Thursday, January 5, 2012

Guidelines for being good "Outer Circle" English speakers (and doing HICP with them!)

Here is a handout from a 2009 TESOL-France Plenary by Ur In it is a very interesting set of guidelines for Outer Circle English users which raises a number of issues for HICP/EHIEP work. It is, I think, in some sense, rather "cutting edge" (but also, possibly rather "outer edge" as well!) The bracketed comments are mine. Here they are in abbreviated form:
Clip art: Clker
" . . . Aim to
[1]  . . . be 'English-knowing bilinguals,' [rather than true balanced dual-language "native speakers"]
[2] . . . learn internationally acceptable English rather than a particular native variety [She probably means something approximating what is now termed, English as a lingua franca.]
[3] . . . try not to think in English . . . [God forbid you should actually think like an Englishman or American!]
[4] . . . accept that we are native speakers of our own language, and use it, where appropriate, to help us learn English better (compare, translate etc.)" [I like that one, where appropriate, of course.]

I could do a blog post on any of those but one overriding issue emerges. Given that framework, what conceivable model (verbal and nonverbal) would be acceptable for use in the classroom? The video-based program of EHIEP, which teaches everything through haptic video, uses a great looking model (yours truly!) to train learners and instructors in how to learn and anchor (and provide corrective feedback in class for) vowels, stress, rhythm and intonation.

The pedagogical movement patterns (PMP) have been developed to be as "internationally acceptable," as humanly and critically pedagogical as  possible--but the basic "felt sense" of the sounds presented and facial expression on the video are still undeniably "Inner Circle-ish." Apparently, however,  as long as learners consistently try to not think in Englishwe should be ok.  Now that I think of it, that may be the case with the system already, in fact. (Only in the Don't think! Just do it! sense, of course!) I'll have to think about that, too,  and get back to you . . . 

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