TeachingEnglish as a Lingua Franca in an English (ELF) as a Second LanguageSetting: Planting Seeds of ELF among English Teachers at theUniversidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez
TeachingEnglish as a Lingua Franca (ELF) in an English as a Second LanguageSetting: Planting Seeds of ELF among English Teachers at theUniversidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez
Due to increasedglobalization, English has grown as a lovely Lingua Franca or aninternational tool for communication. Consequently, it is importantfor the teachers, materials designers, and policy makers to revisehow English should be taught in areas where English is not theirnative language. In areas such as Universidad Autonoma de CiudadJuarez (UACJ), English fall into the category of Lingua Franca. Itis important to sensitize higher institutions of learning such asUACJ why English should be taught ESL as opposed to a second languagein higher education setting. The project explores the global role ofEnglish, Mexican polices related to English in Higher education andpedagogical implications of ELF. Some of the implications discussedinclude enabling students to appreciate their accent and errors,lowering student’s concern about native speakers’ capabilitiesand integrating native-English speakers’ issues in class. Thispaper discusses various methods of teaching English in a secondlanguage setting by planting seeds of ELF among UACJ teachers.
TheRole of English in a Globalized Environment
During the 17th century, the British Empire was verypowerful. It acquired its colonies in Asia, American, Africa andEurope. In order to interact with its colonized countries, theBritish established schools in which people had to learn ESL. For oneto earn a reputable position in British colony, one had todemonstrate an impressive mastery of English language (Jenkins,2000). In addition, during industrial revolution, the British Empirerequired raw materials in order to remain powerful. As a result, itinteracted with other continents using English leading to Englishlanguage spread. Another force that led to spread of English invarious countries is the establishment of multinational trade andorganizations. Currently, international trade is mainly conductedusing English language from advertisements to the actual sales. Also,’ multinational organizations such as Coca Cola and McDonaldsemploy their senior workforce based on their ability to communicatein English. Another factor that led to wide growth of English was itswide application in the internet and computer coding. English is thelanguage of the internet, which has made it familiar in the entireworld. In the mid of 20th century, American technologicalfactors contributed to the widespread of English Language (Jenkins,2015). Due to its remarkable economic power, U.S earned a widereputation in the world and hence its culture and civilization spreadacross many countries. American also advanced the communicationtechnology to include wireless telephony, the Internet andtelegraphy, which demanded English knowledge.
English has variousadvantages and limitations. It aids individuals to travel todestinations such as Australia, U.S and England where English isfrequently used. It reduces the expense of hiring an interpreterwhile touring international countries (Jenkins, 2000). One can easilyinteract with taxi individuals and the airport professionals. Inaddition, one finds it easy to access and purchase products ofhis/her interest in shops and groceries. English enables students tobe absorbed in international organizations easily. For instance, manyengineering companies work on a multinational basis, in order toincrease their returns. It is paramount for an individual tocomprehend English in order to be involved in multinational contractsand increase his/her fortune and experience. A student who is capableof communication in English fluently has a great opportunity ofadvancing his/her education in other countries. One can learn incontinents such as Australia and advance his skills in the field ofchoice such as medicine, Engineering or Education after graduatingfrom UACJ (Jenkins, 2015). One limitation of English language is itsnumerous vocabularies. Since English words originated from variouslanguages such as French, Germany, and Spanish among others, newlearners find it difficult to master the key synonyms.
The kind of Englishrequired to advance one’s life goals is ELF and not English as aforeign language in UACJ. General American models and traditional SE(Standard English) are not the only essential pedagogical models inlanguage. Both the General American Model and SE emphasize onwriting as the only meaning of learning English properly. Thoueffective as they enhance pronunciation and retention ofvocabularies, speaking is currently an essential pedagogy. It iseasier for the teachers to identify errors in a spoken Englishcompared to writing, as most of the written work is not perused(Seidlhofer, 2011). In addition, the leaners have to interact withtheir employers or international people mainly through speeches.Nowadays is difficult to operate international business withoutknowledge of English. English is used on the internet, which enablescommunication with various clients across the globe.
