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English reconceived: Raising teachers’ awareness of English as a ‘plurilithic’ resource through an online course.

Hall, Christopher J and Wicaksono, Rachel and Liu, Shu and Qian, Yuan and Xiaoqing, Xu (2013) English reconceived: Raising teachers’ awareness of English as a ‘plurilithic’ resource through an online course. Technical Report. British Council, London.

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Abstract

For most English teachers and applied linguists, the nature of the language itself is rarely submitted to interrogation. There is a generalised assumption that 'the English language', and especially 'the grammar of English', exist as monolithic entities, which are learned as a unified subject derived from a native-speaker ideal, rather than constructed in multiple versions as locally-modulated communicative resources. This report describes an online course, Changing Englishes, designed to raise awareness
of the 'plurilithic' nature of English, enable teachers
to value the diversity of individually and locally appropriate learning objectives and outcomes, and promote the development and sharing of pedagogical strategies which respond to the global realities of
the language. The course combines insights from the sociocultural perspectives of world Englishes, English as a lingua franca, and critical applied linguistics,
with cognitive work on usage-based learning.
We describe qualitative research conducted with teachers in China and Gaza to investigate teachers' conceptions of English, explaining how this motivated course content and design. Following a description
of the course, we present data from a study of users of the trial version, seeking to establish how they conceive and reconceive of English in the light of their experiences. Participants were trainee and practising teachers from inner, outer, and expanding circle countries. Findings suggest that users constructively engaged with course content and that, for some, it generated transformative experiences which have
the potential to provoke enduring ontological shifts
in their conceptions of the language they teach and, consequently, to influence their own approach to professional practice and professional development.

Item Type: Monograph (Technical Report)
Additional Information: ISBN: 9780863557149
Status: Published
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
School/Department: School of Languages & Linguistics
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/2865

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