with note-takers operating as her aural input and speech, group discussions could go ahead. Unbeknownst though, peers would often speak too fast or simultaneously, leaving Kikuno having to catch up, affecting her quality of participation. Needing time to compose ideas on her stylus pad before her turn, Kikuno often missed what others were saying, leaving her unable to engage and connect. Something would need to change. 

I reflected on their class assessment results, that showed that participation was somewhat one-sided, with Kikuno missing chances to ask questions, and classmates unable to actively help develop Kikuno’s ideas. I communicated with the note-takers after class, with them relaying Kikuno’s feelings that she was comfortable sharing her ideas after everyone else, but wanted some preparation time beforehand. I made reassurances that there was plenty of time, and that everyone should feel comfortable to wait. I made some changes, encouraging Kikuno and the note-takers to place their stylus pads on the table, visible to the others. Classmates quickly became more sensitive to how long it took for their speech to be delivered to Kikuno. Kikuno in return also stopped preparing lengthy ideas in advance, thus inviting others to ask her for reasons and examples about her opinions, so that her ideas could be developed more naturally, cooperatively and inclusively. 

Objectives of Activity 

The vignette told in the previous section was just one tale in the developmental process of my attempts to better understand how to support a hearing-impaired learner in an oral English communication class. Although the process of documenting my story helped me to critically reflect on my classroom undertakings, it is also hoped that stories such as this could help to inform other teachers in similar situations. The vignette also illustrates the added potential that collaboration with learners and support staff can bring to the process. 

The activity that now follows has two objectives. The first is to put forth an approach for how teachers could develop their understanding of supporting and working with SEN learners in English language learning classrooms, with the second being to encourage teachers to share their stories, as well as collaborate with others. The story told previously stands to serve as an example of this. 

Procedure 

At the start of the process, there will be many questions that instructors have, and a plethora of feelings potentially ranging from uncertainty to curiosity, and puzzlement. One way to document and make use of these thoughts is by using a teaching journal. Teaching journals can be individual or collaborative in nature and written at any stage of the process. Richards and Farrell (2005) display the importance of keeping reflective teaching journals, as they act as “written account of observations, reflections, and other thoughts about teaching” (p.68), and that without such tools, a teacher “often has no substantial recollection of what happened during a lesson,” and will be unable to use teaching “as a source for further learning” (p.69). In maintaining a reflective journal, remaining disciplined in writing regularly, whilst writing as freely, as critically, and as openly as possible, should be important things to keep in mind. 

Once initial questions, feelings, and thoughts have been captured, reaching out to associated parties may be a useful and crucial step. Institutions may have formal support frameworks that bring together individuals including managers, specialists, and perhaps even the student(s). At this stage, any questions could be asked, with all conversations ideally being recorded for later reflection and analysis. Crucially, it may be worth finding out what may or may not be achievable, and what the specific learning needs and differences are. Reflect, compare, and contrast any earlier beliefs with what is now known. 

The teaching process will eventually commence. At this stage be flexible, have a plan based on the gathered information, but also be prepared for things to go differently. Observations could be made in class, by watching what a SEN leaner and peers are doing and documenting any thoughts in the reflective teaching journal. Perhaps asking oneself if an equitable and inclusive learning environment is being facilitated could be a useful point to ponder. At this stage, continue the teaching process, making changes, recording the outcomes, and refining your classroom practice. 

It may now be time to take stock. Begin reaching out and asking questions again, if possible to the SEN learner(s), their peers, and the support staff involved. At this stage it is important to remain critical, and maintain concentration in the process, even though there may be a feeling of increasing assurance in the procedure. For example, sharing thoughts through organised meetings may help to shed new light and add previously unknown insights to the process. It may also be useful to have someone observe classroom teaching or make video recordings of classes for later observation. An approach along the lines of Exploratory Practice (EP) (Hanks, 2017) could be adopted at this stage and throughout the process more broadly. EP encourages “learners and teachers to investigate their own learning/teaching practices” (p.2), emphasising collegial networks that aim primarily towards understanding rather than problem-solving, involve everybody cooperatively, and bring everyone together in integrating inquiry and pedagogy (p.227). In this sense, the learners are given agency, and considered co-investigators and partners in the process. 

Once the teaching has ended, educators could be encouraged to document their experiences of the process more formally, thus adding an additional step to this CPD process. One way could be through the production of an autoethnography (see Pinner, 2017) in which personal observations made in a teaching journal and other artefacts are used as pieces of qualitative data, with the educator themselves acting as a research participant and objective focus of analysis. Educators could also consider sharing their stories at academic conferences, workshops or other teacher development events. By doing such activities, professional undertakings of SEN instruction are formally recorded for posterity, 

The final phase should arguably see schools or organisations taking advantage of teachers experiences and insights gained from working with SEN learners. This could be thought of as Cascade Training (see Lowe, 2016), whereby expertise is disseminated and passed on to other teachers, preferably who have yet to experience supporting SEN learners themselves. This could be carried out through in-house training sessions, or through the creation of written working guides. For example, at the institution described in this paper, a document of suggestions was created about how to support blind learners in the classroom, and there were also teaching demonstrations, workshops, and presentations organised by teachers for their colleagues. 