ELF suites moreUACJ compare to EFL. Most of the students in UACJ have various firstlanguages that comprise Spanish, Nahuatl and Mayan. In Mexico, theSpanish language has the largest numbers of speakers who areapproximately 110 million compared to less than 2 million whocommunicate in English, mostly, foreigners or business individuals.Consequently, ELF befits UACJ since correctness in terms ofpronunciations is not emphasized. For instance, research identifiedthat most ELF speakers tend to end a sentence with articles such asthis. In addition, ELF tends to interchange words such as which andwho as relative pronouns shift the pattern of preposition use and usemany redundancy words in a sentence (Seidlhofer, 2011). Nevertheless, despite many English language errors common among ELFlearners, they do not affect the effectiveness of communication.Moreover, ELF is easy to comprehend by learners, as one does not haveto follow the established English sentence structure. Even the nativeEnglish speakers can understand the ELF. Nevertheless, ELF hasreceived severe criticism from native English speakers. It has beenlabeled as unclear and unsuitable to be included in educationsyllabus. As a result, native teachers, test designers and fluentspeakers disregard ELF. EFL is used in countries that have variednative languages. English a foreign language relies on the program ofa given school and the level of students. EFL is taught using acommon language in an institution. Since, Spanish in the nationallanguage in Mexico, UACJ should shift to ELF to reduce the durationin which students will learn the English language.
EFL is practiced in areas where students have different firstlanguages (Widdowson, 2013). It occurs within a school system of acountry or through private means where the tutors are either nativeor non-native. In EFL, the teacher uses various techniques to ensurestudents understand pronunciation and punctuation. One of method usedis multiple-pass technique where the instructor pauses to discussconcepts and difficult words in the textbook (Widdowson, 2013). Thetutors are key to choose essays, plays and stories that are likely toenrich the learners, due to a wide variety of vocabularies,linguistic styles and types of sentences. In addition, the tutors areaudible during teaching to enable students to learn the pronunciationof vocabularies with ease. Loud reading and teaching facilitatecomprehension and models the fluency of English language. It providesknowledge on sentences extension, paraphrasing and visual support byusing sign language (Widdowson, 2003). In EFL, teachers ensure thestudents are actively engaged in learning for increased retention ofnew vocabularies and connection of what is been read with previoussessions.
Individualswho are fluent in other languages use ELF. EFL is used in countriesor geographical areas where the community or school language is notEnglish such as Mexico. English models rarely exist, and teachersfind it difficult to find a suitable English model for theirstudents. Both EFL and ELF have a great difference thou they areconsidered the same in countries such as Indonesia. The maindifference is that countries that use EFL use it as one of their mainlanguage in government operations and education despite not being thenative language. On the hand, countries where English is used in theform of a Lingua Franca is not applied in either education orgovernment activities such meetings to create public awareness.
Understandingthe difference between EFL and ELF has great implications forteaching. It enables teachers to instill confidence in students whodecide to learn ELF. Since is not used in government activities asinterview after school, students are able to focus on sharpeningtheir skills based on global perspective. In addition, understandingthe different between EFL and ELF is important for the nativeteachers. They are able to reduce their strictness regarding mistakesmade by non-native speakers. In addition, they are able to develop afriendly English model to encourage many students to undertake ELF.In countries such as Japans that teach EFL, the tutors also are ableto utilize Standard English, since English is frequently used ingovernment announcements, activities and in higher education(Widdowson, 2013). Understanding the difference between EFL and ELFis also important for interaction with students from differentcountries. Due to the influence of teachers and fellow students,international students may get confused concerning the Englishlanguage structure. As a result, students who use ELF may absorbthem.
