English as an International Language (EIL) 2012 Lecture

Globalization, Language Use, and the Teaching of English

Presenter: Professor Sandra McKay, San Francisco State University

Introduced by: Professor Farzad Sharifian, Monash University

Globalization is a much used and often loosely-defined term. This paper will begin by considering the various definitions of globalization and examine what these suggest for current language use and language teaching. The author will argue that while English often serves as a lingua franca in the present-day globalized world, this is not always the case. However, when it is used as a lingua franca, it is typically used in cross-cultural exchanges in which cultural frameworks are complex and negotiable.

Given globalization and the complex linguistic landscape it generates, the author explores what this means for English teaching today. What should be the cultural basis of English teaching? What grammatical, pragmatic, and discourse norms should apply? What should be the cultural basis of classroom materials and methodology? These questions will be fully explored in the presentation. In closing, the presenter will argue that the goal of culture learning in English as an international language pedagogy should be to promote a sphere of interculturality (Kramsch, 1998) and an awareness of the hybridity of cultural identity today.

About the presenter:

Professor Sandra McKay is Professor Emeritus of English at San Francisco State University and a Visiting Professor at the University of Hawaii in the Department of Second Language Studies. Her primary interests are macro-sociolinguistics, second language education, and English as an international language. Her books include Teaching English as an International Language: Rethinking Goals and Approaches (2002, Oxford University Press, winner of the Ben Warren International Book Award), Researching Second Language Classrooms (2006, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching (edited with Nancy Hornberger, 2010, Multilingual Matters),International English in Its Sociolinguistic Contexts with Wendy Bokhorst-Heng (2008, Routledge) and Teaching English as an International Language: Principles and Practice (edited with Lubna Alsagoff, Guangwei Hu, and Willy Renandya, 2012, New York: Routledge).

From Monash University

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