Conclusion 

The activity suggested here functions as a guide, highlighting the point that working with SEN learners is about trial-and-error, about making small changes and observing the resultant effects, before reflecting on the differences and deciding plans moving forward. The activity also aims to show the need for broader collaboration, and awareness in the profession regarding SEN issues, by using and sharing classroom narratives more systematically, through making them publicly available, accessible and of benefit to the field. 

References 

Connor, J. (2017). Addressing special educational needs and disability in the curriculum: Modern foreign languages. New York: Routledge. 

DfE (2015). SEND Code of Practice. London: DfE Publications. Retrieved from https://www.gov. uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25 

Hanks, J. (2017). Exploratory Practice in Language Teaching: Puzzling about Principles and Practices. London: Springer Nature. 

Lowe, R. (2016). Special educational needs in English language teaching: Towards a framework for continuing professional development. ELTED, 19, 23-31. 

Pinner, R. S. (2017). Re-learning from experience: using autoethnography for teacher development. Educational Action Research, Vol.26(1), 91-105. 

Pugach, M. (2001). The stories we choose to tell: Fulfilling the promise of qualitative research for special education. The Council for Exceptional Children, 67(4), 439-453. 

Richards, J.C. & Farrell, T.S.C. (2005). Professional development for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

 

(Matthew W. Turner is a lecturer in the International Tourism Management faculty at Toyo University in Tokyo, Japan. He holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, a DipTESOL, and is a current PhD student. His research interests include Continuing Professional Development and Reflective Practice. Matthew is cofounder of The TEFLology Podcast, and a coordinator of JALT’s Teacher Development SIG.) 

 “The Play is the Thing”: Using Process Drama to Prepare our Learners to Enjoy and Respond to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. 

Nicole Berríos-Ortega 

Abstract 

The idea of reading Shakespeare in the second language classroom might feel fear-provoking. The fact that your learners might not understand its language and that they may not respond to it positively is a constant concern. The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has developed, over the years, an active approach that emphasizes the idea of getting the learners ‘on their feet’ when reading Shakespeare. This way learners get to experience Shakespeare’s language, ideas, and themes and therefore, are able to authentically respond to them. A recent study from the University of Warwick (Lindsay, Winston, Franks & Lees, 2017) has proven the effectiveness of this approach. The aim of this article is to provide language teachers with a series of activities based on this approach, including different drama conventions in order to get language learners on their feet while going through one of the most famous Shakespeare’s comedies. 

Key words: Shakespeare, drama, literature, plays, readers’ response, ELT. 

Introduction 

Plays are not only written to be read as literature. They are also written to be enjoyed in a live performance. As Monk (2011, p.60) claims, ‘A script is like a musical score, telling only half the story. The text comes alive with the physical dynamics of the actors and the information which the set, lighting and music provide.’ This is why, unlike reading a novel, reading a play requires different skills from the reader. 

In her transactional theory, Rosenblatt (1978/1994) explains the different ways in which a reader can respond to a text. By reading efferently, she means the reader just seeks to derive information from the text, whilst by reading aesthetically, the reader is able to perceive its beauty and respond emotionally to it by relating it to personal experiences, therefore, infusing aesthetic significance. She does not consider these two forms as counterparts but as a continuum, anchoring each one at the opposite end of it. 2 

Echoing this, Hughes (2008, p.52) argues that novels and poetry can be read aesthetically since there is an intimate relationship between the reader and the text. Play scripts, instead, need to be read efferently, as they are written to be brought to life. Therefore, ‘students need to read the scripts as if they were going to put on the play.’ This way, they will be able to understand contexts, relationships among the characters, etc. 

This paper will move along this continuum, considering the play script as the text as well as the means to help learners enjoy it and, eventually, respond aesthetically to it when taken to the theatre to see the live performance of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. 

A series of practical guidelines for classroom activities that can help us explore ways we can contribute to our learners’ response will be presented. A rationale will also be introduced to support the selection of the play and the activities that have been chosen. 

Why Twelfth Night? 

O’Toole (2008, p.24) states that ‘process drama can take the students into all of Shakespeare’s plays or any other literature in English (…) it starts by asking yourself the question: Why should the students read this? What does it have to say to them? If you cannot answer that, then you should not be using that text.’ To these two questions I would only add: How does it relate to the learners’ own personal experiences? 

Twelfth Night is classified as a comedy, and although there has been debate on this matter, the main features of Shakespeare’s comedies are usually: (Jamieson, 2017) 

• Comedic language: clever word play and use of insults 

“By my life, this is my lady’s hand these be her very C’s, her U’s and her T’s and thus makes she her great P’s. It is, in contempt of question, her hand.” (Malvolio, Act II, scene v) 

• Love: lovers overcoming obstacles in their relationship 

• Complex plots: more twists and turns than tragedies and histories. 

