Schedule, Teachers' Day 2022


Teachers' Day kicks off with the Keynote presentation on 11 October 2022. The workshops will follow in two rounds: morning an afternoon. Registration deadline: Date TBA

08:45: WELCOMEProf. Dr. Joachim Frenk of the Saarland University English Department; Dr. Tina Hellenthal-Schorr, Vizepräsidentin für Lehre und Studium; and Jan Benedyczuk, Staatssekretär für Bildung und Kultur im Saarland
09:15: 1st KEYNOTEKeynote:

Dr Alex Baratta. World Englishes in English Language Teaching


While standard inner-circle English is often seen as the standard for EFL teaching, there are of course many varieties of English within all three circles. These varieties serve their speakers perfectly well for everyday communication, displaying a predictable grammar and lexis. However, Englishes which fall outside the inner-circle standard, including even inner-circle dialects, are often viewed in negative terms within society. Such negative attitudes can reflect beliefs that dialects are failed attempts to master the standard variety, with non-inner circle Englishes – the expanding circle more so – simply viewed as ‘incorrect’, even embarrassing to the country’s reputation (e.g. Singapore’s Speak Good English campaign). However, from a purely linguistic – and not societal – point of view, all Englishes are indeed legitimate, with no variety inherently ‘better’ than another.

In a spirit of linguistic equality, I argue that World Englishes have a role to play in the EFL classroom, reflective of much current research and literature. While this is hardly an original insight, the presentation nonetheless places itself within a more egalitarian approach to language overall, in terms of the ways in which we understand language use and functions, and linguistic codification.

This presentation argues that linguistic codification is established by the speakers of a language variety in the first instance, further reinforced by additional societal means of codification, such as web-based dictionaries compiled by individuals, and public signage. While this variety of web-based dictionary and non-inner circle Englishes are both regarded in negative terms, compared with, say, the Oxford English Dictionary and inner-circle standard, this presentation argues how both are indeed legitimate. As such, they have a role to play in the teaching of EFL.

Even when inner-circle standard is the variety focused on, then non-inner circle varieties can still play a part in the EFL classroom and as such, reveal how all varieties of English, which might be used by our EFL students, are indeed correct. Further, linguistic codification is no longer tied to traditional means such as print dictionaries and textbooks, which are compiled by a relative minority. Instead, a language variety’s status rests with its speakers, and as the EFL classroom needs to prepare students for the real-world of English, it stands to reason that all varieties of English, most of which are actually spoken beyond the inner-circle, need to be incorporated..

WORKSHOPSMORNING ROUND (concurrent workshops)
11:15: Workshop ADr. Alex Baratta. The use of online dictionaries to house expanding circle Englishes: Is there a place for either in the EFL classroom?

This workshop will discuss web-based/online dictionaries, reflecting a more modern means of compiling the vocabulary of a given language variety. When applied to non-inner circle Englishes, the expanding circle in particular, it is often the case that the vocabulary of such Englishes is indeed housed within online dictionaries in the first instance. However, there are three issues, with Korean English under discussion as a linguistic stand-in for expanding circle Englishes.

First, the status of online dictionaries has been questioned based on not necessarily being compiled by professional lexicographers. Second, they are argued to be of dubious quality, given clams regarding incorrect information. Finally, non-inner circle Englishes are often marginalised, based on lexis and grammar which diverges from prestigious English varieties such as the inner-circle standard (e.g. Korean English use of Burberry to mean ‘trench coat’). However, the reality is that many individuals, be they teachers or language enthusiasts, are nonetheless behind the creation of many online dictionaries, a modern means to help codify a language variety which otherwise might not get a lot of respect. These online dictionaries, however, can help people to appreciate expanding circle Englishes, and the online means to house them, precisely because they can help to reveal the systematic features of such Englishes, which in turn demonstrates their use in society. Online dictionaries also reflect a more democratic approach to dictionaries, one that need not be limited to prestigious publishing houses. Further, individuals responsible for creating Korean English online dictionaries have accurate knowledge, as they are users of Korean English, and are often EFL teachers in Korea who seek to educate people regarding this variety. Finally, all varieties of English conform to a systematic use of lexis and grammar, which serves its speakers well, regardless of circle.

The aim of this workshop is to address societal attitudes, both positive and negative, that are held toward non-inner circle Englishes and online dictionaries, to further discuss how such dictionaries coupled with expanding circle Englishes might have a potential role to play in the EFL classroom. Examples will be provided of online dictionaries dedicated to Korean English, and we will discuss the potential use of such within EFL pedagogy, arguably reflective of a more modern, and realistic, means to teach English

11:15: Workshop BChris Bunyan. Multicultural British English and World Englishes’ Influence on ‘Standard’ British Pronunciation
 RP is dead! Standard Southern English (SSE) is in battle. Will Multicultural British English (MBE) emerge victorious as the dominant variety in the United Kingdom of the future? Over many decades, the migration of ‘Inner’ and ‘Outer Circle’ speakers of World Englishes to the UK has influenced the varieties of English spoken there, not least Multicultural London English (MLE). MLE has established itself as a force to be reckoned with, and its influence is spreading far wider than the capital’s urban city centre, leading to the term Multicultural British English (MBE). Indeed, it has recently been predicted that a variety of MBE will become the dominant paradigm in the UK within 100 years. Giving a general background to MLE and MBE, and with a focus on phonology and receptive understanding, this session will help you prepare yourself and your students for the next century!
11:15: Workshop CAndrew Khan. Assessing English proficiency for international working environments

It is a widely recognised fact that the demand for skilled workers is growing exponentially, yet employers often observe that applicants are not adequately prepared for the world of work. Learners too need to know that the English skills they learnt during their studies are transferrable to the global workplace.

Proof of international communicative competence for international working environments is essential for the workplace today. Paper-based testing and certification of this requires time and effort; two valuable resources that distract from teaching.

Join us to explore how German schools (e.g. Berufsbildungszentren, Gemeinschaftsschulen, Gymnasien) are already saving time and resources by using computer-based tests which provide fast, efficient, reliable and accurate results to reflect learners' skills and ability to communicate in an international working environment.

11:15: Workshop DSylvia Loh. Glimpses of the English Speaking world: A hands-on approach to teaching postcolonial experiences in the high school English classroom
 The workshop focuses on ways of teaching about the impact of Britain's colonial past on some of her former colonies. Visible traces of British influence in language, politics and culture in Nigeria, Singapore and Ireland will be explored as well as the difficult social and political realities of these postcolonial societies. A variety of texts and materials will be presented to make students aware of the various perspectives needed to understand the complex web of living in a postcolonial global world.
11:15: Workshop EName. Title
11:15: Workshop FName. Title
12:45: Lunch 
14:00: 2nd KEYNOTETBC
15:15: COFFEE BREAK, RAFFLE, AND FAREWELLJoin us in the Aula for the chance to win great prizes.

Location: Saarland University, Aula (+ workshops in separate rooms)

Book exhibition on site in the Aula during the course of the event