ELT education, as a commodity, takes many forms in countries all over the world. This book questions how the benefits of international English language education projects are distributed. The critical issues of language rights and linguistic diversity are pivotal in the book’s examination of domination and subordination in international language education projects. The author’s description of the role and teaching of English is based on her experience of working in ELT aid and development and fee-based projects, and through it she unmasks the interests and intentions of aid and fee-based language education projects. The two case studies that form the basis of this book recount a version of ELT marketing and project implementation that will resonate with experiences of aid recipients and university-led private sector fee-payers in many different ELT contexts.
From 'green revolutions' to 'free-market' reforms, the history of international development schemes has been marked by dubious goals and failed potential, most consistently through the privileging of donor interests over local needs and conditions. Widin’s insightful study of two off-shore English language education projects suggests that little has changed as universities and governments in English-dominant countries exploit this growing commodity through the provision and monopolisation of field expertise. Theoretically engaging and richly detailed, Widin’s provocative book is a must-read for all language professionals, and indeed all of us wary of the internationalisation bandwagon now current in education.
- Brian Morgan, Glendon College/York University, Canada
Jacqueline Widin has extensive experience and expertise in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and in teaching and research of tertiary-led pre- and in-service teacher training programs in Australia and in countries outside of Australia. She has a particular interest in the relationship between language and human rights and the sociopolitical dynamics of the English language teaching field. She is currently a senior lecturer with the University of Technology Sydney and manages the TESOL and Linguistics Education programs.