Blog Archives

Blogs Worth Taking a Look at…

I am very honoured because Philb81 has tagged me in his wonderful blog Classroom201X as one of his 10 blogs worth taking a look at. This is a new  initiative in the ELT blogosphere at the moment. If someone tags you in their list of 10 recommended teaching blogs, you then prepare your own list of 10 other blogs you would be willing to recommend, paste the logo above into your post and link back to the person/blog that initially tagged you. So here goes my list of 10 blogs to recommend (they are presented in alphabetical order):

  • David Truss Pair-a-dimes: Great reflections on education, technology and learning.
  • ELT notes : I always find a lot of food for thought from Claudia’s reflections.
  • English Raven: It helps me to have a look at TEFL from a different perspective
  • Kalinago English: I have taken lots of ideas from this blog and I have already tried many of her lesson plans. Thanks Karene for all the hard work!
  • L_missbossy’s ELT PLayground: A great blog about TEFL for Young learners
  • Marisa Constantinides- TEFL matters: Reflections on TEFL from a teacher trainer.
  • Movie Segemnts to Assess Grammar Goals: It contains a series of movie segments and activities to assess or practice grammar points through fun, challenging exercises. Thanks for sharing Claudio!
  • Succesful Teaching: A blog where you can get some strategies and ideas in order to have a succesful teaching experience. Thanks Pat for all the inspiration.
  • TEFLclips: A site dedicated to the possibilities for YouTube and other video sharing sites in the classroom. I love using videos in my classes and this site has helped me a lot. Thanks a lot Jamie.
  • Tu remanso: A blog in Spanish worth having a look at for some good reflections on education. Thanks Cinthia for sharing your reflections.

Hope you’ve found some new blogs WORTH TAKING A LOOK AT…


Some Answers to World Englishes?

In my previous post, I have posed many questions without answers. In the last few days, I have been reading on the topic and concluded that it is important:

1) to expose students to world varieties of English (both native and non-native varieties)

2) to make them aware of the functional use of English as an international language.

3) expose them to cultural differences

4) to produce more empirical work on the use of English as a Lingua Franca because the lack of it, according to Barbara Seidlhofer, “precludes us from conceiving of speakers of Lingua Franca English as language users in their own right and thus makes it difficult to counteract the reproduction of English Native dominance”

Taking into consideration this new variety of English (ELF) would be a great advantage to us non-native ESL teachers: “instead of being “non-native” speakers and perennial learners of ENL, we can become competent and authoritative users of ELF” as Seidlhofer concludes.


World Englishes: Variety or Deficiency?

As you all know, English is spoken by a great amount of people in today’s world. It is no longer restricted to a mother country and its colonies. We can even dare say it has become a kind of “lingua franca” in international communications.

Some scholars are already talking about ELF (English as a Lingua Franca). Jennifer Jenkins , explains the term, “…ELF refers to English used as a common language of communication, or lingua franca, primarily among non-mother-tongue English speakers with various first languages. Although speakers of ELF can also be native English speakers and speakers from former British colonies such as India, the majority come from what is known as the ‘expanding circle’; that is, countries such as Germany, Brazil or Japan, where English is learnt and used but serves few, if any, institutional functions.”

Nowadays, most users of English around the world and most English teachers are NOT native speakers. And this is the point where all the questions come to my mind. Do students of EFL really need to acquire the so-called native-like competence? Isn’t it enough to be intelligible among the people involved in the communication?

A Frenchman called Jean-Paul Narrière (here you’ll find more information about it. It’s in Spanish because I couldn’t find anything in English.) has realised that not being able to speak perfect English in an international business context was an advantage. He found it easier to communicate with Japanese and Korean people in HIS English than for the native speakers to communicate with them. He decided to develop a theory that he called “Globish”. According to him, “Globish isn’t incorrect English, it’s “English light” based on a list of 1,500 core words.” People who support his theory believe that if they need English only for travelling and doing business, why torture themselves in the attempt to speak like a native speaker? And by the way, what does being a native speaker imply?

Brian Brennan points out that” I know many native speakers of English whose level of writing is below CEF B2 level. The CEF C2 band represents a level of linguistic sophistication that few native speakers have. Native speakers, too, are on a cline of competence. But all this begs two questions: What do learners mean when they say they want to learn English? And what models should they be provided with?”

Food for thought. What do you make of all this? Are these new “World Englishes” that are emerging a new form of what we usually call variety or just a deficiency? Looking forward to your comments.