English, as we all know, is a vibrant language, continually
evolving. Words that did not exist
five or ten years ago are now commonplace. Words in common parlance only a few decades ago are now
considered archaic and are rarely encountered. Teaching the English language has also undergone a
transformation, at least in some areas of the world, from an analysis of the
written and grammatical forms of the language to an emphasis on teaching for
communicative fluency. This shift
in teaching emphasis has created new ways of teaching the language. This issue of
highlights this evolution and these changes.
American English and British English may be
the two most
well-known varieties of English, but they are by no means the only ones. In "Creating
Varieties of English," Stefanie S. Pillai discusses why it is important
for teachers to be exposed to different varieties of the English language. She presents
a lesson used with her
Malaysian students and explains that it helped them realize that Malaysian
English differs from other varieties.
Before 1995, I think it is fair to say, there were
resources on CD-ROM aimed at teachers of English to speakers of other
languages. Certainly, many fewer
people than today had access to the World Wide Web. How things have changed in five short years! Brad Baurain reviews a
"Teachers Understanding Teaching: A Multimedia Hypertext Tool." He explains how its
mix of practice and
theory enables teacher trainers to use it with teachers in all stages of their
"The Internet Classroom Assistant" is a Website reviewed by
Nicholas Peachey, which enables educators to use an online learning environment
with their students. After
describing the features available and explaining the procedure for setting up
the site for one's own use, he offers an example of how he utilized the website
with his own trainees.
Lest we forget, however, in our rush to embrace new
technologies and new approaches, where we started out from, Ruth Wajnryb
reviews the updated second edition of Techniques and Principles of Language
Teaching. Why should we be aware
of or even care about the history and development of English language teaching? As
she points out in her review, it
expands our knowledge of teaching techniques and helps make us more effective
in our jobs.
I am very pleased to announce that with this article, Ruth
becomes a regular contributor to "Nexus." I am sure we will all enjoy and benefit from her insights.
On a final note,
I would like to request that if you change
email addresses, please let me know so I can update my subscription list. Each year
when I email
"Nexus" to subscribers, some bounce back because the addresses are no
longer current. To ensure
continued receipt of the journal, I would appreciate it if you would inform me
of any change in your email address.
And, as always, feedback about the journal is welcome and
appreciated. Just send your
address changes or comments to <firstname.lastname@example.org>, with
"Nexus" in the Subject line.
Thank you and enjoy the journal.
Table of Contents
Awareness of Varieties of English, by Stefanie S. Pillai
Understanding Teaching: A Multimedia Hypertext Tool," Reviewed by Brad
Review: "The Nicenet Internet
Classroom Assistant," Reviewed by Nicholas Peachey
Review: Techniques and Principles
of Language Teaching, 2nd edition, by Diane Larsen-Freeman; Reviewed by Ruth Wajnryb