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Teaching English in Chile

A Study of Teacher Perceptions of their Professional Identity, Student Motivation and Pertinent Learning Contents


Katharina Glas

This book examines the relationship between learner motivation and cultural contents for the teaching of English as a Foreign Language. It takes Chile as an example of the «Expanding Circle of English», where the 21 st century has brought new challenges to English teaching. After providing background information on the presence of English in Latin America and Chile, this qualitative study includes the analysis of curricular frameworks, textbooks and teacher interviews. Conclusions propose an explicit, yet critical inclusion of both motivational strategies and cultural themes into educational and curricular policies, learning materials, and teacher training.


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PART I: The Context


The aim of this first part is to provide a comprehensive contextualisation of this research study. Therefore, in Chapter 2, socio-linguistic, sociological, and his- torical information will be brought together to set the cultural background in which English is taught and learned world-wide, in Latin America and particu- larly in Chile, at the beginning of the 21st century. Modernity, linguistic imperi- alism and globalisation are key words within this framework. Then, a description of the Chilean educational system will be given in Chap- ter 3, first in general terms and then with a more specific focus on English as a school subject. Important areas for discussion are the structural inequities of the educational system and the current situation of English language teaching, espe- cially in the publically funded sectors within the primary and secondary educa- tion system. 19 2. The Presence of English in Latin America and Chile As a considerable portion of the empirical part of this study deals with attitudes towards the English language, and in particular with regard to cultural identities, it is necessary, first of all, to establish the socio-cultural context in which the learning and teaching of English takes place. This context can be visualised, in general terms, as on global, regional and national levels. The subdivisions of this chapter follow this logic: in 2.1, I will briefly examine the way in which the global spread of English, its connection with imperialism and globalisation, and its perceived implications, has been discussed in recent years, mainly...

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