Essays Supporting Self-Evaluating Essay:
Tentative Unbound Project Proposal.
I would like to use my explanation of culminating experience to disabuse the perception that the field of ESL/EFL is merely a post-colonial tool with no substantial place in academia. In my unbound project I would use evidence to support Pope’s claim that “in many respects ESL/EFL is the most dynamic and resourceful area of the subject: the space where much of the most innovative work in cross-cultural teaching and learning goes on” (32). I would attempt to demonstrate this notion of a dynamic EFL with direct examples from a classroom, where acculturative praxis is shown to be effective. My studies of EFL methods would be conducted through the scope of acculturation. Lesson plans would be constructed around a notion of cross-cultural communication, and my thesis would state that acculturation is an under-developed skill in EFL methodology, and is of prime importance as something both the instructor and the student undertake together. I would endeavor to describe the importance of lessons that make use of acculturation where L1 (first language) English-speaking societal norms, mores and rules are compared with those of the L2 (second language) English students. If my teaching experience will take place in a multi-cultural setting I will account for this by promoting classroom discussions on inter-ethnic issues. For example, soliciting different student opinions on whether or not English could eventually become a universal, non-culturally sensitive lingua franca. If the classroom I undertake is more homogeneous than I will pose questions to the students on the nature of their particular relation to the language, if they perceive any at all. Above all the project will demonstrate how a culturally sensitive EFL classroom, or a classroom that recognizes and accounts for the cultural aspects of language teaching across boarders, promotes a more salubrious learning environment. I intend to demonstrate this by applying professional methods of instruction and proving how each instructional method was enhanced by attention to culture. For example, in H. Douglas Brown’s text Teaching by Principles he encourages a principled model of teaching. Through practical classroom experience I intend to show how cultural scrutiny will aid these principles. For example the principle of strategic investment or “extent [of a] learner’s own personal investment [in] time, effort, and attention to the second language in the form of an individualized battery of strategies…” (69). I would use my thesis to emboss such efforts by demonstrating how a consideration of culture--how it motivates students, how it affects learning, the importance it puts on English, etc.-- can improve on existing theory and practice.
Works Cited: See Annotated Bibiography.
Brown, Douglas H. Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy.
Lowther, Kevin, and C. Payne Lucas. Keeping Kennedy’s Promise. The Peace Corps: Unmet Hope of the New Frontier. Boulder, Colorado: Westview, 1978.
Pope, Rob. The English Studies Book: An introduction to Language, Literature and Culture.