English and New Englishes in Multilingual Context: What’s Been Gained and Forgotten?

Bal Krishna Sharma (PhD) is an associate professor of applied linguistics at English Department, College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences, University of Idaho, US. He is interested in the role of English in multilingual contexts. He studies the dynamics of teaching, learning and use of English in order to examine the topics of language ideology, intercultural communication, identity and pedagogy. He has been studying the issues of culture, representation, and the economy of language from the perspectives of tourism workers in the Nepal’s tourism industry. Likewise, he investigates what English, other international and minority languages mean for a workplace where the commodification and representation of languages and cultures is a major driving force. He is also investigating language-related ideologies and identities of non-native English speaking faculty as U.S. universities in STEM fields.

So, in this post, Jeevan Karki has facilitated a conversation with him, which unfolds the global discourse in ELT, (second) language acquisition, English language teaching in multilingual contexts, critical language teaching, English language policy and practices in Nepal.

Feel free to comment, ask questions and share the conversation to continue the discourse. Here is the YouTube video for you: 

Here is the list of questions covered in the conversation:

Q1: What are you busy at currently?

Q2: The global conversation in ELT is very critical towards ‘standard English’, while the goal of English language education in non-English speaking countries is to develop proficiency in standard English (either British English, American English or so on). So, have the critiques been too idealistic about it or the practitioners not aware of this conversation?

Q3: Ofelia Garcia (2017) says that “there is no second language acquisition in the traditional sense but children are acquiring languages together/in totality.” What does this mean to the field of SLA? What are the future directions of SLA?

Q4: In the short history of English language teaching, 50 years or less, what has Nepal gained from it and what has Nepal forgotten in this race?

Q5: And what should be the role of English in multilingual contexts like Nepal?

Q6: Parents and stakeholders don’t seem much concerned about preserving and promoting their own languages as much as they are concerned about immersing their children in the English language right from pre-school. Why does this happen? What can be done about it?

Reference:

Garcia, O. (2017, June 7). Ofelia García – Translanguaging [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l1CcrRrck0 

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