• Mistaken identities: sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. 3 

“Conceal me what I am, and be my aid for such disguise as haply shall become 

The form of my intent. I’ll serve this duke: Thou shall present me as an eunuch to him” 

(Viola, Act I, Scene ii) 

In general, these plays have been considered as difficult to classify since they tend to overlap with other genres and, therefore, critics have also described them as tragic-comedies. Life itself is a constant overlapping of happy and tragic moments and this is something that most people can relate to. This is one of the reasons to select this play. 

Another reason for choosing Twelfth Night is that, as with many other Shakespeare’s plays, even though they were written more than four hundred years ago, their themes are still significant to our lives today. The most important themes in this play are: love as cause of suffering (even described as a sickness or plague), deception, and identity. Learners can find relevance in these three, especially if they are adolescents. 

Love as cause of suffering. It is very common to find in the classroom: adolescents struggling with love issues, and getting distracted by them. 

Deception. Pretending to be someone you are not, friends who are not real friends, people who deceive you to make you look like a fool. 

Identity. Students feeling confused with who they are in terms of beliefs, gender, etc. 

Rationale 

There are various authors who support the idea of using drama techniques or process drama to teach literature. Dorothy Heathcote (in Wagner, 1999, p.190) used to pay more attention to what the child had read not in terms of quantity but in terms of how that reading had modified them. She would ask whether reading had been a means of relating a personal experience to someone else’s, and whether the student had translated written symbols into experience. ‘Through the process of identifying, readers give life to texts; in this sense, reading is akin to role playing drama’. In other words, only when the reader agrees to step into the play and identifies with the protagonist or author, he or she becomes a co-creator or co-author and lets his or her own world come into 4 

play. Similarly, Booth (2000, p.12) claims that ‘in order to derive fully comprehension, the reader must become a co-author.’ 

When it comes to teaching a play, the idea of using drama techniques becomes obvious. Drama can help learners to ‘turn abstract written words into concrete images, by constructing meaning in an individual and collective experience’ (Chang, 2012, p.10). She adds that through drama the readers are allowed into a fictional world and are encouraged to explore what a character is like or feels in the story. Therefore, ‘this emotional engagement can motivate them to keep on reading or encourage them no longer to see the written text as dull.’ (Ibid) 

Hart et al. (2017, p, 31-32) point out three recommendations for teachers when using plays: 

Do not read the play like a novel, textbook or non-fiction: Since plays are meant to be performed it is a good idea to get the students on their feet and explore the play actively as actors do. 

Plays are easily segmented: groups of students can work on different sections of it not necessarily the whole play 

Use plays to engage participation and make students read and think more critically: when students explore plays actively it makes them think deeply about what each character experiences. 

Dealing with difficulties. 

As with any other piece of literature we decide to use in the language classroom, there are several difficulties faced when using literary texts in the language classroom. Duff and Maley (1990, p. 7) mention five of them: 

Linguistic difficulties: Syntactic complexity, lexical density, discourse organisation, 

Text length: Long texts may appear more difficult, but short texts may not have enough contextual support, 

Cultural difficulties: Differences in the cultural backgrounds of the reader and the author may lead to misinterpretations, 5 

Range of reference: Related to the previous one. The author makes reference to contextual aspects that are not shared with the reader, 

Conceptual difficulties: The ideas that a text conveys, even when written in simple language. 

While working with Twelfth Night, these difficulties will be represented by the following facts: 

Linguistic difficulties: Shakespeare’s English differs from modern English which represents a challenge for non-native speakers 

Text length: Even though the play is of a short length, it is mainly dialogues and little stage directions 

Cultural difficulties: The play was written more than 400 years ago, in the Elizabethan era. The reader/viewer needs to know about this background context, for instance, the fact that women were not allowed to perform in the theatre, so Viola was performed by a man dressed as a woman who then pretends to be a man. 

Range of reference: some of the jokes in the play are related to cultural aspects of that time and might be difficult to understand or not funny at all, especially for non-native speakers. 

According to Duff and Maley (1990, p.8), we need to accept that “difficulty” is a subjective and relative matter. Each reader will find the text more or less difficult depending on their background knowledge. They recommend not to choose a text that is too difficult as it may be frustrating for the learners. There are many other options such as graded readers, for instance. In the end it is up to the teachers to decide which version of a literary text to use, depending on the level of the language of the learners, and the difficulties they may face. However, when taking a class to see a play, especially if it is a Shakespeare’s play, it is rather difficult to find an abridged version. 

In Duff and Maley’s (1990, p.8) words, if we decide to use challenging texts, ‘we can ease our students’ approach by grading the activities or the tasks’. 6 

Classroom activities 

The activities that will be presented correspond to drama conventions and have been adapted for the purposes of this paper. They aim at helping students cope with the difficulties that may arise when watching a play that has not been adapted for second language learners: such as identifying the characters and their relationships, the plot, the linguistic and cultural aspects. 

They are planned to be developed in one long session before watching the play, but they are easily separable in case the teacher decides to use them independently in a series of mini sessions or at the beginning of the regular English lessons. 

With the support of the authors mentioned above, the use of process drama will be developed in them in an active pedagogy, this is to say, that they will be student-centered, involving the learner actively in the learning process, and the teacher, either in role or not, will be more of a facilitator (Watson, 2008, p. 70). 

