Speaker: Prof. Chiou-lan Chern
Professor of English at Taiwan Normal University
Date: Monday 14 January 2019
Venue: E33-G021, Tin Ka Ping Lecture Hall, Faculty of Education
Title: English as a Lingua Franca: Perceptions of Preservice English Teachers
English is not just a required course in primary and secondary schools in many EFL contexts, it is also a tool for communication, a lingua franca, among speakers of various language backgrounds. Therefore, teacher training programs in universities need to prepare future teachers to effectively teach English for communication and make students aware of the role of English in the 21st century. In order to understand pre-service English teachers’ perspectives of English as a lingua franca (ELF), a survey was conducted among university students who were training to become English teachers in an EFL setting. The Likert-based survey explored the participants’ perceptions of the status of English as a lingua franca, with a focus on the extent to which a particular variety of English should be emphasized in the classroom, the role of English in communication, as well as language and culture. The results of the survey showed that participants differed in their perceptions of the role of native speakers, including having them as role models, sounding like them, and the importance of being exposed to a variety of Englishes. In general, intern English teachers tended to have higher expectations for being native-like; English minors, however, were more liberal and showed less reliance on a native speaker model. Possible reasons for these differences as well as their pedagogical implications will be discussed.
Keywords: English as a lingua franca, teacher training, pre-service teachers’ beliefs and attitudes