Krachru’s Concentric Circles Model
Krachrudeveloped three-circle model to explain varieties of English in theglobe. Krachru’s circles comprise the expanding circle, inner andthe outer circle (Kachru, 1988). The circles display functionaldomain of English across languages and cultures, the patterns ofacquisitions and the type of spread. Krachru’s Inner Circle modelrepresents cultures where English is native. Countries included inthe inner circle consist of Britain, New Zealand, USA, Australia andCanada. English language in the inner circle has approximately 400million speakers, where 70% of them originate from U.S (Kachru,1988). One the outer circle, are the countries that were colonized byeither the U.S or Britain. Countries classified to be under the outercircle comprise Jamaica, South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India,Kenya, Malaysia, Zambia, Philippines, and Nigeria. The outer circlecomprises countries that were colonized by the UK or USA. Englishlanguage spread from the former colonies and later became a chieflanguage in all institutions that include businesses and educationsectors. The spread of English language across the world is largelyattributed to the British (Kachru, 1992). During the 19thcentury, British was significantly involved in industrial activitiesand trading. Moreover, it was a powerful colonizer. As a result, theBritish administrators, merchants, and soldiers spread Britishlanguage in the countries they settled. Early in the 17thcentury, the British Empire conquered countries such as New Zealand,Malaysia, Caribbean, India, some parts of Africa and North Americadue to its enormous power (Kachru, 1988). In addition, the Britishcontrolled strategic islands and ports to streamline its tradingactivities. Among the ports and Islands controlled by the Britishinclude Hong Kong, Malta, Mediterranean, Gibraltar and Cyprus(Kachru, 2005). Countries that learned English under the colony ofU.S consist of Alaska, Guam and Hawaii. The expanding Circle consistsof territories in which EFL. Countries that fall in the expandingcircle do not have history of colonization, and the English languagehas not yet spread to the community or institutions.
Countriesthat use English as a Lingua Franca include Egypt, Mexico, Korea,China, Japan, and Russia. About 100 million individuals in the worlduse ELF (Kachru, 1988).
UnderstandingMexico’s position is important as it helps in determining theteaching techniques to use. In addition, the native teachers areaware of the group there are handling. Consequently, they are able toteach the English language slowly and repetitively for maximumunderstanding. Understanding Krachu`s concentric circles facilitatesthe formation of groups for education purposes (Kachru, 2005). Teachers are able to include the aid of native speakers afterclassifying the class into groups for easy learning.
English in Mexico
Englishin Mexico falls in the expanding circle as it was introduced laterthe country. Spanish is the main language in the country and it isused in key institutions. Only a few multinational companies utilizeEnglish especially among their staff members. Currently, they therehas been an increased demand for the English language in Mexico.Several factors such as well-paying opportunities overseas,availability of English teachers, influence of the media, globalcompetitiveness, increased migration in the country due toever-growing population have led to a significant number of peopleregistering for English classes in higher institutions of education.Mexico government is working to liberalize trade with Latin Americanand the US. One of the strategies has been to expand education sectorto have many graduating student master English for easy absorption inthe future industries. A workforce that is fluent in English islikely to attract potential investors in the country, thus boostingMexico’s GDP.
UACJis located in the city of Ciudad Juarez that has a wide population ofmore than 1,000, 00 individuals. It is a higher institution oflearning that offers both degrees and master’s degrees and it hasexisted for 43 years since 1973. The actual English instruction atUACJ institution is the eclectic approach. The teachers employspecific methodologies depending on the level of the learners and theaim of the lesson. Students undertaking hospitality courses or publicrelationship require a wide exposure to English language compared tostudents undertaking science courses at UACJ. Nevertheless, nowadaysteachers at UACJ are encouraging students to invest more time inpracticing the English language despite the type of course undertakendue to rapid economic changes in the market. Eclectic methodologycombines both cognitive and traditional methods of teaching. Theeclectic technique is key in knowledge construction, competitiveaptitude empowerment, content integration, and equity pedagogy andprejudice reduction. Lingua Franca should be within the capabilitiesof teachers and students. Eclectic approach mixes structuralapproaches depending on the level of understand English. Writing,reading, listening and speaking are not used together but each isapplied after a specific period of learning. Eclectic theory hasproven to be effective in countries that fall in the expanding circleas it provides a definite vision regarding what is being learned. Itinvolves objective correlative, multiple tasks in the classroom, fastresults and lively learning. It connects real life experiences withEnglish language, which facilitates quick understanding. Oneapproach used in eclectic theory is inductive approach. The inductiveapproach utilizes many examples and requests learners to formulatetheir rules. As a result, it becomes easy for the students to retainthe content learned. Learners listen to a teacher while he/she readsa third conditional paragraph. The teachers request the students thento interpret the paragraph meaning. Consequently, the teacher is ableto evaluate the student’s level of understanding.
