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'The Politicisation of ELT Pedagogy' - Alan Waters

Date: 14 November 2009 Time: 10.05-11.00 am

Venue: Teachers' Conference 2009, Saturday 14th November, Prospero House, London

Opening Plenary

In recent years an academic critique of ELT pedagogy has emerged which views many of its well-established practices as being essentially hegemonic in nature. As a result, a number of strategies are advocated which are regarded as capable of putting it on a more positive political footing. Unfortunately, however, many of these ideas can be seen to fly in the face of sound pedagogical principles. How this occurs is explained by reference to a representative selection of instances of the problem, such as the overweening advocacy of critical language awareness, 'authenticity', the learner-centred approach, and so on. This analysis is also seen to show that the political construction of ELT pedagogy, rather than having substance, is better viewed as a (disingenuous) attempt to promote its proponents' political viewpoint, regardless of pedagogical merit. As a corollary, it is further argued that the agenda of much current research and theorising in ELT needs to be reprioritised, so that it becomes less politically 'top-down' and more concerned, in the first instance, with a 'bottom-up' attempt to appreciate the strengths of existing pedagogical traditions.

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Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Alan Waters

Organising departments and research centres: Linguistics and English Language


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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