As English becomes the Lingua Franca around the world (Seidlhofer, 2005), English teaching profession becomes more than a necessity together with creating a huge market for both teachers and publishers. In the case of publishers, they claim to have books that are all based on authentic materials for students to help them get grasp of English easily. However, what is authenticity? Authenticity, a catchy word among English Language Teaching practitioners though it has some problems, is described as “the use of conversations or written texts which have been produced for purposes other than to teach language” (Nunan, 1988). Throughout the history of ELT, authenticity is taken as being synonymous with genuineness, realness, truthfulness, validity, reliability, undisputed credibility, and legitimacy of materials or practices (Tatsuki, 2006). And when it is put that way, it seems impossible to claim anything against it.
However, Kramsch and Sullivan (1996) attract attention to the discussion of the appropriate pedagogy by stating that the interpretation of authenticity in this way could be fine for ELT in the UK or USA, but the moment English texts are used in real-life contexts other than those of their original producers, authenticity of language use becomes problematic, that is what is authentic in London might not be authentic in Hanoi.They suggest that instead of authentic language, an ‘appropriate’ pedagogy that takes into account both the global and local needs of learners of English might be better.
As the they put it, appropriate pedagogy must be a pedagogy of appropriation and it should prepare learners for both local and global contexts. The English language will enable students of English to do business with native and non-native speakers of English in the global world market and for that they need to master the grammar and vocabulary of standard English. But they also need to retain control of its use. Appropriate pedagogy considers the way to prepare learners to be both global and local speakers of English and to feel at home in both international and national cultures
For them, such a view of an appropriate pedagogy is in keeping with the political motto “think globally, act locally”, which translated into a language pedagogy might be “global thinking, local teaching”, which may be by far the best interpretation of culture-sensitive pedagogy. They use the metaphor of a market place. They state that “Marketplaces fulfill several functions. They can be places where economic wars are waged, stocks and bonds are exchanged, companies boom or bust, or entrepreneurs invest and make a profit. They can also be places that bring people together to talk and exchange life experiences. … the potential of market places may lie not only in industry but also in the discovery of potentialities in the self that have been brought to light through encounters with the other. There is a complete emphasis on the local market, local needs and therefore local methodology.
Kramsch, C., & Sullivan, P. (1996). “Appropriate pedagogy”. ELT Journal 50 (3), 199-212.
Nunan, D. (1988). The learner-centered curriculum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Seidlhofer, B. (2005). “English as a lingua franca”. ELT Journal 59 (4), 339-341.
Tatsuki, D. (2006). “What is authenticity?” The Language Teacher, 16(5), 17–21.