There is evidence of the validity of active pedagogy when teaching Shakespeare. In 1990, Gibson (cited in Watson, 2008, p.71) pointed out that his research had shown that, through the use of active methods, ‘students had a more positive attitude towards Shakespeare and were able to produce written work, and other expressions of response, of high quality.’ 

Warm-up 

Since it will be drama-oriented, the lesson will begin with warm-up exercises like “huggy”, for example. In this game, students walk into space and get into groups when they hear the signal. If the teacher says “huggy three”, students get into groups of three, and so on. This is a good game to form groups randomly and prepare them for the following activities. 

Before watching 

1. Introducing Issues in the play: Spy (Love and Hate) *Adapted from the RSC resource pack 7 

This is a game that can be used for students to explore one of the most important issues in the play: Unrequited love. Orsino-Olivia / Olivia-Cesario / Viola-Orsino / Anthony-Sebastian /Malvolio-Olivia 

Students (as spies) walk into space. They are asked to pick one person who they must keep their eyes on at all times, but the ‘chosen’ person must not be aware they have been singled out. When they’ve been doing this for a few moments, they are asked to choose someone else to follow. Next, they are told that the first person they chose, they ‘love’ and the second they ‘hate’. Then the teacher explains that when the signal is given (a clap), they must get as physically close to the first person (‘loved’) without touching them, but at the same time they keep as physically far away from the second (‘hated’) person as possible. 

After the game, it is a good idea to give some space for reflection with the students: How does it feel to be rejected or distrusted? 

2. Context: Two Households Tableaux 

This activity is useful for students to get acquainted with the context in which the play takes place. 

The class is divided into groups of four or five, some of these groups are given a card with the description of Orsino’s household and the other groups are given the description of Olivia’s household. (see Appendix 1). They are asked to create a still image or tableaux of what these households might look like. 

They then present their images to their classmates and reflect on how similar or different these households are and how different or similar the images of the groups with the same household are. 

3. Introducing the Plot: Mini play 

The teacher simplifies the plot and divides it into sections (see Appendix 2). The learners are divided into groups. Each group receives a different section of the plot. They are given a couple of minutes to read it through and another five minutes to devise and rehearse their mini version. 8 

After that, the different sections are presented in order. This means that every student gets to have an idea of what the play is about. 

An adapted (or full) version of the script for each section can also be provided in order to help students to create their own mini versions. 

Alternatively, this script can be used to deal with the language problems that may arise, or explore and explain features of Shakespeare’s use of the language in plays: prose, iambic pentameter, use of rhymes to end a scene, among others. 

4. Getting to know the characters + Role on the wall 

Each member of the group is given a line of a different character in the play. They must walk into space and say their line to another person. Then, it is the other person’s turn. If they think 

their lines belong to the same character, they must stay together. If the lines they have belong to different characters, they must keep on searching. Once the groups for each character are formed, students are asked to complete a ‘Role on the wall’ diagram. 

From their comprehension of the previous sections, and the lines they have 

read, students will have to describe the character. Facts, such as physical appearance, age, gender, job, etc. are written outside the silhouette. Subjective ideas, such as secrets, motivations, opinions, (dis)likes, etc. are written inside the silhouette. This activity allows students to explore characters more deeply and, at the same time, they can infer their motifs and their relationships with the other characters. 

5. Alter Ego 

The students get in groups of four and perform a scene of the play in which there are only two characters. The other two students will be present in the scene acting as these two characters’ alter ego, this is to say, they will be saying what these characters are really thinking. They can use colloquial language. This strategy is used in order to explore subtext. 

Some of the scenes that can be performed for this purpose are: 9 

• Cesario and Orsino (Act I. Scene iv) 

• Cesario and Olivia (Act I. Scene v) 

After watching 

Once the learners have seen the performance live, it is a good idea to share their responses either orally, as a whole class, or individually in written form. They can focus on the feelings or emotions they experienced while watching the play, the differences or similarities of the play and what they have done in class, or even how helpful it was for them to go through the activities in order to understand the play. 

Conclusion 

Being able to perceive beauty and respond aesthetically to a work of art is something that cannot be taught, it is only when you can identify yourself with that piece, that the magic happens. As teachers, we can only prepare the way for our students to develop that kind of response. 

Reading Shakespeare for the first time, and in the original language might frighten our students, therefore, ‘the teacher’s first task, surely, is to banish fear’ (Watson, 2008, p.72) and the way to do that is to begin with activities that are fun. The activities above are presented in an active, drama-centred approach that will hopefully help our learners both to respond to and, ultimately, to enjoy the play. 10 

6. References 

Chang, L (2012) Dramatic language learning in the classroom. In Winston, J. (Ed) Second language learning through drama. London: David Fulton Publishers 

Duff, A. and Maley, A. (1990) Literature. Oxford University Press 

Hart, J; Onuscheck, M; and Christel, M (2017) Acting it out. New York: Routledge 

Hughes, J. (2008) Experiencing theatre in the English classroom. In Anderson, M et al. (Eds.) Drama and English teaching: Imagination, action and engagement. New York: OUP 

Jamieson, Lee. (2017, September 4). Shakespeare Comedy. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-identify-a-shakespeare-comedy-2985155 

Monk, N, et al. (2011) Open-Space Learning: A Study in Transdisciplinary Pedagogy. London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. 

