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GLOBAL ISSUES IN LANGUAGE
EDUCATION NEWSLETTER
June 1998 - Issue No. #31 (p.4)

Abstracts of global education articles from language teaching journals

The following abstracts summarize articles on global issue topics
found in professional language teaching journals.

EFL's Othering of Japan

by Bernard Susser (Doshisha Women's Junior College, Japan)

JALT Journal. Vol. 20. No 1. May 1998.

In this article, the author describes a literature survey he carried out of books, articles and research dealing with two particular areas: (1) writings which give advice to foreign teachers about teaching English in Japan, and (2) research on cross-cultural learning styles which contrast Japan and Western cultures. The author argues that published writings in these two areas contain many instances of what scholar Edward Said has called the discourse of "Orientalism" - representing Japan as an exotic "other" through stereotypes, prejudices and over-generalizations that distort the reality of Japanese learning. He urges teachers to be aware of this problem and to be more critical of published descriptions of Japan.


The Value of Maps in the ESL Classroom

by Kory Collier (Brigham Young University, Hawaii)

TESL Reporter. Vol. 31. No 1. April 1998.

In this article, the author argues that maps add an important dimension to the language classroom and that students enjoy language learning activities which involve maps because maps are rooted in something real - the students' surroundings and the wider world. He discusses the versatility of maps, showing how maps can be used to practice language skills, can help students to understand their local community, can build map-using skills and can help to illuminate the setting of a novel, story or other classroom topic. He explains how maps can also enhance self-esteem and motivation when a student finds that a map of his or her country is part of the lesson and that he or she is the in-class expert for that part of the lesson.


Discourse Roles, Gender and Language Textbook Dialogues

by Martha Jones (Nottingham University, UK)

Gender and Education. Vol. 9. No 4. 1997.

This article, subtitled "Who learns what from John and Sally?", focuses on the topic of gender stereotyping in foreign language textbooks. It describes a study the author carried out analyzing male and female discourse roles in dialogues taken from three recent English (EFL) textbooks. The study found an encouraging level of gender fairness in the dialogues examined, and the author discusses whether this fairness was achieved through the creation of gender balance in social and occupational roles. The article discusses the negative implications of gender-imbalanced dialogues for female students and for language practice.


Recentering English: New English and Global English

by Michael Toolan (Birmingham Univ. UK)

English Today. Vol. 13. No. 4. 1997.

This article discusses the continuing spread of English across the globe and describes two new varieties of modern English: the evolving mainstream brand of English used in English-speaking countries ("New English") and the international English used by professionals around the world ("Global English"). The author discusses a number of trends in English usage worldwide including the growing sense of ownership people have about their language, the increasing American influence on English pronunciation, syntax and vocabulary, and the influence on language varieties of increased world travel, global business and technology.


UK Youth Lose Interest in VSO

EL Gazette. No 219. April 1998. UK

This article describes a report which states that applications to the UK organization VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) have fallen by 50%, including for teaching English abroad. The report claims modern young people in the UK are more interested in lining their pockets than in voluntary service overseas. Statistics show that 21% of 12-16 year olds aren't interested in what happens in countries like India or Africa while 55% say they'd like to give money to help developing countries, but "daily life makes them forget". This contrasts with the USA, where Congress has increased funding for the Peace Corps which plans to double its quota of volunteers for the year 2000. VSO Director David Green urged educators to reach out to young people to increase their understanding of the Third World and asked: "Where is the idealism of youth, the energy and enthusiasm to make the world a better place?"


Journals Referred to:
EL Gazette, Dilke House, 1 Malet St., Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7JN UK,
email: elgazette@compuserve.com

English Today. Cambridge University Press. Edinburgh Bldg. Shaftesbury Rd, Cambridge CB2 2RU

Gender and Education, Carfax Publishing, P.O. Box 25, Abingdon, 0X14 3UE, UK.

JALT Journal, JALT, Urban Edge Bldg. 5F, 1-37-9 Taito, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0016 JAPAN

TESL Reporter. Brigham Young University, BYU Box 1964, Laie, HI 96762 USA


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