EFL Talks: ELT in the English-Speaking Caribbean
The English-speaking Caribbean has a long history of teaching English, to international clients, which dates back to the 1970's, because of the positioning of Belize, in Central America. However, other island nations might have seen an influx of Spanish and French-speaking clients in the 1990's and others coming to ELT programmes tied to University offerings, since 2000 and beyond.
ELT in the English-speaking Caribbean is a young field; however, it can be considered on the levels of the international and the local contexts. In the international arena, Caribbean English can be seen as a commodity that is encased, at times, in Creole identity. This has implications for what the world can learn from the experience of Caribbean Teachers in the international ELT arena.
Another angle that orients itself towards the international ELT market are the language attitudes of learners who are exposed to Caribbean English. Might these be dependent on exposure, familiarity, globalisation, or learner competence in meaning-making, despite the presence of a Caribbean English culture, in the international learner context?
While many may not think of ELT as a growing field of knowledge in the English-speaking Caribbean, the English -official status of Caribbean territories does not necessarily translate into a uniformed English-speaking identity among citizens. In reality, there is a concern for achieving bilingualism for access to education, jobs and social mobility among indigenous populations, the Deaf and English Creole speakers in these countries. For teachers, therefore, awareness of strategies and understanding the learner characteristics of a specific context become important to reaching, influencing and motivating learners with culturally relevant and linguistically diverse teaching methods. Some of these are born out of error analysis and contrast. Most importantly, these resources need to be shared with the local teaching and global ELT communities, as lessons in cultivating diversity and improving how we teach.
• What are the teaching and learning situations of the Caribbean Context?
• Is there a demand for ELT teachers from the Caribbean, and what can we learn from their experiences abroad?
• How can we engage in ELT through Creole culture?
• What are some effective strategies for ELT to the Deaf, in an English-Creole context?
• What are some effective models of bilingual-bicultural education among indigenous groups in the English- speaking Caribbean?
• Do English Creole-Speaking children learn phonology differently from English- speaking children?