2003 - issue 12/03
to the December Newsletter.
month we are lucky to be able to reprint Julian Edge's thoughts
on ELT & international politics at large. Julian works
at Aston University's Language Studies Unit on the MSc course
they offer & is a respected ELT author. Have a read &
then tell us what you think at the thread we have started
in the Forums for responses to the article - see below for
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each time a buy is made. And talking of Xmas presents, an
ideal present for anyone interested in language is the Cambridge
Encyclopaedia of the English Language by David Crystal. It
is an excellent journey through many aspects of the English,
as well as being superbly produced. This month we have a review
of the book - see below - & you can buy it at Amazon.com
& Amazon.co.uk through Developing Teachers.com
THE SITE - TEFL & international politics + plans &
DAYS OF THE MONTH
WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
CVs & JOBS
PS - Internet/computer-related links
SPEECH: A Course in Listening and Pronunciation for Advanced
Learners of English - An electronic publication that aims
to solve the problem of the misrepresentation of speech.
like to buy a Streaming Speech course you will receive a discount
if you tell Richard you heard about it at Developing Teachers.com!
& international politics: A personal narrative by Julian
how many people read Bill Templer's article in Issues 173
about ELT and Iraq, and how many were turned off by the topic,
and how many found themselves engaged by it. In my own case,
my position has changed over the years, and I do believe that
we now live in critical times.
I started out teaching EFL (in 1969), I made a point of insisting
that I just taught the language. What people did with it was
up to them, and whether they were bothered about my cultural
background, or I about theirs, might be a matter of some interest,
but was definitely not central to how I earned my living.
changed for me in the mid-seventies, when an Egyptian medical
student, whose English was unlikely to see him through the
upcoming exams, asked me with a great deal of passion exactly
why I thought he should be stopped from becoming a doctor
in his own country simply because he couldn't learn my language.
to see that English is a barrier to personal and professional
aspiration to exactly the same extent that it is a gateway.
Except, of course, that it is a barrier to many times more
people than it is a gateway. I came to see myself as inevitably
implicated in this system of repression and reward, and I
came to live with this perception. It is, after all, little
different from any other educational situation, isn't it?
A student might ask, 'Why should I be stopped from becoming
a carpenter, just because I can't learn to use tools precisely?'
or 'Why should I be stopped from becoming an accountant just
because I can't learn to calculate numbers accurately?' The
list is endless and the answer is always the same: 'Because
that's the way things are. Because those are the skills that
you need. Because not everyone can realise every aspiration.'
the bigger political picture, the English language itself
is also neutral. It is the particular situation that determines
its role and function. So, the same language that had to be
displaced in the Tanzanian struggle for independence was a
tool for liberation in the South African struggle. As an EFL
teacher, I provide access to an international language that
a lot of people want to learn - their politics is their business,
and mine is my own.
next step for me was coming to understand the concept of hegemony:
that we act in ways that reinforce the power structures that
control us because, in the end, we see it as being in our
interests to do so. We may do this consciously or unconsciously.
So, I go to the cinema and watch almost exclusively Hollywood
movies, even though I dislike the hegemonic relationship through
which Hollywood styles and values of
storytelling threaten to eliminate other indigenous styles
of film-making. My Egyptian medical student continued to study
English (finally passing the requisite exam) and, in so doing,
supported the system of English requirement that angered him
so much. We have choices, albeit constrained by the over-arching
systems and power structures of 'the way things are.'
things have changed for me again. The invasion and occupation
of Iraq by the USA, Britain and Australia opened up a new
chapter in my political awareness, and in my sense of the
political significance of what I do for a living. It is not
simply that the USA, Britain and Australia are the three major
English-language teaching providers in the world, although
that point helps highlight what is going on. It is, for me,
more important to consider the change from a relationship
of economic, cultural and political hegemony, which involves
constrained consent, to one of outright and overt military
force. If it is true that the USA is shifting from its age
of republic to its age of empire, English becomes once again
an imperial language, and that is significant. If Iraq, for
example, is to emerge from its current turmoil in any way
that is foreseen by its present rulers, then that will be
an Iraq in which the ability to communicate effectively in
English is of paramount importance. Without English language
teaching, imperial policy would be infinitely more difficult
to impose. To put that another way, English language teaching
is an arm of imperial policy - out in the open - in ways that
were not so obvious before. I believe that it is now possible
to see us, EFL teachers, as a second wave of imperial troopers.
Before the armoured divisions have withdrawn from the city
limits, while the soldiers are still patrolling the streets,
English teachers will be facilitating the policies that the
tanks were sent to impose. And wherever, and to whomsoever,
I teach EFL, I am a part of that overarching system.
is where I have come to now and, like every such statement,
it invites the question, 'So what?' Either there is a so what,
the pragmatist might say, or all of this is so much hot air.
