Teaching English to the World: History, Curriculum, and Practice

Teaching English to the World: History, Curriculum, and Practice

Teaching English to the World: History, Curriculum, and Practice

Teaching English to the World: History, Curriculum, and Practice


Teaching English to the World: History, Curriculum, and Practice is a unique collection of English language teaching (ELT) histories, curricula, and personal narratives from non-native speaker (NNS) English teachers around the world. No other book brings such a range of international ELT professionals together to describe and narrate what they know best.

The book includes chapters from Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Turkey. All chapters follow a consistent pattern, describing first the history of English language teaching in a particular country, then the current ELT curriculum, followed by the biography or the autobiography of an English teacher of that country. This consistency in the structuring of chapters will enable readers to assimilate the information easily while also comparing and contrasting the context of ELT in each country.

The chapter authors--all born in or residents of the countries they represent and speakers of the local language or languages as well as English--provide insider perspectives on the challenges faced by local English language teachers. There is clear evidence that the majority of English teachers worldwide are nonnative speakers (NNS), and there is no doubt that many among them have been taught by indigenous teachers who themselves are nonnative speakers. This book brings the professional knowledge and experience of these teachers and the countries they represent to a mainstream Western audience including faculty, professionals, and graduate students in the field of ESL; to the international TESOL community; and to ELT teachers around the world.


Historical evidence suggests that English was being taught as a second or foreign language as far back as the 15th century. William Caxton, who introduced the printing press to England, may have been the first to produce "course material" for learners of English. His 1483 manual, subtitled Right good lemyng for to lerne shortly frenssh and englyss, is highly pragmatic in aim and content. The manual consists of a set of typical greetings, useful words for household items, servants, short dialogues, and a detailed dialogue on the buying and selling of various kinds of textiles. The second half of the manual consists mainly of vignettes of trades people such as "Agnes our maid," "George the book sellar," and "Martin the grocer." (cited in Howatt, 1984). Surprisingly, little appears to have changed in how such manuals are prepared even today, despite the centuries of experience in teaching English in all corners of the world and the multitude of research that has been conducted to determine which types of texts and which teaching methods are most effective.

During the 16th century, the rise of England as a maritime power and the expansion of the British Empire led to the recognition of English as an important language alongside French, Italian, and Latin, and to a growing interest in learning English. According to Howatt (1984), Gabriel Meurier, a Frenchman who lived in Antwerp, could be the first teacher of English as a foreign language that we know by name. A Treatise for to Learn to Speak French and English authored by Meurier was published in 1553.

In the latter half of the 16th century, about 360,000 refugees from Flanders, France, Italy, and Spain settled in England. Many of these settlers were skilled craftsmen and needed to know English in order to work in their adopted homeland. Ironically, some who taught English to these settlers were themselves refugees or immigrants, and therefore nonnative teachers of English. The best known among them, Jaques Bellot, taught English to the French community in the Lon-

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