Teaching Spoken English A Literature Review Assessment Task 1 - Expert Assignment Help
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Teaching Spoken English A Literature Review Assessment Task 1 - Expert Assignment Help


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The aim of this assignment is to synthesize your early reading with your own experience in order to focus on key aspects of teaching spoken language.


With the wide acceptance of the English language on a global scale, teaching English as an L2 language has become a challenge for teachers, the main reason for which is cited as the necessity to cultivate the skills required to 'analyse and understand learner needs, learner motivation, and learner autonomy' (Kumaravadivelu, 2012, p 37). The given articles explore the presence of English as a second language and show how the difficulties faced by learners can be eased up if the teachers can exploit the chance of utilising the “most useful resource” that the learners bring to the classroom, i.e. their first or native language (Kumaravadivelu, p 250). As a TESOL teacher, I have chosen these ten articles for review because they have tried to reiterate the significance of English as a lingua franca in classroom learning (Jenkins, p 486). These articles prove how the acceptance of the pedagogical implications of research in ELF interactions (Murray, p 318) as well as the macro strategies required for language teaching in a vernacular atmosphere (Kumaravadivelu, 2003, p 23) enable better application of teaching and learning methodologies in TESOL classrooms. 

English Learning in Australia

Since Australia was a colonial territory, the post-colonial era marked a new beginning for language learners because English is now being taught as a second or additional language (EAL) in many countries across the world, leading to a present count of more than two billion learners of English worldwide (Leung and Street, p 1). With such a large learner base, it is extremely important to understand why students are interested in learning English, i.e. their desire behind the acquisition of this language (Motha and Lin, p 331). While teaching in TESOL classrooms, I was able to enumerate the various aspects that influence the desire for learning English in non-native students. These ranged from the attainment of self-identity in cosmopolitans through English, seeking to become a part of the sophisticated workforce and other global capitalism goals (Motha and Lin, p 348). Besides the desire for learning, the age and gender of learners were also important, but here I could recall Edge's statement that the 'overall culture in which we live' should be the only consideration and elements such as sexism should be avoided (Edge, p 48). Hence I chose to adopt a multilingual perspective towards English instead of a monolingual one and tried to weigh values, emotions and subject positions more in second language learning than expression, interpretation, and negotiation of referential meanings in a monolingual environment (Kramsch, p 190). Because the students came from a variety of backgrounds in the TESOL classes, it was only logical that I, as a teacher, should enable them to understand language in relation to culture and, in turn, myself be able to relate complex theoretical, methodological, empirical and institutional histories to linguistic anthropology (Hornberger and McKay, p 457). This was when I encouraged myself, and my other colleagues decided to refer to the notion of “thick description” presented by Holliday. As per this concept,  a fresh look and sociological perspective are required in learning English as an L2. This perception should be free from the baggage of 'bracketing' and 'making the familiar strange', as this positivist neo-essentialism will lead to the opening up of newer cultural avenues and possibilities (Holliday, p 28).


Curriculum: A Perspective

Researchers like Leung and Street have stressed the multifaceted manifestations of the English language in classroom and curriculum contexts (Leung and Street, p3). The teacher should comprehend how intrinsic motivation is the key factor towards students learning and faring better in language classrooms (Kumaravadivelu, 2012, p 48). ELT teachers must realise how cross-cultural pragmatics tends to obscure the common sociological and community interactions that transcend borders (Hornberger and McKay, p 469). If this is not accomplished, it may lead to a similar cultural prejudice that happened in the centre-west, which resulted in many cases of unaware intercultural misunderstanding in the eChina program (Holliday, p 36). Hence, immediate actions are required to build a line of distinction between students' desires and teacher authority in order to create awareness about the notion of non-coercion (Motha and Lin p 346). While distinguishing 'thick' and 'thin' descriptions, a teacher also has to grasp that in a face to face communication, the chances of being misinterpreted are greatly reduced (Holliday, p 30). During my teaching experiments, I was also reminded about the difficulties faced by English learners in essay writing due to their lack of speaking English because it was quite evident that if the learners have never spoken upon a subject, they will not be able to write on it (Kramsch, p196). Similarly, vocabulary, discourse and grammar go hand in hand with written and spoken texts as they are all parts of semantic and lexical language learning (Leung and Street, p 4). The best-suggested method would be to combining translation and transcription as suggested by Kumaravadivelu. This method should be used by the teacher or the bilingual assistant to explain complex ideas in the learners' mother tongue. This will facilitate speedy and accurate learning of English as a second language (Kumaravadivelu, 2003).  An emphasis on the importance of the value of repetition and the value of silences in teaching English as a foreign language is also recommended (Kramsch, p 209). 

English in a Multicultural Classroom

Recalling the challenges faced by teachers in a multicultural and a multilingual classroom, I would not hesitate to call it a ‘risky undertaking’ (Hornberger and McKay, p 479), but I also feel that a multicultural classroom offers an artistic and critical resource for the whole class as there is a variance of readings by different participants (Hornberger and McKay, p 33). Commenting on the typical 'global' ELT coursebooks, I agree with Jenkins, who states that books like Headway and Oxford English Grammar Course serve as classroom simulations helping non-native learners to become aware of other Englishes than the native British or American English. Thus, they understand that alternative forms of English are not an impediment to learning the language (Jenkins, 487). I would also go ahead and point out that the emergence of databases such as the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English (VOICE), the Asian Corpus of English (ACE), and the Helsinki ELFA Corpus is a beacon of hope for ELF learners as they concentrate on all aspects of the language and encourage the notion of ‘global Englishes’ in coursebooks, curricula and classroom practice (Murray, p 319). Herein, I would like to elucidate the difference between the two terms – acquisition and learning. Acquisition of language is mostly used for L1, and as such, it has already been completed in childhood; but learning happens in the classroom when the pupil desires to absorb a new language, i.e. L2 (Edge, p 57). We must accept the fact that the landscape of Australian and worldwide classrooms have changed due to migrations, the internet, the global economy and other global means of communication affecting discussions related to cultural, political, and ideological issues of language (Kramsch, p 190, 192).

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