Best Practices for Teaching ESL in Higher Education

Best Practices for Teaching ESL in Higher Education

Bryan Christiansen (Global Research Society, LLC, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4670-3.ch003

Abstract

This chapter examines three realities in the typical higher education English as a second language (ESL) classroom in non-English speaking countries and how they can be resolved to enhance student learning and teaching performance by native- and non-native English-speaking instructors alike. The British Council in 2018 estimated approximately 1.7 billion people were learning and using the English language worldwide in 2015, and the number is only expected to grow in the coming years. Therefore, the importance of this chapter in examining best ESL teaching practices should be obvious. The chapter is based on the author's extensive ESL background in seven nations since 1982 at higher education institutions as well as an integrated literature review related to the practice of teaching ESL.
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Background

As mentioned above, the British Council estimates that approximately 1.7 billion people were learning or using the English language in 2015. In addition, while the Chinese language is the most widespread mother tongue in the world, English remains the primary language of business and scientific/technological development worldwide and the most utilized language on the Internet (Han, Wang, & Zhang, 2019; IALC, 2016; Alfarhan, 2016; Camerota, 2014; Roux, 2014). In addition, English language literacy has become crucial to the students of management and other academic programs in non-Western countries (Park, Testerman, & Gould, 2017; Xie, 2019; Despagne, 2019; Cronquist & Fiszbein, 2017).

Statista (2019) estimates the market size of the global language services industry in 2019 to be over US$49 billion and growing to over US$56 billion by 2021. Of these amounts the English Language Learning (ELL) market is expected to surpass a value of US$22 billion by 2024 with a revenue Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.1 percent (Orbis Research, 2019). Clearly the ESL marketplace is growing rapidly and major commercial ELL institutions such as Berlitz Languages, Pearson ELT, Inlingua, Rosetta Stone, EF Corporate Solutions, and Wall Street English will require more qualified ESL teachers over the next five years. However, this chapter focuses on higher education institutions which tend to have less accessible data related to ELL than corporate institutions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

English as a Foreign Language (EFL): Is the learning and use of the English language as an additional language by users with different native languages in a non-English speaking country.

Higher Education: Or tertiary education in order to obtain an academic degree.

Best Practices: A blending of practices, methodologies, strategies and ideas used to support the language and literacy development of English language learners in class.

TESOL: TESOL International Association, formerly known as Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, is the largest organization formed by teachers and professionals of English as a second or foreign language worldwide. The association publishes two renowned peer-reviewed academic journals, the TESOL Quarterly , and the TESOL Journal .

Mixed Teaching Environments: The use of mixed teaching environments which enables teachers to teach students both quantitative and qualitative techniques within a mixed methodological framework that might help the latter with the successful learning of a foreign language.

TEFL: Is the acronym for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It is the language instruction of the English language for non-native speakers.

Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR): An international standard used for the description of the ability of a learner in a language. It uses six-point scale, where A1 level indicates the beginner level, while C2 signifies the mastering of a language.

Lingua Franca: Also known as bridge language, common language, trade language, vehicular language etc. It is frequently a third language that makes communication possible between people who do not share the same native language.

Erasmus Program: The higher education part of the European Union’s Socrates program for student exchange, regulating schemes for education, training, youth and sport.

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