Context and Culture in Language Teaching and Learning
Edited by: Michael Byram, Peter Grundy
The now familiar forces of globalisation and internationalisation are influencing the role and significance of language teaching and learning in contemporary classrooms. This affects the ways in which English is taught and learnt in particular but is also an inevitable factor in all language teaching and learning. The authors of the chapters in this book all share a concern to explore the ways in which the contexts in which language teaching takes place impact on the aims and the methods of language teaching. Some do so by discussing the implications for what research we do and how we do it; Kramsch, for example, explains in detail how her own research evolves from issues which arise in the classroom. In other chapters the changing nature of the teaching of English is presented from empirical research; Decke-Cornill, for example, identifies different philosophies of language teaching among different kinds of English teacher in Germany. Other authors present studies of the ways in which what learners bring to the learning process from their own contexts and languages has to be taken into consideration if we are to understand language learning; Holme shows this from close analysis of the acquisition of metaphorical language, and Wendt argues for the importance of a social constructivist theory of language learning. Our common purpose is to take a fresh look at teaching and research through the perspective of the inevitable connections between contexts, cultures and classrooms.
Michael Byram and Peter Grundy have both worked in language teaching for many years at the University of Durham. Their interests in foreign language teaching in Britain and Europe, and in the teaching of English worldwide, complement each other and bridge the gap which often exists between ELT and other languages. They have cooperated to bring together researchers from several European countries and the USA in an endeavour to raise the awareness of the profession concerning the socio-political, cultural and psychological contexts in which language teaching and learning takes place; classrooms are not insulated from the world.