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Which English? Whose English? An investigation of 'non-native' teachers' beliefs about target varieties

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Tony Young, Professor Steve Walsh


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This study explored the beliefs of ‘non-native English speaking’ teachers about the usefulness and appropriacy of varieties such as English as an International Language (EIL) and English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), compared with native speaker varieties. The study therefore addresses the current theoretical debate concerning ‘appropriate’ target models of English in different contexts worldwide. Participants were asked to reflect on their experiences both as learners and as teachers of English and to consider which variety or varieties of English they had learned, and which variety, if any, they chose or were ‘told’ (by education authorities or curricula) to teach. In addition, participants were asked for their views on the attractiveness and usefulness of the different varieties, as well as their views on the nature of EIL/ELF. Finally, we asked teachers to consider which model(s) were likely to predominate in their teaching contexts in the future. Results indicated that teachers may work without any clear idea of ‘which English’ was the target. Teachers also reported a pragmatic perspective on varieties of English, with a need to believe in a ‘standard’ form of the language, even though this does not correspond to the reality of Englishes which are in use worldwide. Keywords: teachers’ beliefs; language varieties; EIL; ELF; teaching and learning

Publication metadata

Author(s): Young TJ, Walsh S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Language, Culture and Curriculum

Year: 2010

Volume: 23

Issue: 2

Pages: 123-137

Print publication date: 01/07/2010

ISSN (print): 0790-8318

ISSN (electronic): 1747-7573

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/07908311003797627


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