Professional Needs of UACJ Graduates
InUACJ, the numbers of graduates who are fluent in the English languageare few. Learning a Lingua Franca, mainly English will make thegraduates competitive in the job market. Mexico receives high numbertourists. Graduates will increase their chances of being absorbed inthe tourism ministry as tour instructors, accountants and asadministrators (Jenkins, 2006a). In addition, a definite approach ofteaching ELF does not exist in UACJ. As a result, it is imperative toprovide an approach that will enable a large population of UACJstudents to learn English. Planting ELF seeds among the UACJ higherinstitution teachers will produce competent graduates who cancomfortably work in many multinational companies.
Current Perspectives on Teaching ELF
Dueto rapid economic progress in Mexico, UACJ and many other higherinstitutions have acquired international teachers who can enhance thepoor quality of English in the country (Seidlhofer, 2004). Over thepast years, books used to teach ELF were outdated. Furthermore, ittook considerably a large time of more than one month beforereceiving books for English learning. The Public EducationSecretariat in Mexico has advocated for English teaching in highinstitutions. UACJ is advocating for modern English teachingstrategies and materials.
Theprivate institutions have been performing impressively comparedpublic institutions due to unequal distribution of wealth andcorruption. The private institution due to many impressive facilitiessuch as well-equipped libraries, spacious classes, fields andswimming pools for extra-curriculum activities attracts the richstudents in the country. As a result, the private institutions inMexico are able to afford to pay for international teachers as wellas acquire updated teaching materials. Most public institutions suchas UACJ face the problem of corruption (Seidlhofer, 2004). Currently,there has been controversy in UACJ whether the institution shouldacquire teachers from countries such as U.S and England or the schoolshould utilize its teachers.
RemainingIssues and Questions
Itis important to discuss the method for English education in case UACJdecides to hire more teachers to form overseas. Internationalteachers in countries where English is a native language mostlyprefer deductive approach of teaching. In addition, it raisesquestion for how long English should be learned in UACJ. Pastresearch indicates that the four of three years taken in UACJ do notmake one highly competent in English. On one case, a researcherquoted, it is easy to find sentences such as “I ice mieting you”(Seidlhofer, 2004). The teachers have to decide whether to add moreteaching hours or to continue offering addition courses to graduatesafter school.
Raising UACJ Teachers Awareness
Asteachers at UACJ have varied experience in English, it is importantto create awareness on the method to employ while teaching. If theinstitution decides to use eclectic method, all teachers includingthe native teachers should adopt it. By using one approach inteaching, it will be easy to evaluate its effectiveness ordifficulties experienced by students. Awareness creation will beeffective by PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint presentation willsupport graphs, and percentages showing performance of variousmethods applying during Lingua Franca teaching (Jenkins, 2012). Inaddition, PowerPoint presentation enables teachers to write keyinformation at their pace. Through awareness creation, teachers atUACJ are likely to produce competent students in English. Inaddition, the impressive results of UACJ are likely to be adopted bylow institutions of learning such as high schools. A lingua Francabecome interesting an easy to learn if students have had backgroundduring initial years of education. Improved methods of learning inUACJ are likely to illuminate Mexican government on how to formulatepolices to include English in the Education program.
Methods, Objectives and Materials
To plant seeds of ELF among English Teachers at UACJ
To increase the numbers of student’s undertaking English at UACJ
To develop effective methods of teaching English at UACJ that are easy to apply by both the teachers and the students.
Thefirst approach will be conducting an analysis to determine how thestudents that have enrolled for English lesson are planning to applyit. Some of the students may be planning to use English in Nativespeaking countries. As a result, the teachers should ensure that thestudents are well equipped in term of pronunciation and sentencestructure. In addition, the teachers should determine whether thestudents have been introduced to English before or it is a newsubject in order to know the numbers of hours needed to enhance thestudents’ English skills. By knowing the background of students interms of the languages the students are familiar with, the teacherswill expect specific pronunciation and plan on how to correct them.