Rosenblatt, L. M. (1978/1994). The reader, the text, the poem: The transactional theory of the literary work (Revised paperback edition). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press. 

Wagner, BJ (1999) Code Cracking: Literature and Language. In Wagner, BJ. Dorothy Heathcote: drama as a learning medium. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann (p 190 – 201) 

Watson, K. (2008) Teaching Shakespeare as Drama. In Anderson, M et al. (Eds.) Drama and English teaching: Imagination, action and engagement. New York: OUP 11 

7. Appendix 1 

Orsino’s Household Olivia’s Household
ORSINO

·       He is the Duke of Illyria

·       He listens to music as he thinks about how much he loves Olivia

·       He sends messengers to her house to ask her out on his behalf

OLIVIA

·       She is a rich countess

·       Her father and brother have both died within the past year

·       She says that she is going to spend the next seven years in mourning

·       She wears a black veil

CURIO

·       He is a courtier of Orsino’s

SIR TOBY BELCH

·       He is Olivia’s uncle

·       He is always drunk

·       He is looking after Olivia while she is in mourning

He has brought a rich, foolish friend to the house in the hope that Olivia will marry

 

VALENTINE

·       He is a courtier of Orsino’s

·       He has been carrying messages to Olivia for Orsino and he is the one who describes Olivia to Orsino.

 

FESTE

·       He is described as a fool and a clown

·       He works for Olivia

·       He sings songs

 

  MARIA

·       She is Olivia’s maid

MALVOLIO

·       He is Olivia’s chief servant

·       He doesn’t like drinking

·       He doesn’t like Sir Toby

·       He secretly likes Olivia

 

8. Appendix 2 

Group 1  In the kingdom of Illyria, a nobleman named Orsino lies around listening to music, pining away for the love of Lady Olivia. He cannot have her because she is in mourning for her dead brother and refuses to entertain any proposals of marriage. 
Group 2  Meanwhile, off the coast, a storm has caused a terrible shipwreck. A young, aristocratic-born woman named Viola is swept onto the shore of Illyria. Finding herself alone in a strange land, she assumes that her twin brother, Sebastian, has been drowned in the wreck, and tries to figure out what sort of work she can do. A friendly sea captain tells her about Orsino’s courtship of Olivia, and Viola says that she wishes she could go to work in Olivia’s home. But since Lady Olivia refuses to talk with any strangers, Viola decides that she cannot look for work with her. Instead, she decides to disguise herself as a man, taking on the name of Cesario, and goes to work in the household of Duke Orsino. 
Group 3  Viola (disguised as Cesario) quickly becomes a favourite of Orsino, who makes Cesario his page. Viola finds herself falling in love with Orsino—the problem is – Orsino believes her to be a man. But when Orsino sends Cesario to deliver Orsino’s love messages to Olivia, Olivia herself falls for the beautiful young Cesario, believing her to be a man. The love triangle is complete: Viola loves Orsino, Orsino loves Olivia, and Olivia loves Cesario—and everyone is miserable. 
Group 4  Meanwhile, we meet the other members of Olivia’s household: her rowdy drunkard of an uncle, Sir Toby; his foolish friend, Sir Andrew Aguecheek, who is trying (in his hopeless way) to court Olivia; Olivia’s witty and pretty waiting-gentlewoman, Maria; Feste, the clever clown of the house; and Malvolio, the prudish steward of Olivia’s household. 
Group 5  When Sir Toby and the others take offense at Malvolio’s constant efforts to spoil their fun, Maria engineers a practical joke to make Malvolio think that Olivia is in love with him. She forges a letter, supposedly from Olivia, addressed to her beloved (whose name is signified by the letters M.O.A.I.), telling him that if he wants to earn her favour, he should dress in yellow stockings and crossed garters, act haughtily, smile constantly, and refuse to explain himself to anyone. Malvolio finds the letter, assumes that it is addressed to him, and, filled with dreams of 

YouTube Comments and Native-speakerism: an Analysis of Beliefs on Social Media. 

                                                                                                                                     Priscila Bordon

Abstract 

The article aims to address a native speakerism in YouTube videos produced by “teacher-Youtubers” who teach the correct way of saying words claiming that certain patterns of pronunciation found in non-native speakers’ speech are always unintelligible. 3 comments were taken from a comment section present in one video about pronunciation and analysed using critical discouse analysis to answer three questions: What are the viewers’ beliefs on correct English? Do the people watching such videos to “improve” their English agree with the position of the Youtuber? What might be the effects native-speakerism on Brazilian speakers of English? The results showed that most participants hold native-speakerist views on English and which can cause linguistic insecurity. 

Key words: native speakerism, video-teaching, Youtuber, critical discourse analysis. 

