English as an International Language in Asia: Implications for language education
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The privileged position of English throughout the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has given rise to two interrelated issues. The first issue concerns the implications of the increasing roles of English within ASEAN for the teaching of English. The second issue concerns the implications of the increased teaching and learning of English for the teaching, learning and maintenance of local languages, many of which are classified as endangered. A major reason for this is the regional focus on teaching the respective national language and English at the expense of local languages. It is argued that the current moves to introduce English earlier and earlier into the primary curriculum are likely to be inimical, not only to the maintenance of local languages, but also, paradoxically, to the development of English proficiency itself. A possible solution involving the later introduction of English into the curriculum together with the adoption of a “lingua franca approach” to English language teaching is presented.
KeywordsLocal Language Mother Tongue National Language English Language Teaching Intercultural Competence
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