I believe that there is a so what, but I'm not altogether
clear at the moment what it is or how to articulate it. I
no longer believe that it is sufficient to say, 'That's the
way things are.' I have come to see the above parallel with
carpenters and accountants as facile and self-serving. It
is no longer credible (if it ever was) to teach EFL and blinker
out the political impact of the large-scale endeavour to which
one contributes. It is not that I am forgetting the personal
triumphs and individual aspirations that one can enjoy being
a part of, it is more that I feel now that the shadow has
grown larger beyond those sunlit images.
to look again at the materials we use in class and the worldviews
that they represent, at the methods that we use and the interactional
and learning styles that they foreground, at the choices we
make in selecting the content of our courses, at the extent
to which we teach a language of compliance to the exclusion
of a language of protest, at the tests we use, to what purpose,
and at the policy decisions we make in language planning.
Fundamentally, when we are asked, as EFL teachers, what contribution
we make to a better world, we need to be ready to reply.
Language Studies Unit at Aston University, we are planning
a symposium at which we hope to develop further some responses
to these so what aspects of a growing perception that we are
implicated up to our communicative necks in the building of
an empire with whose purposes we may not wish to align ourselves,
but whose uniforms we may be seen to be wearing. The symposium
will take place on 15 and 16 December, with Christopher Brumfit
and Sarah Benesch as the keynote speakers. If you would like
to know more, and perhaps be involved, please contact me at:
aware that there is a literature to which I have not referred,
and I in no way wish to disrespect those concerned, any more
than I would want to endorse without reservation their varying
analyses. I list a small sample of these authors and their
work below. My purpose in this article has been to chart a
personal shift of perception and, with it, of response. And
to seek a resonance in the profession.
This article first appeared in IATEFL Issues, No. 175, pp.
10-11, in October 2003.
Benesch, S. (2001) Critical English for academic purposes:
Theory, policy and practice, Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum
Canagarajah S (1999) Resisting linguistic imperialism in English
teaching, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Pennycook A (2001) Critical applied linguistics: A critical
introduction, Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum
Templer W (2003) ELT in the 'reconstruction' of Iraq, IATEFL
Issues 173, 4-5
Tollefson J (Ed.) (2002) Language policies in education, critical
issues, Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum
Julian Edge's TEFL background was built in Jordan, Germany,
Egypt, Singapore and Turkey. He now teaches on Aston University's
distance-learning MSc in TESOL - http://www.les.aston.ac.uk/tesol/
. His most recent book was 'Continuing professional development:
Some of our perspectives', edited for IATEFL in 2002.
How do you feel about the issues that Julian raises? Have
your say in the forums at this thread:
Learner Profile by Scott Shelton
This month Scott Shelton offers us another article. This time
he offers us a very detailed & revealing profile of one
of his advanced learners, Beatriz. Scott gives a learning
background & then tests Beatriz through a CAE exam that
he goes on to analyse.
read the article
is a new plan up for upper intermediate & advanced students
about science scandals. It uses a recent Guardian article
& has the following main aims:
intensive listening practice
To give extensive & intensive reading practice
To introduce vocab connected to 'forgeries' & 'fakes'
To give freer speaking practice
read the lesson plan
to Julian & Scott.
ARTICLES - If you've given a course or seminar or have
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then do send it to:
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Master's: become an action researcher with Aston
University's MSc in TESOL Aston University Language Studies
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of different Forums to choose from. Post your jobs, your CV,
your questions, finds on the net, ideas, activities, questions,
grumbles, suggestions, your language courses, your training
courses...they are there for you to use. http://foro.developingteachers.com/
of the students I'm teaching are learning to read and write
for the first time - they're not literate in their first language.
Most of the course book material I've seen so far assumes
literacy. I'm looking for two types of material.
anyone know of published material that doesn't assume literacy,
but can be used to base an entry level speaking / listening
anyone know of material for teaching reading and writing through
a phonics approach that's designed (a) for adults, (b) for
got any ideas:
to the contents
& maximise your time by getting started on a quality
personalised teacher development course.
of material about Globalisation, Human Rights, The Environment
& War and Peace, adapted from the global issues magazine,
the New Internationalist & written specifically for learners
of English. For Teachers - printer-friendly pages, classroom
activities, guided websearches, links & resources.
ever wondered how things are made - products like candy, cars,
airplanes, or bottles - or if you've been interested in manufacturing
processes, like forging, casting, or injection molding, then
you've come to the right place. AIM has developed an introductory
website for kids and adults showing how various items are
made. It covers over 40 different products and manufacturing
processes, and includes almost 4 hours of
manufacturing video. It is targeted towards non-engineers
and engineers alike. Think of it as your own private online
factory tour, or a virtual factory tour, if you wish.'
Royalty-free clip art for the language classroom
Mother of all Greylists - get the lowdown on schools before
Playhouse - lots of practical stuff for the younger learner.
of free ebooks from Slate.
to the contents
DAYS OF THE MONTH
days to plan your lessons around in December:
7th Pearl Harbour Day
21st Winter Solstice (& June 21st)
World Peace Day
24th Christmas Eve
25th Christmas Day - Xmas in general
26th Boxing Day
31st New Year's Eve
Tolerance Week - 1st week of Dec.
International Language Week
see the Days of the Year
to the contents
month we've got a review of 'The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of
the English Language' by David Crystal. The review is written
by Seamus O'Muirchartaigh & leaves you in no doubt about
what to buy friends this Xmas.