1. Introduction and Context 

Some English teachers have ‘migrated’ to YouTube and become educational Youtubers. Videos are often targeted to help learners speak ‘better’ English by avoiding mistakes, which are biased to what is ideal considering native-speakers’ norms. They teach using the platform and give tips on how to improve non-native speakers’ language competence. The video on which the comments were made was recorded to help Brazilian students improve their pronunciation of 15 different words. Throughout the video, the Youtuber mentions, at least 8 times, that the way she is teaching is the way native speakers would pronounce the words The comments were all made by Brazilians and they bring three different perspectives on English correctness. The full comments will be in the appendix. These Youtubers are using social media which helps shape the views on what is ‘appropriate’ or ‘correct’ as the only accepted forms and, as pointed by Milroy and Milroy (1999) this “legitimized discrimination provides a useful resource for gatekeepers who wish to restrict access to goods and influence, thus affecting people’s lives in many domains” (152). The video analysed was recorded using words out of context and their pronunciation in standard American English. Basing on this video, published on YouTube and aimed at Brazilian learners of English, with more than 500,000 views, I am going to analyse a thread of 3 comments and discuss their 2 

beliefs about what is “correct” English. Since this video supports native English, my research questions are: 

1. What are the viewers’ beliefs on correct English? 

2. Do the people watching such videos to “improve” their English agree with the position of the Youtuber? 

3. What might be the effects native-speakerism on Brazilian speakers of English? 

2. Literature Review 

The issue of the native-speaker and standard English has been discussed by researchers such as Philipson (1992), Jenkins (2000), Holliday (2006) and Choi (2016). Philipson (1992) analyses the promotion of native speakers as the model for ELT and points out how this model is unrelated to what English represents in modern times, since the idea of the native speaker is from a time “when language teaching was indistinguishable from culture teaching” (13). Jenkins (2000) argues that the term ‘native-speaker’ promotes the idea of a monolithic English that is the language used by monolingual English speakers. She also points out that the dichotomy native/non-native “causes negative perceptions and self-perception of ‘non-native’ teachers and a lack of confidence in and of ‘non-native’ theory builders” (9). She suggests other terminology that is more informed of ideas such as English as a Lingua Franca and Global Englishes, which is used to avoid causing negative perceptions, such as ‘monolingual English speaker’ and ‘bilingual English speaker’. 

Holliday (2006) points to the ideology behind the term native speaker and introduces the term native-speakerism, which is a “pervasive ideology within ELT, characterized by the belief that ‘native-speaker’ teachers represent a ‘Western culture’ from which spring the ideals both of the English language and of English language teaching methodology”. Native speakers seen as an ideal model bringing up essentialization of cultures and inequality within ELT by promoting the status of native English and, therefore, standard English. Choi (2016) investigates native speakerism in South Korea and the impact of an idealized native model on students’ perceptions on their English. Choi also mentions how the communicative language teaching and the goal for authentic use of English are a way to promote native speakerism among learners. In her study, Choi also finds that the media discourse supports native speakerism, which is what I point out in my own research. The media discourse and the advertisement of private English classes use the 3 

authenticity of ‘native-like’ proficiency because, as pointed by Choi (2016), “it is hard to deny that ‘native-like’ English fluency is widely recognized as one of the major components to become a successful English language learner/speaker.” (2016, 75). These arguments are also real in the Brazilian context, where ELT still relies on how ‘authentic’ the classes are in relation to native English-speaking countries. 

3. Data Collection and Methodology 

The three comments chosen for this project show three different perspectives on what three people understand as errors. I will use critical discourse analysis (CDA) to answer my research questions, since they are related to beliefs which can defy power structures and CDA, according to Ruecker et al (2015), “uncovers ways in which discourses create/ re-create power hierarchies in society” (739). Discourse, as described by Cheek (2004), “consists of a set of common assumptions that sometimes, indeed often, may be so taken for granted as to be invisible or assumed” (1142). According to Van Dijk (1993) “there are many ways to do CDA” (279). The discourses analysed here are pervaded by assumptions that are indeed taken for granted and these assumptions are related to the idea of native speaker English being more appropriate than other Englishes and what the meaning of ‘error’ in the discourses analysed from the comments. 

4. Data Analysis and Findings 

The comments analysed were taken from an 8-minute video where a Youtuber (Interactant Y) teaches the ‘correct’ pronunciation of 15 words that are usually ‘mispronounced’ by Brazilians. Some examples of “errors” are ‘bush’ (/bʌʃ/) and ‘put’ (/pʌt/). Because Interactant Y has already faced criticism about her approach to errors, she commented: “I want to emphasize that the objective of the video is not judge anybody’s accent or say that getting the pronunciation of a word wrong it is “ugly” or a “crime””. If she does judge certain pronunciations to be “wrong” that is already a judgment itself, and her judgment is biased to native English. It is also possible to point to Y’s native English bias. For Interactant Y, native speaker equals Standard American English, as explained in her comment “every learner of a second language makes some kind of “mistake” (in quotation because I am referring to productions different from the native speakers) […] 4 

[r]eminding you that all examples are in accordance with the ‘Standard American English’”. In this statement she follows Quirk’s (1990) rationale, that Standard English equals nativeness, as explained by Seidlhofer (2011) “notions of nativeness and standard are conflated to such an extent that they become mutually dependent, indistinguishable, even identical” (52). 

