A survey of tertiary teachers’ beliefs about English Language Teaching in Indonesia with regard to the role of English as a global language

| June 28, 2007
A survey of tertiary teachers beliefs about English Language Teaching in Indonesia with regard to the role of English as a global language

Nugrahenny T. Zacharias
Institute for English Language Education Assumption University of Thailand
Its role as an international lingua franca makes English a unique language in the world. The fact that English is mostly used worldwide among people for whom it is a second or foreign language is an indicator of such uniqueness. This distinctiveness does not only refer to the language itself, but also to the ways it is taught as a foreign language. Some of the pedagogical principles that have informed foreign language teaching in the last few decades, that is, need to be reconsidered when the language taught is English. Some questions need to be addressed, such as whose culture should be included in English language teaching? Are native speakers necessarily better language teachers? Should teaching materials come from English-speaking countries? What is the role of the students mother tongue? The aim of this study was to investigate the extent to which such issues were part of the belief system of teachers in Indonesia and what impact they had on actual classroom practice. The findings indicated that the majority of the respondents saw English as belonging to English-speaking countries and related its importance to instrumental considerations, which were in turn linked to requirements imposed by the globalization era. As a result, issues mentioned above were present in the teachers belief system only partly. As most respondents believed that English-speaking countries were the providers of perfect English, they also thought that materials from English- speaking countries were to be preferred to those published in Indonesia, that the teaching of English should be accompanied by the teaching of the culture(s) of English-speaking countries, and that, at least for the teaching of pronunciation and speaking, native speakers were more suitable to teach English. However, the pattern was more complex and variegated than this brief summary might suggest, especially when the teachers beliefs were compared to their classroom practice. The use of the students mother tongue was a point for which what the teachers believed in principle was not entirely matched by what they did in the classroom.

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Category: Thesis