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|Title:||From system to spirit: a personal story of changing priorities in teaching English as an additional language|
|Citation:||TESOL in ContexT, 2008; 17(2):29-37|
|Publisher:||Australian Council of T E S O L Associations (A C T A)|
|Abstract:||The social contexts of teaching English as an Additional Language (EAL) have changed radically over the last ten years. In local contexts, EAL teachers have been involved in the experiences of increasing numbers of students with very different personal histories, language proficiencies and learning needs. Globally, the unprecedented spread of English has resulted in the growth of diverse Englishes with a wide variety of ‘inaccurate’ linguistic forms. In order to raise some questions about the role of the EAL teacher in these changing times, in this article I have used an autobiographical narrative methodology to show how I have reversed my own local teaching priorities as I have engaged with the changing global demands of English. By reflecting on my own life story, I first show why I began by focussing my teaching on ‘correct’ English. Then, gradually, as a result of reading and reflecting, I came to give priority to students’ ability to negotiate meaning, and to make positive, ‘connecting’ and fulfilling interpersonal relationships in English. By telling my story I hope to offer other EAL teachers a technique for exploring their own lives as a basis for their professional understandings and practices.|
|Appears in Collections:||Centre for Learning and Professional Development publications|
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