Construct Shift of Pre-Service Language Teachers on Globalized English within a Turkish Context

By Ozkan, Yonca | The Qualitative Report, January 2017 | Go to article overview

Construct Shift of Pre-Service Language Teachers on Globalized English within a Turkish Context


Ozkan, Yonca, The Qualitative Report


The leading position of English as a global language has indisputably continued for several decades. This pivotal role has inevitably been influencing English language teaching and teacher education. The number of nonnative English speaking teachers has by far surpassed that of native English speaking teachers. This reality has led us to conduct this particular descriptive study involving Turkish senior pre-service language teachers acting as participants in a training as part of a course (Globalization in ELT), in which we investigated the participants' perceptions towards globalized English regarding common themes in the journal and interview data. The findings revealed that although the majority of participants supported superiority of nativeness and inner circle culture prior to delivery of the course, following the training, their perceptions regarding pre- and post-training constructs displayed a rather different picture. The study has implications for teacher education involving material developers, curriculum designers, instructors, and students. Keywords: Global English, Native/Nonnative English Language Teachers, Pre-service Language Teacher Education, Perception, Construct, and Mixed Methods Sequential Explanatory Study

The global spread of English throughout the world has had a major influence on business, education, and technology. English has become the lingua franca, or a universal language, and is now the language for most international communication (Bhatt, 2001). Today, it is either the official or the second language used in over fifty countries (Crystal, 1997). Although there are so many English speakers sharing this common language, English is becoming increasingly diversified in nature due to the influence it is exposed to concerning multiple linguistic and cultural variations, accents, idioms, and vernacular. This phenomenon has led to English gaining a status dubbed as "World Englishes" (WEs), for which Kachru (1996) offers three territories where language is used: The Inner Circle, the Outer Circle, and the Expanding Circle. In the Inner Circle, English is used as the first language; in the Outer Circle, it is used by mostly colonized countries as a second or official language, and in the Expanding Circle, it is highly utilized as a foreign language in the rest of the world, albeit with a cross-nation status as a medium of communication regarding education, business, and technology. As for education, particularly English language education, we see a continuously increasing number of nonnative English speaking teachers (NNESTs) functioning in both the outer and expanding circles. This number has by far already surpassed that of native English speaking teachers (NESTs; Canagarajah, 1999; Crystal, 1997; Kachru, 2001; Matsuda & Matsuda, 2001). Despite the pioneering work of the Medgyes (1992, 1994), it took almost a decade for researchers to focus on NNESTs. These studies centred mostly on self-perceptions of NNESTs and student perceptions' of NNESTs.

According to several researchers (e.g., Amin, 2000; Braine, 1999), native English speakers (NES) are more likely to be hired to teach ESL/EFL even without any specific teaching qualifications compared to qualified nonnative English speakers (NNES). Some researchers have discussed this issue of nativeness as the native speaker fallacy and argue that merely being a native speaker of a language is not a guarantee that a person will be successful in teaching his or her own native language (Canagarajah, 1999; Medgyes, 1994, 1999). Maum (2002) also argues that most of the intrinsic knowledge that a NES brings into the ESL/EFL classroom can also be learned by NNESTs through specific teacher training. However, it is generally believed that NESTs have more advantages teaching L2 learners than NNESTs (Liu, 1999). There is even a common belief that for NNESTs to become qualified they need to improve their language skills to compete with those of native speakers, yet they also need to embrace the teaching practices and methods adopted by NESTs (Mahboob, 2004). …

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