An Investigation Into In-Service and Pre-Service Teachers' Understanding and Perceptions of Global Englishes in Taiwan

An Investigation Into In-Service and Pre-Service Teachers' Understanding and Perceptions of Global Englishes in Taiwan

Ethan Fu-Yen Chiu (National Chin-Yi University of Technology, Taiwan)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2831-0.ch012
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This chapter examined in-service teachers' and pre-service teachers' interpretation, understanding, knowledge, and willingness of promoting Global Englishes. The results of quantitative and qualitative data indicated that the concepts of Global Englishes were more informally delivered than formal instructed channels. Both groups generally had the understanding and knowledge of Global Englishes. The majority of participants of this study preferred Standard English when selecting listening materials, but they were in favor of the idea of introducing Global Englishes into the curricula of the 12-year Compulsory Education. With the goal of achieving appropriate and effective communication, in addition to Global Englishes, ICC should be adequately developed and enforced. The focus of the chapter was to highlight the importance of training teachers with greater awareness and respect of English varieties and to disseminate the concept of Global Englishes at teacher training programs. Findings of the study have some important implications for the English curricula of 12-year Compulsory Education.
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In a fast-moving globalized world, English has increasingly become the common language that people use for global communication. During the past decades, people use English in almost all fields such as science, entertainment and commerce for communication purpose (Crystal, 2003). The spread and use of different varieties of English as a global or international language in the modern era have become a well-known phenomenon (Yang, 2013). The population of English users reside worldwide with native speakers and non-native speakers. Bilingual speakers of English outnumber native English speakers (Vettorel & Corrrizzato, 2016). People from native speaking nations are no longer the lone representatives of English. English users in a global community have the right to be associated with English (Crystal, 2003; Galloway, 2013). These phenomena necessitate the study of Global Englishes, which includes not only nation-bound varieties but also non-nation-bound development. Thus, English is the language increasingly used as a global lingua franca and it has drastically changed sociolinguistic landscape.

In Asia alone, the Ministries of Education in different countries or regions have enacted policies to increase learning hours as well as to elevate English education from the elementary level because of the growing importance of English learning worldwide (Nunan, 2003). In 2001 English became a compulsory and essential course for primary school and secondary school students in Taiwan. English was integrated into a language curriculum category with Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese and other local language varieties called “Language Arts,” which was one of seven major areas of study for the Nine-year Joint Curriculum Plan (Chen, 2013). English language teaching (ELT) has always focused on native norms, aiming to achieve native like proficiency and cultural understanding. Nonetheless, the concept of Global Englishes has not been addressed until the recent 12-year Compulsory Education. In this ever-connected world, English users come from different regional, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. English learners therefore need to adapt themselves to mastering it as a global language for their communication needs. As the number of non-native English speakers is expanding, it is foreseeable that every individual who speaks the global language may encounter more speakers with indigenized variety of English than Standard English (Graddol, 2006; Wajnryb, 2008; Yang & Wong 2009). According to Kachru and Smith (2008) and Kirkpatrick (2007), following native speaker model and behaving like a native English speaker are neither sufficient nor effective. In other words, ELT should emphasize a multilingual paradigm prioritizing competence in a repertoire of multilingual resources. In response to the trend of Global Englishes, the MOE in Taiwan started to promote Global Englishes in its new English curriculum guidelines with the hope that students can accustom themselves to different kinds of English accents. Students are expected to understand English varieties spoken by diverse interlocutors worldwide when they are at the upper secondary level of English studies (National Academy for Educational Research, 2017). In its place, Global Englishes Language Teaching (GELT) is a current trend putting emphasis on the diversity and the functionality of English as an international lingua franca. Global Englishes becomes necessary in both the teaching and processing of English learning (Galloway & Rose, 2015). It is the teachers’ obligation to keep pace with the changing expectation of English users so that students will be prepared for the realities they encounter in today’s globalized world.

Previous studies try to examine college teachers’ opinions about English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), English as an International Language (EIL), or World Englishes (WE). Students’ and/or teachers’ attitudes towards English as well as necessities to incorporate WE, EIL and ELF into teacher education programs can evidently be found. Nevertheless, those researchers neglect to figure out how these concepts have been put into practice to both in-service teachers’ and pre-service teachers at the secondary school level.

This chapter intended to compare the awareness and practice of pre-service and in-service teachers in an attempt to shed light on whether the concept of Global Englishes had been introduced to teacher education. Pre-service teachers referred to those who choose to be secondary school teachers as their career path. In-service teachers were those who currently teaching at secondary schools. Their willingness of promoting Global Englishes was investigated as well. In addition, teachers’ preferences for choosing English varieties in their listening materials were discussed. Suggestions on how English education could be reformulated in Taiwan were summarized.

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