Pragmatics Analysis: A Significant Tool in Literature Teaching

Motikala Subba Dewan

 

Motikala Subba Dewan*

 

 

Abstract

Pragmatics is the branch of linguistics that deals with the meanings and effect which come from the use of language in particular situations. And pragmatics analysis is one of the approaches or tools to study language’s relation to contextual background. While teaching literature; such as drama, fiction, poem, etc, the language used in those literature cannot be considered in isolation without relating their meaning with the contexts. This research paper has focused on the pragmatics analysis of the language discourse, context and its function in the William Golding’s novel Lord of the Fliesto, see their relevancy in real life situations. It tries to look at the purpose of language use and its function in the text on the basis of Speech Act Theory of Austin and Relevance, theory of Sperber and Wilson.  It may help teachers and learners to comprehend the texts with deep understating and to see the teaching and learning texts from different angles.

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Teacher Research in Nepal: From Universities to Himalayan Highlands

Interviewer : D.N. Joshi

Students learn better when teachers teach them. However, teacher can teach students better, when they understand whom they have been teaching. It means, teaching as a process brings the better output when teachers activate themselves as a researcher, delving into the depth of students’ learning Cosmo.  No matter, we opt to earn masters or doctorate, teachers are to face students. They are to face challenges of output oriented teaching. Therefore, there are students, so there are teacher.’ However, teachers do not mean to enter the class and complete the designed course.  They mean to cross the bridge from degree holder intellectual to confident motivated, publishing researcher. Further, teacher needs to be an eager beaver, who works very hard in the field of teaching and researching as a process.

In the context of Nepal, teacher research is felt to be in infancy. Though few university and a few teachers are found involved in research as a teaching learning process, it is still to accelerate. New and new teaching methods have been practiced in global culture. World has crossed the phase of methods to post method pedagogy. However, we are far behind in practicing  those  philosophies. It is just because, we invest our energy on teaching the allocated content blindly without researching.

Therefore, this especial issue of NELTA ELT Forum tries to initiate present condition of teacher research in Nepal, challenges, and the possibilities in future to create situation of the frosting on the egg. Continue reading →

Welcome to April-May issue of NELTA ELT Forum!

Editorial…

Dear Readers,

We know that we are living in a world that is featured with complexities, brought about by the changing social, political, and economic contexts, which has inevitable impacts on how we perceive language in educational discourses. Language is no longer only a means of communication, as previously defined, but it is rather a political construct that carries power and determines social structures. What this means for English language teachers in Nepal is to reconsider our subjectivity in terms of language ideology and facilitate language classrooms in a way that responds to the local realities. This includes, for example, a rethinking of what/whose variety/model of English we are teaching and to what extent we are appreciating what students bring with them in the classroom (e.g., home language, culture, identity). What I am, specifically, suggesting is to “localize” our teaching practices of the English language, so we make sure we don’t push our students into the assimilation of foreign culture.

For example, we teach different EFL textbooks, both locally and internationally designed and published, that contain texts and visuals representing some culture and identity, and we know that, in a majority of cases, those represent either foreign cultures or dominant Nepali culture. While, as a language teacher, we can’t change the curriculum or textbooks, we are yet the authentic agents to deliver those contents, so we need to be careful how we are interpreting those contents. In the meantime, we can potentially create spaces—via classroom activities—for local culture and knowledge that are native to our students. Similarly, we need to understand the unique contexts of our classrooms and design lessons in accordance, rather than simply following prescribed approaches.

Aligning with this perspective, the current issue brings in three powerful articles that have us pause and rethink what we are doing as EFL teachers in Nepal. In the first invited article on “Teaching English with a Different Mindset: From EFL to EIL”, Professor Guofang Li suggests that we need to move beyond a deficit perspective of non-native English-speaking teacher identity and develop a new mindset that makes these teachers potential in their own right. For this, Professor Li proposes a reconsideration from teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to English as an International Language (EIL), which grounds in the “locality” of language, culture, and identity, and provides hands-on techniques to do such a task.

The second article is a Personal Reflection on Teaching Methodology in EFL Classrooms,” in which Anu Upadhaya, drawing on her experiences of learning and teaching the English language, warns us against a blind adaptation of prescribed teaching methodologies without (re)appropriating them to our unique classroom contexts. As she argues, since we are living in a post-method era, any particular method/technique developed in a particular context may not be effective in another context, so teachers need to develop their own methods. However, our teaching methods need to be guided by second language learning/teaching principles. Similarly, In the final research article on Filipino University Students’ Attitudes and Motivation in Learning English And Their Influence on Academic Achievement,” Marites F. Castro demonstrates the ways two affective variables, i.e., attitudes and motivation, determine Filipino university students’ academic achievement in learning the English language.

I sincerely believe that we will appreciate such interesting and timely arguments presented to us through these articles. Happy reading!

Issue Editors,

Pramod K. Sah

Noel Franco

Teaching English with a Different Mindset: From EFL to EIL

*Guofang Li, Ph.D.

 

Abstract:

The majority of the world’s English language teachers receive training in institutions and work in classrooms outside the Inner Circle countries where English is not the first language. Despite the fact that many of them have the right educational qualifications and are effective teachers, they are often considered “inadequate” to teach the language and/or culture of the target language due to their non-native English speaker status. To work against such discriminatory practices and ideology in the field and to fully capitalize their cultural and linguistic capital, this article proposes that English teachers in these countries must teach with a new mindset: from teaching English as a foreign language to English as an International language. This new mindset means teaching English with a different goal, a different selection of materials, and a different set of classroom strategies that value local languages and cultures.

Introduction: What is EIL and Why Teach with a Different Mindset?

As a non-native English speaking professor teaching in the Department of Language and Literacy Education in a top Western university in a multilingual city, I/we have received many requests for recommendations of native English speaking teachers to teach in non-Western settings. In a doctoral level qualitative research methods course I taught at the University of British Columbia in Spring 2018, my students and I designed a class project that focused on studying the issue of native-speakerism (the belief that the ideal teacher of English is a native speaker) in language teacher job advertisements around the world, particularly in Asia. Not surprisingly, our preliminary search confirmed that the majority of the language teacher advertisements in what Kacharu’s (1992) Outer and Expanding Circle countries overtly stated the requirement of “native English speakers.” This preliminary finding confirmed what Mahboob and Ruth (2013) found in their analysis of TESOL job advertisements in East Asia and the Middle East: The field of TESOL is not an equitable space and there is a persistent discrimination and prejudice against English teachers who are not “native speakers” from the Inner Circle countries, despite the fact that these teachers are the majority of the English language teaching force in these regions with good educational qualifications and many of them are effective teachers. Continue reading →