On Saturday, October 30, 2010, IUP’s Dr. Gloria Park, Department of English, served as the keynote speaker at Three Rivers TESOL, hosted this year at Clarion University.
The title of Dr. Park’s keynote workshop was “Pedagogical Content and Learner Knowledge in World Englishes: A Critical Call for Raising our Awareness and Enacting Change.”
With globalization and internationalizing influencing the ways in which the fields of TESOL, Applied Linguistics, and Composition explore what we do as teacher-scholars, there is an urgent need to examine and reconfigure how the English language is perceived, learned, and taught in the academy. For instance, one area to explore is to understand how issues connected to world Englishes help both teacher-scholars and their students to (re)conceptualize what we teach and how we teach English as an international language, problematizing the issues related to "standard English" and "NES/NNES dichotomy." Another area to explore is the notion of "best practices,” and how this construct often overlooks the specific needs of our students’ educational goals and the contexts in which they learn and use the English language. Hence, “best practices” should take into consideration the many varieties of English spoken by our students in their particular contexts. As such, there is a critical need to raise our awareness about alternative pedagogies that are practical, particular, and possible for multilingual students all over the world. Let’s continue to remind ourselves as advocates of our students to deconstruct these notions of "one-size fits all" approach to teaching and see English as a “standardized,” not “standard,” language, taking into consideration multiple varieties of Englishes that can equally be standardized.
With this as a brief overview, this interactive workshop will begin with reflecting on what world Englishes is and how we are all affected by this call for a sociocultural and sociopolitical curricular change. Second, we will look at some world Englishes literature to ground our argument for promoting the use of world Englishes in Inner, Outer, and Expanding Circle countries. I conclude this talk with some pedagogical suggestions and implications for embracing world Englishes in our teaching and scholarship.
For more information on the Three Rivers TESOL conference, please visit the the Three Rivers TESOL website.