Teaching Grammar In Southeast Asia Case Study

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Some Problems of Teaching Grammar in Southeast Asia How important is the study and understanding of English Grammar from a Southeast Asian perspective? Opinions are often divided, from chief academic bodies, down to the journeyman foreign English teacher. Students are taught “English Language” for a variety of reasons, many of which, stem from the global quality it seems to possess, and the belief, that a good grounding in the language, will provide better employment opportunities in the future, thus improving the socioeconomic quality of life for many. Learners, and teachers alike, the study English Grammar is an entanglement of complicated rules and systems, almost impossible to master in the often relatively short period students are…show more content…
Japan’s ELT market is estimated to be worth 2 trillion Yen, or roughly 20 billion dollars! The government has spent time debating whether to make English an official 2nd language. South Korea is likewise looking to adopt English officially, whilst spending 3 billion annually. This is clearly English on an industrial scale, fueling a demand for teachers, bilingual text books, curriculums and syllabuses, along with accredited qualifications for L2 students; IELTS, CELTA, GMAT, TOIEC, TOEFL, etcetera, ("Teaching English As An International Language: Rethinking Goals and Perspectives", 2017) and (Kachru, Kachru, & Nelson, 2009). The reality is English is not widely used in daily life, across these nations, often limited to signage and the tourist industry. It is somewhat a myth that learning English significantly improves individual’s lives to the extent they attain a higher socioeconomic standing, within their own birth countries, but for a very limited number who emigrate, indeed these often enjoy a higher standard of living, by proxy, of residing in a western developed nation. Indeed in Teaching English Language as an International language, it goes so far as to suggest the politically motivated thrust is more about reputation and “face” among…show more content…
Despite the millions, sometimes billions of dollars being spent, English is not widely used in a social context, either at home or in public daily life, except within the tourism industry. There is no emphasis at a high levels of power, except when regional and global league table are published, and the individual nations try to save face, usually by blaming the poor quality of the imported teachers, which in some respects is part of the issue, without tackling the root causes, which is often a misguided, disjointed approach, including cost cutting measures. There is a tendency across Asian countries on over-reliance on rote learning models, teach-to-test mentality, and poorly written, or inaccurate text-books and tests. As Larsen-Freeman concludes in Grammar and Its Teaching: Challenging the Myths, grammar is not a set of rules learnt in isolation, it is key to understanding how and why the language is used in that particular way, it is a dynamic tool, showing form, function, and ultimately meaning, (Diane, 1997). As Feng demonstrates in his paper Functional Grammar and Its Implications for English Teaching and Learning, a functional grammar approach would be far more beneficial to L2 learners and equip them with a far greater understanding than current methods deployed across the Southeast Asian

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