Global English Teaching and Teacher Education: Praxis and Possibility

Book Review
Global English Teaching and Teacher Education: Praxis and Possibility
Dogancay-Aktuna, S. & Hardman, J. (Eds.)
Alexandria, VA: TESOL, Inc. 2008. Pp. xxi +198.

Reviewed by Gregory Paul Glasgow
University of Queensland

In the volume Global English teaching and teacher education, the contributors critically examine current practices in teacher education [in order] to explore ways to better meet the needs of pre-service and in-service teachers of English (p. vii).
There are nine chapters altogether in the three sections of this book: Resistance to Inner Circle and Local Standards of Language Teaching (Section 1); Changing Attitudes towards English (Section 2); and Situated English Language Teaching Pedagogy (Section 3).
The first section begins with an overview in chapter 1 of the state of English teaching in Pakistan. Authors Mahboob and Talaat report the overall educational qualifications of Pakistani teachers need improvement and suggest that teachers meet minimum teaching criteria and attend yearly training sessions to reach these standards. Gunesekera follows with an analysis of Sri Lankan teachers perceptions of the English varieties they use. He reports that Sri Lankan perceptions vary in terms of whether or not they recognize Standard Sri Lankan English as a variety. This issue has serious implications for conducting listening components for national examinations. Wu and Vanderbroek s article then discusses English in Ghana and describes it as a much valued standard (p. 50) where indigenous language education is emphasized in primary school years. The authors also suggest more recognition of the diversification of English and a critical look at the role of all languages in teacher training curricula as well as the role of schools in Ghana.
Section 2 describes changing attitudes towards English in Turkey and Spain. In chapter 4, Dogancay-Aktuna finds that Turkish teacher educators view themselves as proficient and confident in their language skills, valuing their intimate knowledge of their students needs and backgrounds (p. 81). This self evaluation suggests that trainees language skill development should receive more focus in teacher education. Atay, in a study in chapter 5 on the beliefs of prospective teachers in English in Turkey, finds conflicts in their perceptions of themselves and native speaking teachers, as well as some concern about the spread of English. Finally, Llurda discovers in the final chapter of this section that length of time abroad may positively affect Catalonian English teachers self-perceptions of language proficiency and teaching performance. He recommends stays abroad (p. 111) for teacher training programs.
The objective of section 3 is to offer examples of situated responses to language pedagogy. Vaish s documentation of classroom code switching illustrates that through this language practice Indian primary English teachers empower themselves to carry out their moral responsibilities. Kang, in the next chapter, also shows that elementary school teacher discourse in a South Korean classroom employs strategic use of code switching; Kang additionally calls for specific guidelines for use of the first and second languages. Finally, Erling examines German students learning experiences and attitudes with English, and determines there are clusters of students who favor United States English, British English, and English as a Lingua Franca. This broadly suggests that a situated pedagogical approach can account for various identities and world views being expressed through language (p. 164). The editors conclude the book with recommendations method and practicum courses, language study, and teacher education.
Global English teaching and teacher education has many thought-provoking chapters, but at times the chapter organization can seem confusing.

Section 1, for example, which is titled Resistance to Inner Circle and Local Standards of Language Teaching, seems not to emphasize resistance to inner circle English as much it did local standards. Additionally, another chapter in section 3 on situated pedagogical practices would have been beneficial to understand how practitioners function in their own environments. This volume, nevertheless, is worthwhile in how it encourages teacher education programs to step outside their own local boxes (p. 172) and improve their practices and thus is a practical book for those who work (or intend to work) in international contexts.