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By Julian Edge

A global crew of authors talk about the consequences for TESOL pros of the notion that English is once more turning into an imperial language.

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(Re-)Locating TESOL in an Age of Empire

A global workforce of authors speak about the consequences for TESOL execs of the notion that English is once more turning into an imperial language.

Uploader liberate Notes:
HQ PDF, contains OCR & bookmarks

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Instead of using the process of globalization merely to re-center the textbook industry, as is happening now, what needs to be done is to de-center it so that the periphery ELT community which is knowledgeable about local needs, wants and situations can legitimately enjoy a meaningful sense of authorial ownership and professional contribution. Similarly, any serious commitment to relocate TESOL methods would demand a move beyond the centralized concept of method and towards the localized concept of postmethod.

Yet we have to recognize, equally, that transfer of crude categories to settings where such simplification is inappropriate leads us at best to caricature, and at worst to racism, bullying and confusion. Recognizing when we need complex categories and when we need not waste time on inappropriate detail is one of the signs of a capacity for serious thinking. Crossing cultures, both in time and space, forces us to recognize the limitations of the stereotypes which we inherit and rightly tolerate in our repertoires of schemata.

There is, of course, nothing inherent in any language that makes it colonial. A language takes on colonial coloration when it is used as a tool to serve the cause of empire. The history of English language and English language teaching (ELT) shows that its colonial coloration has four interrelated dimensions – scholastic, linguistic, cultural, and economic (see Kumaravadivelu, 2003b for details). Briefly, the scholastic dimension of English relates to the ways in which Western scholars have furthered their own vested interests by disseminating Western knowledge and by denigrating local knowledge.

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