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Mission in English Language Teaching: Why and Why Not?

  • Anna NiżegorodcewEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter, written for the volume in honor of a colleague in the field of applied linguistics and English Language Teaching (ELT) is to view through personal lenses the “missionary” aspect of ideas and behavior of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers and teacher trainers. The inspiration for this paper has been drawn from Bill Johnston’s (2017). However, while Johnston uses the term mission in a literal religious sense of the word, I am using it more metaphorically, as the imposition of one’s ideas and practices upon one’s colleagues. This chapter is a case study based on a few accounts of encounters with native and non-native ELT professionals, which serve as illustrations of “missionary” approaches in our field. It focuses, firstly, on the perceived “missionary” approaches of ELT activities of the British Council in Poland in the 1990s, secondly, on the inherent “missionary” aspects of an intercultural EFL project carried out by this author in Ukraine and, finally, on a recent cooperative ELT to senior students project, in which we have liberated ourselves from the “missionary” approach.

Keywords

English language teaching Linguistic imperialism Third-age learners Intercultural projects 

References

  1. Canagarajah, S. (1999). Resisting linguistic imperialism in English teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Johnston, B. (2017). English teaching and evangelical mission: The case of Lighthouse School. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  3. Lave, J., & Wenger, F. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Niżegorodcew, A. (1995). The communicative approach in the polish context: Strengths and weaknesses. In I. Przemecka & Z. Mazur (Eds.), Studies in English and American literature and language (pp. 271–278). Kraków: Universitas.Google Scholar
  5. Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Wenger, F. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland

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