Religious background and language learning: Practical suggestions for deriving best practice in ELT

| August 1, 2010
Title
Religious background and language learning: Practical suggestions for deriving best practice in ELT

Keywords: learning strategies in practicing English as a Second Language, Language and religion

Authors
Indika Liyanage, Brendan Bartlett & Peter Grimbeek
Griffith University

Bio Data
Dr Liyanage is a lecturer in applied linguistics in the Faculty of Education, Griffith University where he is involved in research and training of second language teachers. His research interests include language learning strategies, professional development of second language teachers, and metacognitive awareness of language teachers in lesson planning. He teaches in the areas of psycholinguistics and curriculum development in TESOL and also works as an international consultant on TESOL in the Pacific.

Prof. Bartlett assisted in the reconstruction of Education in Kosovo, chaired UNESCO s Expert Meetings in establishing democracy, peace and human rights guidelines for educational materials worldwide, and is a professor in the Faculty of Education and Griffith Institute of Educational Research at Griffith University. He teaches graduate and undergraduate programs in teacher education.

Dr Grimbeek is a consultant psychologist, psychological counsellor, and specialist research methodologist whose clients include the Griffith University faculties of education and health. His research interests include perception and imagery, language and culture, and the nature of meaning of human response data. He also lectures in research method.

Abstract
Liyanage (2004) established a significant association between the ethnoreligious affiliations of high school students in Sri Lanka and their learning strategies in practicing English as a Second Language (ESL). The complex nature of affiliations contributing to this association warranted further investigation. Liyanage, Bryer, and Grimbeek (2010, Asian EFL Journal, Vol 12) examined the role of ethnicity and religion in determining the Language Learning Strategy (LLS) choices of ESL students, indicating a significantly stronger prediction from the latter. Here, we suggest implications of these findings for English Language Teaching (ELT) in localised contexts, and use the specific example of Sri Lanka to highlight the importance of accommodating ethnoreligious affiliations in instructional design.

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See pages: 28-47

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 46