To see the review
buy the book at Amazon.com
buy the book at Amazon.co.uk
If you're going to Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk then please
go through our Books page. You
will pay the same & we will receive a few pennies to keep
the site & newsletters free. Thanks.
to the contents
WEEKLY TEACHING TIPS
weekly practical teaching tips by e-mail.
Tips have included:
me up - ideas for using the overhead projector
- Buy Nothing Day 2003 - lesson ideas
- Ambiguity tolerance ideas & International Day for Tolerance
- Being observed - some advice
see the Past Tips
sign up to receive them
to the contents
CVs & JOBS
We at People Recruit are all ex-ESL teachers who have had
bad experiences in the past with institute owners and/or the
recruiters that placed us there, so we are determined not
to let the same thing happen to you and to provide a professional
recruiting service that focuses on your needs and concerns.
ALL recruiting companies claim that they are caring and sympathetic
and will not just take your money and then never want to hear
from you again. You have nothing to tell recruiters apart
until you use them. We encourage you to look at our website
and hope that you find our frank descriptions of how the ESL
recruiting industry works and of life and teaching conditions
in Korea refreshing especially the part that explains that
if we place you in a bad job and you decide to leave, then
we are legally required to pay back our recruiter fee to institute
owners, which means that we have a financial motivation to
place you into good jobs and to make sure that you know what
to expect before you arrive.
send us your resume with a scanned recent photo, and preferences
for employment if you have any, to email@example.com,
and we will email or call you immediately to confirm that
we have received your email and to give you realistic expectations
of how soon we expect to place you in a job. The jobs we will
offer will have standard conditions such as 1.8-2.2 million
won per month salary with bonus at the end of the contact,
medical insurance, and rent-free accommodation and air-tickets
provided by your employer.
we have found you a job, you have accepted it, and we have
set the ball rolling for you to come Korea, then we will be
available at any time to call or email you about any questions
and concerns you may have, no matter how trivial. We can't
guarantee this, you will just have to try us for yourself.
We remember how daunting it was for us to come to Korea the
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you as we can. People Recruit Consulting http://www.peoplerecruit.com/
Tel : 82-51-627-8905 / 82-51-627-
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Canadian-American School is looking for an experienced English
teacher to be in charge of IELTS program and three oral English
teachers. The school prides itself on having enlightened management
in line. We seek the teacher who is dedicated, knowledgeable
in EFL, flexible and willing to develop and apply his /her
skills. In exchange, we provide teachers with pleasant living
conditions, a competitive salary, useful and challenging work,
and a chance to grow with the school. Ideal applicant should
be native English speaker, has a university degree, has teaching
certificate and some IELTS teaching experience; some foreign
working experience is preferred. The position starts in the
November until the January, 2004. http://www.zhaoqing.gd.cn
To apply, please submit an online application form via our
website along with a copy of your resume, university qualification,
a recent photo, and your passport copy. http://www.aacircle.com.au
Shanghai, Wuxi, Suzhou and Nantong, China
C&C International Culture & Commerce Centre (Canada)
has been authorized by 10 Chinese high schools which are in
Shanghai, Wuxi, Suzhou and Nantong to seek Esl teachers. In
these high schools, teaching hours will be 16 per week, and
the students' ages are from 15-18. If you have interset, please
contact our China office. Requirements: Internationally recognised
TEFL qualification (CELTA, TEFL Diploma, MA TESOL etc) or
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4 floor, No.34 Wuai road, Wuxi city, Jiangsu province, China
214031 Tel: 86-510- 2791740, 86-510-8911653 Fax: 86-510-2791740
the Jobs Forum
Tweedie is looking for an ELT post. If you can help out,
his CV is at:
to the contents
ESOL TEACHER TRAINING COURSES
in Spain - Courses running in the near future at the British
Language Centre in Madrid:
CERTIFICATE IN ELT - CELTA
Full-time four-week courses, next courses January, February,
Part-time twelve week course, M/W/F 10.30-14.00, January >>
DIPLOMA IN ELT - DELTA
Full-time two-month course, April & May, July & August
on all courses if you mention the newsletter!
priced accommodation can be arranged for the duration of all
to the contents
PS - Internet/computer-related links
computer use rules of thumb:
- make copies of all important files
- run scan disk & then defragment the hard drive
- use firewall software
- use a virus scan & update the files every week
- install security patches that software providers offer
- update your DirectX files regularly
- don't open attachments without scanning for viruses first
- don't respond to spam - just delete & forget
- don't send personal or bank information by email
- turn off your computer at night
to do if the internet goes down.
the web help.
ahead of the weather
tell if the relationship is over.
questions - 'a playground for your mind'. For example, 'Who
would you rather be: Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Ladin, or George
post-its for your computer
wondered how you look when you walk?
- know which insects are edible.
out how many calories you burn.
tips for computer users.
knew toasters were dangerous.
the ball in the air!
to Insolitology, the site about web oddities. Some people
say that humour is only veiled derision - here at Insolitology,
all of our derision is explicit.' Not for the easily offended!
To the Past