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Quick Write 092311 "High proficiency non-native speakers"

Dr. Beglar is teaching “Adapting and Developing Language Teaching Materials” at TUJ on Friday night, and I’ve just got back from the third session of the course. One of the discussions themes for tonight’s class was to critique the listening textbook for advanced learners that the professor wrote as a coauthor. It was kind of interesting that he stayed out of the classroom in order to facilitate our healthy, active, and non-biased discussions without its author in the same room. In a short skit from a DVD accompanying the textbook, four college students, two males and two females, are discussing their assignment at a café. Three of them seem to have a slight accent, but very fluent. Dr. Beglar later told us that the authors intentionally adopted those highly proficient non native-speakers from various races to better reflect the reality of colleges in the U.S.

Let us now consider language learning materials commercially published in Japan. Are there many audio materials recorded by high proficiency non-native speakers? There are very few, I think. Are English language learners in Japan willing to pay for the audio materials whose narrators are non-native? I don’t really think so. Should we listen only to the audio materials recorded by well-trained, experienced “native” English speaking professionals? Well, the real language can get more messy and unclear, though. Isn’t there anything that we could learn from high proficiency non-natives? There must a lot. Then, wouldn’t the audio material recorded by both natives and non-natives who speak fluent English as a second language add a good variety to the English language learning material market in Japan? Yes, I’d buy into the idea, for it’s more real.

(20 minutes / 279 words)

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"Contemporary Topics 3" Pearson Longman
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Aya

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