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Volume 6 Number 3, Autumn 2009, Pages 1-401   

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Global English and EFL Learners: Implications for Critical Pedagogy

    Shin-ying Huang

This paper attempts to explore how English-language learners experience and make sense of the social, cultural, and political ramifications of the global dominance and spread of English. Through focus group interviews with 30 university and college students in Taiwan, the findings suggest that most participants were aware of the issues surrounding English in the world and in Taiwan. Yet, rather than taking into account the power relations and ideological struggles that underlie the English-language, most of the participants took for granted the power of English, and were eager to become a part of the privilege. A questioning stance was not a mentality shared by the majority of the participants. For the minority group, resistance mainly involved a concern for the preservation of the official language and the culture it reflects. Participants were less aware of the sociopolitical consequences of English and its learning. The results not only offer implications for critical pedagogy in ELT, but also point to the need for a reconstitution of critical pedagogy practices that is situated in each local context and a shift away from a western-centered paradigm to an Asian-centered lens from which to view English-language teaching and learning.

Keywords: EFL learners' perspectives, critical pedagogy, resistance, reconstitution

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