According to Tagg (2012) “varieties are considered ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ not because of inherent linguistic correctness or incorrectness, but because of the high or low social prestige of their speakers” (307). Native speaker English, for Y, symbolizes more prestige, and one can access more opportunities if one is able to mime this variety more successfully. This assumption is also present in another part of her comment where she explains the intentions of her video; “[t]he intention of my pronunciation videos is to show that, sometimes, a little error can make communication harder and learning about these details can help (a lot!) to improve your speaking and listening”. A problematic statement that causes other participants to comment on the video. 

Interactant B mentions that for the purpose of improving communication and one’s pronunciation, Interactant Y should first address what is considered an error in a lingua franca scenario that English is set, and that she should also consider how most English speakers are non-native speakers; “I do not see problems in pronouncing some words such as “bush”, for example. There is no loss of understanding if we do not pronounce the “u” ‘correctly’, because the meaning would still come across. There is no other word to be understood in this context”. As mentioned by Jenkins (2000) the goal in teaching pronunciation should be one of intelligibility, and the teaching of native-like forms is a choice made by the learners or the teachers, and it is not relevant to try to sound native-like anymore if learners are well informed about their goals and choices (220-221). That is the point of B, that ‘mispronounced’ words, such as the ones in the video, are not relevant if we consider English as an international language (IL). 

Right after B’s comment, Interactant A disagrees with him, and supports the comment made by Y by giving his account of his experience speaking with native-speakers and non-native speakers of English in international communication; “I got my meaning across better with the students from other countries than with the natives. It took me a while until I realized that I was the wrong one. […]. Interactant A shifts the blame from the native speaker, who he believed could not accommodate him, to himself, as a non-proficient English speaker. Sweeney et al (2010) address this issue and state that “although lingua franca speakers complain about native English speakers’ 5 

inability or unwillingness to adjust or simplify their language, they often believe that fault also lies with their lack of proficiency in English” (479). However, he points that he could communicate with non-natives successfully. What made him believe he was the wrong one in trying to communicate with native speakers? The status of native speakers, what they represent to learners and the EFL perspective in ELT. Nayar points out that “[t]he entire ESL/EFL industry and the discourse of Applied Linguistics which gives primacy, preference, status, knowledgeability, authority and in general, ownership and control of the industry to the native speaker is a manifestation of [ an embodied cultural] capital” (5). English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) users are seen in this scenario of native speakers’ models as ‘failed’ users of the language because they lack authenticity, credibility and proper cultural capital from western ideals, which is granted if you are or sound as a native. To compensate their ‘failed’ language proficiency, learners look for native speakers to be their teachers, or if not possible, someone who can teach how to sound native-like. That is why videos, such as this one, are so successful. Such videos try to erase any sound of non-nativeness learners might have by teaching what is ‘correct’ according to a native-speaker perspective, because they are seen as norm providers, “leading to assumptions of NS linguistic superiority” (Jenkins, 2007;32), and also define successful communication to be the one that happens with native-speakers. 

A previous assumption made on the grounds of native speakerism is that native speaker English equals Standard English, which takes us to the discussion of standardization of language. As mentioned before, Interactant Y equals native speaker English to Standard English, then, in the comments analysed it is also possible to argue that standard English ideology is present. Standardisation, according to Tagg (2012) is “best seen as a process towards ideals”, and it is where native English finds its legitimatization, since native English is the ideal set by the EFL perspective in teaching seen in the video and is also the basis of standardization. According to Milroy and Milroy (1999), “the chief characteristic of standardisation is suppression of optional variation at all levels of language” (30), this phenomenon can be observed in the comment made by interactant Y that “every learner of a second language makes some kind of “mistake” (in quotation because I am referring to productions different from the native speakers)”. Although she reinforces that she is not prescribing native English, she does mention that she follows the standard American English, so the variation in pronunciation expected from Brazilians is being supressed. 6 

4. Conclusion 

Going back to my first research question, what the viewers beliefs on correct English are, I found that two of the interactants: Y and A, follow native speakerism and standard English orientations on what correct English is, and one person, interactant B, understands English is meant for international communication and questions native speaker and standard English ideology in the video and the comment made by interactant Y. I also wanted to find out whether the people watching such videos to “improve” their English agree with the position of the Youtuber, and although most people in other comments did agree with her, which we can see by the number of “likes”, 41,000, there is a resistant minority, 284 “dislikes”, also the case of interactant B, that do not agree with her native-speakerism. One comment, not analysed in this research project, caught my attention: ‘English with a latino accent is the future’. This comment shows that little by little, by being informed while making their language choices, Brazilians can take ownership of English and not rely on native speakers’ norms any longer. So, what effects might native speakerism have on Brazilian speakers of English? It affects their confidence in seeing themselves as successful users of ELF, causing linguistic insecurity. As defined by Meyerhoff (2006), linguistic insecurity is “speakers’ feeling that the variety they use is somehow inferior, ugly or bad” (292). They believe that if they do not know how to produce native-like pronunciation, they will not be validated as ‘authentic’ users of the language and if learners do not follow the rules set by those who are considered the authorities in language, such as the person in the video they are ‘penalized’ (Prodromou, 2007; 23). These penalties are related to power structures in society, as standard native English is seen as prestigious, these learners feel they are not able to ascend socially if they cannot sound native-like. 