Ateacher should select a course book that matches the needs of thestudents in terms of pronunciation and vocabularies. In a givencourse book, the teacher should determine the irrelevantpronunciation and skip them. Familiarity enables students tounderstand words being pronounced in the class by a teacher. Teachersshould often provide listening activities of both native andnon-native speakers. Since students at UACJ, University over the timewill be well used to ELF, it will be easier to challenge their ownaccent perceptions and become aware of the accent variation. Studentswill be able to evaluate the level of accent progress throughlistening activities, and determine the time needed to interact withteachers. In addition, teachers need to use communication recordingsof non-native speakers around the world conducting various activitiessuch as speeches. Students will be motivated in learning English asthe accents will tend to relate on how the pronounce English words. Frequent audio teaching allows instructors to stress on soundpatterns. Most of the students in UACJ have not traveled to U.S orBritain when the English language is dominant. The manner ofpronunciation is important as students’ write a sentence dependingon how the words are pronounced (Jenkins, 2012).
Eclecticapproach has proved effective to many students in high education.Since imitation cannot be applied at high institutions of education,UACJ teachers have to repeat key words while teaching. Repetitionmakes words familiar to students when combined with loudpronunciation. PowerPoint presentation should be used constantly. Newwords when combined with pictures improve the students’ memories.Students are able to learn vocabularies through association.PowerPoint presentation using pictures that students can easilynotice in the environment make Lingua Franca learning interesting.Direct approach enables students to link the words spoken duringwriting. Teachers should not form rules to follow in class. Rulesmake students fear to make mistakes and impended students frombecoming competent in ELF within the set time. Teacher should resultto cognitive approach or silent way. In case a teacher notices astudent has made a mistake in pronunciation, the teacher should spellit correctly without indicating a given student has made a mistake.The class environment and the preparation of a teacher are key tomastery of English language. The teachers should be positive andappreciative to different of levels of understanding among students.Passionate students grasp English with ease. If a student is promisedan international scholarship upon successfully learning English, oneis likely to working with increased devotion compared to otherstudents. The teachers should be highly dedicated in the initialstages, and the task involves numerous translation and pronunciation.In addition, they should be prepared to answers numerous questionsposted by the students. As the students have mastered pronunciationof many words, the teacher will ask students to listen and respondthrough writing. Consequently, the teacher will be able to correctgrammar mistakes in writing and progress to the next level, whichinvolves requesting students to respond to questions throughspeaking.
Teachersshould only select materials that facilitate increased knowledge inEnglish vocabularies and pronunciation (Seidlhofer, 2001). Thematerials include CDs from various leaders who include companies CEOand presidents. High profile leaders’ speeches comprise varietiesof issues such as businesses improvement, thanksgiving and securingenhancement, which provide abundant English words and theirtranslation. In addition, the teachers should access books, journals,and newspapers that are relevant to the ELF.
Balancing Course Objective
SinceEnglish will be an addition subjects in UACJ, it should not interferewith students’ majors. It should be taught mostly in the eveningsto provide ample time for other lessons.
Practical ELF Activities
Studentsshould be groups and asked to discuss a specific issue such aschallenges facing the development of English language in the country.In addition, teachers should request students to write short essaysto aid them speaking and writing skills.
Thespread of English was facilitated by colonization in the past.However, with increased globalization, economic development and theinternet have necessitated English skills. English is a Lingua Francain Mexico where it falls under the expanding circle according toKrachrus’s concentric circle. UACJ institution needs to expandEnglish language to make their graduates more competitive in theemployment market. However, there have been controversies on themethods to employ while teaching English. One objective of the paperwas to plant seeds among teachers and to increase the number ofstudents undertaking English. The methods recommended includecommunication, reading of contexts aloud and providing many practicalactivities to the students. The report aimed to discuss methods ofteaching English in a second language setting by planting seeds ofELF among UACJ teachers. The paper has achieved its target byproviding a precise methodology to use, materials and practicalactivities that include groups discussion and assigning short essaysto students.
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