Teaching English to Young Learners: The Influence of Global and Local Factors Yuko Goto Butler University of Pennsylvania January 6, 2008 Bangalore, India Why examining different cases? Points of today’s talk Both global and local factors influence the implementation of English language education at primary schools (ELPS), and they do so in complicated ways. Examples of three different types of challenges can be seen in the East Asian region. Introduction Language in education policies are embedded in global contexts Language in education policies Introduction Embedded in global contexts Global contexts Commonalities Language in education policies Diversities Diverse needs Language choices, ELT methods, etc. Technologies Changes in communication, access, etc. Introduction …but they are also embedded in local contexts Global contexts Local contexts Commonalities Language in education policies Diversities Diverse needs Language choice, ELT methods, etc. Technologies Changes in communication, access, etc. Introduction Direct and indirect procedures at the local level Indirect Procedures Direct Procedures in Educational Systems English at secondary schools and beyond English at primary schools Cooper (1988) Introduction Layers of global and local factors lead to complicated influences on ELPS Challenges seen in East Asia Accounting for diversity while providing equal access Hiring Native English speaking teachers versus training local teachers Adopting popular ELT methods and adapting them to local contexts Challenge 1: Accounting for diversity while providing equal access Challenge 1 The role of English for students in East Asia Taipei, 2004 Challenge 1 The two roles of learning English in East Asia Local English as a barometer of academic achievement English as a communication tool Securing equal access to English education Growing diversity and dealing with diverse needs Global Challenge 1 Different approaches for granting local autonomy within each region South Korea Taiwan Japan Lesser autonomy Highly uniform implementation Greater autonomy School or local governmental choice Challenge 1 ELPS in Korea, Taiwan, and Japan Korea Government oversight Taiwan Japan Based on local choice 2002 Strong central General gov. initiative guidelines 2001 Date of 1997 implementation Teachers Primarily Various types homeroom of teachers teachers, local teachers of Eng. Uniformed approved textbooks Multiple approved textbooks Primarily homeroom teachers Material No textbooks provided Challenge 1 Increasing expectations from parents The private sector English-only and bilingual kindergartens Gaps in access by parental SES and by region Achievement gaps Challenge 1 Attempts to minimize differences in access English villages in South Korea “Creating Global Koreans!” Challenge 1 The two roles of learning English in East Asia Local Private sector English as a barometer of academic achievement Securing equal access to English education ELPS Policies English as a communication tool Global Growing diversity and dealing with diverse needs Challenge 2: Hiring native English speaking (NS) teachers and training local teachers Personnel policies Challenge 2 Global and local issues related to Personnel Policy Global •Oral communicative skills are highly valued •Belief that NSs are the ideal language teachers Local •Many teachers are not language teaching specialists Low confidence Belief in the notion that NSs are the ideal English teachers at primary schools 0% Korean teachers (N=204) Taiwanese teachers (N=206) 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Japanese teachers (N=112) Korean parents (N=292) Taiwanese parents (N=231) Strongly disagree Moderately disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Moderately agree Strongly agree No response Groups (Butler, 2005) Perceptions related to this belief among Japanese teachers Variable Perceived current proficiency Desired proficiency Admiration towards the English language and English speakers B -.46 -.11 -.06 SE B .13 .18 .14 β -.33** -.06 -.04 Support for the early introduction of English Merit of learning English for Japanese students Pride in their own language and culture Concerns regarding the spread of English -.21 -.09 .50 -.03 .16 .17 .18 .11 -.13 -.06 .25** -.03 Negative attitudes towards non-standard English Support for instruction through the medium of English only Short-term goals .53 .12 -.13 .13 .09 .14 .36** .11 -.09 Long-term goals Note: * p < .05, ** p < .01, N = 112 .01 .15 .01 (Butler, 2007) Teachers’ low confidence in their English proficiencies Based on FLOSEM Korea (N = 204) 6 Challenge 2 Japan (N = 112) 6 Self-assessed current level 6 Self-assessed current level Taiwan (N = 206) Self-assessed current level 5 4 3 2 1 1 2 3 4 5 Desired level 6 5 4 3 2 1 1 2 3 4 5 Desired level 6 5 4 3 2 1 1 2 3 4 Desired level 5 6 