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English Language Education Policies and Practices in the Mediterranean Countries and Beyond

Yasemin Bayyurt and Nicos C. Sifakis

This edited volume seeks ways to present a unifying picture of TESOL policies and practices from different contexts in the broader Mediterranean basin and beyond. The book is divided into three major sections: (i) English language education; (ii) English language teacher education and recruitment policy; (iii) English language testing policies and practices in different contexts. Each chapter has a different research focus (e.g., CLIL, English as an international lingua franca in education, English for specific purposes, etc.), but aims at drawing informed and balanced conclusions with regard to a series of TESOL concerns. Essentially, what this volume provides, and what makes it unique as an edited publication in the field of ESOL education, is a principled awareness of the need to communicate research in one specific domain of teaching and learning to a broader area of ESOL education that is not necessarily delimited by familiar educational practices but can be generalized for other contexts as well.

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A plea for appropriate teacher preparation—a postscript (Nicos Sifakis)

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Nicos Sifakis

A plea for appropriate teacher preparation—a postscript

All themes addressed in the book have centred around the fundamental understanding that English is the major international language. This has not always been the case: for example, we have seen in Hatipoğlu’s chapter that in Turkey French was dominant until the 1950s, or even later, and the same is the case in other contexts, such as Greece (Sifakis, 2012). This rapidly increasing global dominance of English, which has accelerated going into the 21st century, has had repercussions in the perceptions of teachers and policy makers alike, which are not changing that rapidly. For example, the central governmental decision to employ thousands of native English speaker teachers (NESTs) to teach state school classes together with Turkish teachers (as shown in the chapter by Rızaoğlu, Derince and Erdem) can only be understood with reference to policy makers’ convictions of the primacy of native speakers over non-native speakers. In other contexts, such as the French educational system, discussed by Deneire and Pereiro, EFL teachers have to tamper with the predominantly monolingual (French) culture and strive for the development, in their learners, of a sense of “openness towards others” through the development of linguistic awareness. What is entirely clear is that a basic competence in English is perceived to boost employability in times of financial crisis. As Fernández-Quesada observes, universities in Spain request that undergraduates obtain a B1-level certificate in English before...

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