Exercising Eco-Linguistic Approach in Teaching English: Proposed Conventions for TESOL/TEFL Pedagogy

Dr. Elena Shelestyuk, Chelyabinsk State University, Russia


The linguistic ecology approach to teaching a language entails the preservation of linguistic and cultural diversity. To be legitimized as an international auxiliary language (IAL) for world communication, English should be taught with the view to protecting host cultures, distinguishing them from others. Diversity will ensure a culturally rich while united world. Thence come our proposed conventions. 1) We opt for rational language pedagogy: learning rules, doing exercises, retelling, creating texts. Immersion, influence on the unconscious through images, fascination, "stunning", should be moderate; immersion is more welcome with the first/native language to create a firm cultural identity and immunity to foreignization. 2) Foreign language curricula should primarily focus on host culture, history, values, and serve a host nation’s needs, then - represent world history, cultural heritage, modernity and future. The optimal ratio is: host culture issues – 40-45%, global issues – 40-45%, English culture issues – 10-20%. 3) There should be no excessive English-culture realia and personalia branding (singers, actors, writers, etc.). Realia and personalia – real and fictitious – should be used in the same ratio as above. 4) Political correctness and tolerance should be observed in textbooks, especially concerning other-than-English cultural facts, histories, personalities. Selection of topics, facts and characters representation, statements should be unbiased. 5) Moral and ideological inferences should be traditional, values – time-honoured. 6) Intercultural comparing and interpretation should be made standard practice, a first/native language should be equal metalanguage of explanation. 7) It is advisable to write and publish English textbooks by host culture's domestic authors, albeit with the use of foreign consultants and methodologies.

Keywords: Eco-linguistics, Linguistic Ecology, Language Pedagogy, World English, TEFL, TESOL

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