Savova Presents on Directions in Materials Design at the TESOL Convention

Posted on 4/10/2019 11:30:27 AM

On March 15, Lilia Savova (English Department) presented “Directions in Materials Design: The Local/Global Dichotomy” at the TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo held in Atlanta, Georgia.

This presentation shows that the future of English materials design is complex. The predominantly geographical conceptualization of the spread of English can no longer account for the dynamics of their future role, use, and pedagogy.

An examination of English materials design in the context of global vs. local content might be a better indicator for their future. It addresses globalization as the major, current, socio-political and economic event, where it creates new hybrid forms of the flow and counter-flow of culture, language, and political organization. For example, English flows into other languages, which adopt English words and phrases. But local languages also affect English by creating new second-language hybrid varieties.

First, this presentation introduces the nature and intensity of that flow by showing how professionals and adult users need custom-designed materials that reflect their needs in terms of vocabulary and grammar but also discourse, pragmatics, and translation.

It shows how/why that need is likely to gather momentum in the future. Second, it reveals another factor affecting the future of materials design, that of the need for professional command of English. Here, locally and globally, English and ESL materials are seen as the key to success in the workplace and access to well-paying jobs. Third, it shows how changes in the workplace require a revisiting of ESOL materials design to address higher levels of direct communication within and between work teams, hence a wider range of linguistic abilities and proficiency in a variety of styles and levels of formality enhanced by materials that are research-, corpus-, data-based, thus customized to fit employee needs and foster adult work, professional, and social roles.

Department of English