Less is more: Pathways to a simpler, plainer people's English as an equitable lingua franca

Templer, B. (2008) Less is more: Pathways to a simpler, plainer people's English as an equitable lingua franca. In: International Conference on Educational Innovation, 6-8 May 2008, Kuala Lumpur.

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Abstract

Sustainable educational innovation needs to address a major problem: the great gap in the learning of English as a lingua franca (ELF) between the privileged and less privileged ('non-dominant') across the planet. Ordinary learners in Malaysia, Thailand, Laos and other corners of the world, especially the Global South, need a more 'downshifted' form of English for basic communication and broader reading and listening - instead of climbing the 'Everest' of trying to master a standard English based on native English-speaker posh proficiency models. The paper, organized in ten theses, introduces some perspectives for English as a 'downsized' and effective power tool for the greater masses of learners (and teachers). It look briefly at three options in simpler discourse: (1) the PLAIN LANGUAGE community of research & practice (hhttp://plainlanguagenetwork.org;http://www.impact-information.com/), focused on communicating clearly; (2) Charles Ogden & Ivor Richard's BASIC ENGLISH 850, an older model of highly simplified English, a "leveraging" tool usable for expressing almost any idea, and science in a leaner 'ESP-Lite' mode (http://www.basic-english.org); (3) VOA SPECIAL ENGLISH, a downshifted form of English developed by the Voice of America, and now available online as well as on shortwave radio. It can be used for communicating about many topics (http://www.voaspecialenglish.com), at the level of pre-intermediate readability (1,500 word families), and has a hugeonline archive of over 5,000 feature articles. Texamen in Holland contends it is possible to say and write virtually anything at a level of 7th grade readability, which is where most citizens in the U.S. & many countries feel comfortable reading their native language at (http://www.texamen.com/index.php?id=1). The overall aim is toward a more equitable planetary ELF for the Multitude and more 'empowering' constructivist pedagogies, especially for working-class learners and in rural environments.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions: Faculty of Education
Depositing User: Mr. Mohd Samsul Ismail
Date Deposited: 30 May 2014 00:01
Last Modified: 30 May 2014 00:01
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/9382

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