English is learnt as a second (L2) or foreign language (FL) among Asian students such as Japanese, Chinese and Vietnamese. They grow up under the implicit influence of Confucius, who postulated, among other things, that societal stability is based on unequal relationships (Scollon, Scollon & Jones, 2011). In educational setting, it manifests itself in adherence to the hierarchical face relationship between the one on top (i.e. teacher) and those at the bottom (i.e. students). As a result, Asian learners are typically quiet in the language classroom, a manifest as a respect to the teacher in Confucian heritage culture (CHC). This is problematic, as contemporary research pointed out that second language acquisition is very much dependent on the interaction among students and teacher when they use the L2 as an authentic communication tool (See Watanabe & Swain, 2007). As such, how do we reconcile the gap? One possible solution will be to adopt ‘culturally appropriate pedagogy’ (See Nguyen, Terlouw & Pilot, 2006). In this presentation, relevant empirical and theoretical works in the field will be consolidated and reported, in the hope to arrive at an L2/FL pedagogy which promotes mutual collaboration and maximizes L2 acquisition on the one hand, and respects students’ inherited culture on the other hand.
Edward Y.W. Chu, The Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Stream: Culture and Language
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