Different Context of Teaching English in the World today, and Reasons for Learning English
At the end of this 2x50 minute session, the students are expected to have in- depth understanding of: • different contexts of teaching English in the world today, particularly in the context of teaching English in Indonesia, and • reasons for learning English as a foreign language
Teaching English as L1 or first language or native language or mother tongue (TEMT or TEL 1) • Teaching English as a second language (TESL) • Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) • Teaching English as an international language (TEIL) • Teaching English for speakers of other languages (TESOL) • Teaching English as a foreign language in Indonesia (TEFLIN)
This term is used to indicate that a person has acquired English in infancy and early childhood (hence ‘first’ or ‘native’) and generally within the family (hence ‘mother tongue’). English is taught to the native speakers of English, as their national language, like in Great Britain, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
As a second language, English is not a native language in a country, but which is widely used as a medium of communication alongside another language or languages in that country, like in Singapore, Fiji, and Nigeria. English usually has an official status or a recognized function within the country. It is the language of official institution- of law, courts, local and central government- and of education. It is needed for full participation in the political and economic life of the nation, or it may be needed for education. It is the language of the mass media (newspapers, radio and television are largely English mass media).
As a foreign language, English is not a native language nor as a second language in a country, which is taught as a school subject , often widely, but it does not serve as a medium of instruction in schools nor as a language of communication within a country ( in government, business, or industries). English is described as a foreign language in countries, like China, France, Indonesia, and Japan. The students learn it so that they can use it when traveling or to communicate with other people, from whatever country, who also speak English.
. Teaching English for wider communication within a country and among peoples of the world particularly for educational, commercial and political purposes is often referred to as Teaching English as an International Language. As a language of international communication, English is the most widely used international language, especially with the internet.
To cater the meanings – EFL, ESL, and EIL, we use the term English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), that is by looking at the way EFL students use English in a global context, especially with the internet, we should consider that they are in fact living in a virtual global target-language community and so might be thought as ESL students instead! • Emigrant students from different nations with different native language pursuing their studies in a country where English is native are taught English to be able to operate successfully within that community, and the teaching is described as Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages.
Referring to language policy and language teaching in Indonesia, English is, by status, taught as a foreign language. The language policy in Indonesia groups language into three according to their status, namely (1) national language (Bahasa Indonesia), (2) indigenous or local languages (BahasaBugis, BahasaJawa, Bahasa Makassar, and hundreds more, only a few to mention), and (3) foreign languages ( apart from Bahasa Indonesia and all indigenous languages in Indonesia, they are all foreign languages for Indonesian people, for example, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Dutch, and English). Thus, in language teaching context in Indonesia, we have - teaching Bahasa Indonesia as a national language and as a unifying force, teaching local languages as cultural pride, and teaching foreign languages for other different purposes. Based on this language teaching policy, any language teaching but the teaching of Bahasa Indonesia and of local languages, will be recognized as a foreign language teaching. Therefore, the teaching of English in Indonesia is recognized and described as teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), NOT as a second language, though by acquisition, English may be a second language for students. • From now on, the term EFL (English as a foreign language) will be used to modify such terms as EFL teachers, EFL students, EFL materials, EFL curriculum, and EFL classroom, in Indonesian context.
School Curriculum • English for General Purposes (EGP) • English for Specific/Special Purposes (ESP) • Advancement/Promotion • Reputation • To kill the Time • Target-Language Community
In Indonesia, English is a school subject in secondary schools. The teaching of English is imperative, and English is one of the subjects tested nationally. The students have to study the language because it is a compulsory subject that they must pass successfully to complete their study.
Many people learn English because they believe it will be useful for international communication and travel. For this purpose, they learn English because they want to be able to use it (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) effectively for wherever and whenever this might be useful for them.
Many people learn English for specific/special purposes, for example, English for tourism, English for banking, English for nursing, English for business; • Many others learn English for Occupational Purposes (EOP), for example, English for Air Traffic Controllers, English for Airline Pilots, English for Secretaries, English for Hotel Staff, English for Waiters, and English for Telephonists; • Still many others learn English for Academic purposes (EAP) in order to study at an English –speaking university or college, or because they need to access English language academic texts, or they need to write or present article in international level; or they need to pursue on certain discipline or science – English for Science and Technology (EST).
Many people are serious to learn English for their advancement or promotion in their career because the institution in which they work put English as a requirement to get a higher/better position.
An expert who is able to disseminate his ideas, concepts, research findings in English (international level) is considered to be more prestigious than the one who can only do it in local level. Fluency and accuracy in speaking English particularly in Indonesian context seems to be a symbol for labeling the educated elite in Indonesia.
To certain people, being busy becomes a parameter of leading a meaningful life. Even, many people feel rather meaningless if they have ample spare time. This ample spare time is used with activities such as learning English, either seriously or just to have a passing acquaintance with somebody or something, or to experience a new situation. They learn English to kill the time.
Many people learn English because they do not have any other choices that is they live in the target-language community where no other languages but English is used. A target language community is a country where English is the national language – e.g. Great Britain, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
Tell the class • your reasons for learning English, and • your most impressive learning English experience.