3. References 

Cheek, J. 2004. At the Margins? Discourse Analysis and Qualitative Research. Qualitative Health Research. Vol 14, Issue 8, pp. 1140 – 1150 7 

Choi, L.J. 2016. Revisiting the issue of native speakerism: ‘I don’t want to speak like a native speaker of English’, Language and Education, 30:1, pp 72-85 

Jenkins, J. 2000. The phonology of English as an international language: new models, new norms, new goals. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press 

Jenkins, J 2007. English as a Lingua Franca: Attitude and Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press 

Holliday, A. 2006. Native-speakerism, ELT Journal, Volume 60, Issue 4, pp 385–387 

Meyerhoff, M. 2006. Introducing sociolinguistics. London: Routledge. 

Milroy, J and Milroy, L. 1999. Authority in Language. 3rd edn. London: Routledge 

Nayar, P.B. (no date). English in the Global Context: Communication and Presuppositions. Retrieved from: http://comm.louisville.edu/iic/books/mx1/MX_Volume%20I_1-9_NAYAR.pdf 

Phillipson, R. 1992. ELT: the native speaker’s burden?. ELT Journal, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 12–18 

Prodromou, L. 2007. Bumping into creative idiomaticity. English Today 89. pp 14–25 

Quirk, R. 1990. Language varieties and standard language. English Today, 6(1), 3-10. 

Ruecker, T and Ives, L. 2015. White Native English Speakers Needed: The Rhetorical Construction of Privilege in Online Teacher Recruitment Spaces. TESOL Quarterly, Vol. 49, Issue 4, pp 733-756 

Seidlhofer, B. 2011. Understanding English as a Lingua Franca Oxford: Oxford University Press 

Sweeney, E and Hua, Z. 2010. Accommodating Toward Your Audience: Do Native Speakers of English Know How to Accommodate Their Communication Strategies Toward Nonnative Speakers of English?. International Journal of Business Communication. Vol 47, Issue 4, pp. 477 – 504 

Tagg, C. 2012. Ideologies of English. In Hewings, A and Tagg, C. 2012 The Politics of English: Conflict, Competition, Co-existence. London: Routlegde. 

Van Dijk, T. (1993) Principles of Critical Discourse Analysis. Discourse & Society. Vol 4, Issue 2, pp. 249 – 283 

 

Welcome to the Thirteenth Issue of the Warwick ELT!

Dear readers

We are very pleased to release our thirteenth issue of The Warwick ELT e-zine. Teachers from the various contexts contributed to this issues with their experiences, great insight and suggestions.

This issue comprises five interesting and engaging articles with a rich diversity of topics covered by the authors. In the first article “Self-Access Learning Centres in developing learner autonomy: attitudes of students from the department of English, University of Dhaka”Apala Biswas discusses how the centre at the university helps students to be autonomous language learners and what challenges they might face at the Centre for English Teaching and Research (CETR). It also suggests the ways that a trained instructor can be assistive to students. The second article “Publishing effective course materials for EIL” by Caroline Lewis considers some issues surrounding English as an International Language from a publishers’ perspective. It examines how the spread of English in different forms and context around the world presents practical problems and how publishers can serve their diverse customers appropriately.   The third article by Catalina Bravo “Authentic assessment of young learners in Chilean context”, is about effective tools to assess young learners. It discusses the principles in which the suggested assessment plan was created. Furthermore, she highlights how this approach is applicable not only to Chilean context but also to all countries where English is taught as a foreign language.  The fourth article is “Promoting a positive response to oral post-observation feedback”, in which Judy Barker explores impacts of positive feedback on improving teaching and development of CELTA trainees.  In our fifth article, “Theoretical and practical insights for using blogging in the language classroom in a Palestinian University”, Yousef Abuzaid provides input related to various theoretical and practical aspects for using blogging platforms such as Blogspot and WordPress.

For your ease, we have hyperlinked each article below:

  1. Self – Access Learning Centres in developing learner autonomy: attitudes of students from the Department of English, University of Dhaka by Apala Biswas
  2. Publishing effective course materials for EIL by Carrie Lewis
  3. Authentic assessment of young learners in Chilean context by Catalina Bravo
  4. Promoting a positive response to oral post-observation feedback by Judy Barker
  5. Theoretical and practical insights for using blogging in the language classroom in a Palestinian University by Yousef Abuzaid

We hope these articles will help you gain some new insights in the field of applied linguistics and teaching methods. As usual, we welcome your valued remarks.

Enjoy reading!

Issue editors

Begibaeva Nilufar , Chindipha Cynthia , Joy Onymaechi