International Journal of Applied Linguistics

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Volume 13 Issue 1 (June 2003), Pages 1-157

Toward an appropriate EIL pedagogy: re‐examining common ELT assumptions (pages 1-22)

This article argues that the teaching of English as an international language (EIL) should be based on an entirely different set of assumptions than has typically informed English language teaching (ELT) pedagogy. To begin, several defining features of an international language are described. Because these features have altered the nature of English itself, the author maintains that the pedagogy for teaching English must also change. The author then describes how two developments – a dramatic increase in the number of second language speakers of English and a shift in the cultural basis of English – have significantly altered the nature of English. These changes challenge several common assumptions of ELT pedagogy, namely that: interest in learning of English is largely the result of linguistic imperialism; ELT research and pedagogy should be informed by native speaker models; the cultural content for ELT should be derived from the cultures of native English speakers; the culture of learning that informs communicative language teaching (CLT) provides the most productive method for ELT. The article ends by positing major assumptions that should inform a comprehensive theory of EIL pedagogy.

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