91.1% Homeroom teachers 85.3% English special teachers 80.1% Source: Butler (2004) Large perceptional gaps in productive skills (oral grammar in particular) Korea (N = 204) Listening 6 Writing Based on FLOSEM Japan (N = 112) Taiwan (N = 206) 4 2 0 Oral fluency Writing Oral vocabulary Reading Oral Grammar Listening 6 4 2 0 Oral fluency Writing Listening 6 4 2 0 Reading Oral fluency Reading Pronunciation Oral vocabulary Pronunciation Oral grammar Oral grammar Oral vocabulary Pronunciation Current level Desired level Source: Butler (2004) Challenge 2 Global and local issues related to Personnel Policy Global •Oral communicative skills are highly valued •Belief that NSs are the ideal language teachers Recruiting NSs Local •Many teachers are not language teaching specialists Low confidence Training local teachers Different approaches towards personnel policies Korea Form of ELPS Mandatory academic subject Minimum of 120 hours offered by the government Taiwan Mandatory academic subject Various types of training offered by local governments and private institutions Gradually increasing but still limited, some are sent to rural areas English Educational Military Substitutes (EEMSs) Japan Challenge 2 Part of “international understanding” Some training offered by local governments and private institutions, but not mandatory Aggressively recruited locally Training local teachers Recruiting NSs Gradually increasing but still limited Others involved in ELPS Community members and parents co-teach at some schools Challenge 2 Global and local issues related to personnel Policy Global Recruiting NSs • Limited number of potential NSs are available English divide among nations • Do qualifications vary? Role of NEs? Local Training local teachers •Limited time and resources for training •Regional gaps in teacher quality Who teaches? Financial availability What qualifications are necessary in order to sufficiently teach English at primary schools? Goals of ELPS? Challenge 3: Adopting popular ELT methods and adapting them to local contexts Challenge 3 ELT methods and local adaptations Global •What is considered as “good communication”? •Certain types of ELT methods have gained in popularity (CLT, taskbased instruction, etc.) •Related concepts have been promoted among teachers (student-centered teaching, authentic materials, activities, etc.) Local •Structural factors •Conceptual factors •Linguistic factors Reinterpretations and adaptations are necessary Challenge 3 Student-centered teaching in crowded classrooms “Good” classroom management Challenge 3 Authentic materials? Authentic for whom? Challenge 3 Oral focused activities in English classes In societies where literacy is heavily valued What are teachers’ concerns towards implementing communicative activities? Multivocal ethnography (Clifford, 1983; Tobin, Wu, & Davidson, 1989) Challenge 3 Observer (the researcher) Insiders (e.g., teachers who participated in the activities) Outsiders (e.g., teachers who observed the activities) Obtain perspectives about the activities Obtain perspectives from different cultures Challenge 3 Method: Butler (2005) 24 activity clips drawn from the three countries being studied (20 minutes for each country) 22 Korean teachers, 44 Taiwanese teachers, and 46 Japanese teachers (Outsiders) watched these video clips and discussed various issues regarding pedagogy in small groups Approximately 2 hours Visual texts (video-taped activities) An object to be interpreted A tool to elicit teachers’ perspectives Challenge 3 Theoretical framework (Butler, 2005): Activity theory Activities: Goal-directed actions in a collective activity system that are motivated by one’s biological and/or cultural needs and which are realized under certain conditions through mediated means such as language (Lantolf, 2000: 8) Activity theory predicts that even if teachers introduce the same activity and the students appear to exhibit the same observable behaviors, students may be engaging in different “activities” depending upon the motives and goals that their teachers establish for such activities. Challenge 3 Results (Butler, 2005) Major concerns among teachers included: 1. Defining the motives and goals that drive communicative activities 2. Identifying developmentally appropriate mediational means 3. Situating activities in a specific local context Challenge 3 Results (Butler, 2005) Major concerns among teachers included: 1. Defining the motives and goals that drive communicative activities 2. Identifying developmentally appropriate mediational means 3. Situating activities in a specific local context There is substantial diversity in the ways that teachers set the goals for their activities Challenge 3 Role playing activities in two classrooms Case 1: Mr. Suzuki in Japan Case 2: Ms. Wong in Taiwan Challenge 3 Role playing case 1: Modeling by teachers, prescriptive Mr. Suzuki: Mr. Jones: Mr. Suzuki: Mr. Jones: Mr. Suzuki Mr. Jones: Mr. Suzuki: Mr. Jones: Mr. Suzuki: Mr. Jones: Mr. Suzuki: Mr. Jones: Hello! (Waving his hand lightly at Mr. Jones) Hello! Nice to meet you. Nice to meet you. (They shake hands) Where are you from? I am from… (Pointing at the flag that was hanging from his neck) Argentina. Oh, Argentina? Where is Argentina? (Pointing to Argentina on a map) Here is Argentina. Where are you from? I am from Germany. Oh, Germany? Where is Germany? (Pointing to Germany on the same map) Germany is here. I see. Thank you. See you. See you. Challenge 3 Role playing case 1: Modeling by teachers, prescriptive Positive comments Team-teaching with NSs Modeling if the focus of the modeling is language Negative comments Inflexibility and unauthentic nature of the activity But which aspects of English should be the focus of modeling? (expressions, attitudes, experiences in communicating in a foreign language, international understanding?) Role playing case 2: Open ended Girl 1: Wow! Look! New store! It’s so cool. Let’s look! (Walking toward the center of the classroom) Girl 1: It’s a hat. It’s so cool… I like the red one. Girl 1: Excuse me. (Approaching the shop owner) Can I try? Girl 1: (Picking up a red hat) Wow, it’s so cool. How much is it? Shop owner: Two hundred dollars. Girl 1: Thank you Role playing case 2: Open ended Positive comments Authenticity (e.g., using real clothes) Focus is placed on “having the experience of communication” To what extent did socially constructed learning actually occur? Negative comments Need more teacher control (e.g., concern about fossilization) The students who receive private lessons tend to dominate activities Fear of not being able to provide the students with “accurate input” “I hesitate to create an openended situation. I don’t know how to say things correctly in English when I am asked by my students!” Challenge 3 Conclusions from Butler (2005) The teachers in the study commonly addressed the difficulty employing “communicative activities” as suggested by their governments. The teachers were not sure why they employed “communicative activities,” and wondered to what extent such activities were effective. There is substantial diversity in the ways that teachers set the goals for their activities Students engage in different “activities”. Depends in part on what is considered to be the central focus of “teaching for communication” in a given contexts. Challenge 3 ELT methods and local adaptations Global •What is considered as “good communication”? •Certain types of ELT methods have gained popularity (CLT, taskbased instruction, etc.) •Related concepts have been promoted to teachers (student-centered teaching, activities, authentic materials, etc.) Local •Structural factors •Conceptual factors •Linguistic factors Reinterpretations and adaptations are necessary Considerations at multilayered, local levels Conclusions of today’s talk Global and local factors both influence the implementation of English language education at primary schools (ELPS) in complicated ways. Examples of three challenges seen in East Asia demonstrate the ways in which these interact Thank you for listening! References Butler, Y. G. (2004). What level of English proficiency do elementary school teachers need to attain in order to teach EFL?: Case studies from Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. TESOL Quarterly, 38(2), 245-278. Butler, Y. G. (2005). Comparative perspectives towards communicative activities among elementary school teachers in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Language Teaching Research, 9(4), 423-446. Butler, Y. G. (2005). English in elementary schools: Current English language education policies in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. The Journal of Teaching for Young Learners of English, 1, 49-73. Butler, Y. G. (2007). Factors associated with the notion that native speakers are the ideal language teachers: An examination of elementary school teachers in Japan. JALT Journal, 29(1), 7-40. Butler, Y. G. (2007). Foreign language education at elementary schools in Japan: Searching for solutions amidst growing diversification. Current Issues in Language Planning, 8(2), 129-147. Butler, Y. G. (in press). How are non-native English speaking teachers perceived by young learners? Manuscript appearing in TESOL Quarterly. Butler, Y. G., & Iino, M. (2005). Current Japanese reforms in English language education: The 2003 “Action Plan.” Language Policy, 4(1), 25-45. Butler, Y. G., & Lee, J. (2006). On-task versus off-task self-assessment among Korean elementary school students studying English. The Modern Language Journal, 90(4), 506-518.
Pages to are hidden for
"Teaching English to Young Learners The Case for Considering"Please download to view full document