Article Discussion Group: October 2017


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The winning article (by one vote!) is “The two cultures in Australian ELICOS: Industry managers respond to English language school teachers” by Phiona Stanley, UNSW. The article is available to read online here, or download as a pdf here (scroll to page 28).

Some discussion questions will be made available later in the week. In the meantime, happy reading!

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Welcome to the voting page of the Article Discussion Group. The idea is for us all to vote for our preferred article from the latest English Australia Journal, read it, and then join in a moderated discussion of the article. Authors will either join in on the discussion, or respond offline to points raised and questions asked, facilitated by the moderator. The discussion will take place on the #AusELT Facebook page and is scheduled as such: October 12-15 is reading time; October 16-22 is discussion time.

The articles are all relevant to many of the contexts in which AusELT folk practice. Two of the articles are primary research articles, that is, the authors have devised and conducted their own research study and reported their findings. A third one is a critical review. Each article has been peer-reviewed, meaning that the editor has invited leading TESOL scholars to review and offer suggestions for improving earlier drafts. We have some excellent reviewers who, together with the authors, have ensured you receive the best quality research reports upon which you can make some decisions about your own teaching.

In order to assist those who are new to reading research articles, the moderator will orient you by providing a summary of the research design and the overall purpose of the research. The discussion will not only focus on how the article can inform your own teaching, but also on opportunities for further research in any form. It will hopefully spark ideas for improving the quality of life in many classrooms! Each article has an abstract for you to read; after all, just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can’t judge a research article by its title. The complete articles are all open access, freely available online and downloadable in pdf here. The chosen article will be made available as a pdf and available for download on this page.


The employability of non-native English speaking teachers: An investigation of hiring practices and beliefs in Australian adult ELT

Victoria Phillips

Navitas English, Manly

Previous studies into the employability of non-native English teachers (NNESTs) show discriminatory attitudes and assumptions in recruitment processes. This article reports on a mixed methods investigation into the employability of NNESTs in the Australian English language teaching sector, namely, private language schools, university English language centres, and the Australian Migrant English Programme (AMEP). An online survey followed by participant interviews were conducted to ascertain which hiring criteria participant recruitment decision makers deem important when recruiting teachers. The results suggest there is evidence of movement away from notions of native speakerism in Australian ELT but that hiring managers’ beliefs and assumptions may negatively influence perceptions of NNEST ability and validity as competent teachers of English. Implications for different stakeholders are also discussed.

The two cultures in Australian ELICOS: Industry managers respond to English language school teachers

Phiona Stanley

University of New South Wales

This article reports on a qualitative study that sought to understand managers’ perceptions of teachers’ professional identities in the Australian ELICOS sector. The study found that there is a powerful, socially imagined ‘wall’ that divides two cultures in the sector: the managers on the one hand, and the teachers on the other. While generally unproblematic in operational, marketing, and sales terms, the continued existence and ongoing strengthening of this wall is shown to be counter productive to the sector’s desire for improving quality. As a result, there is a need to address structural issues rather than simply continuing with a quality enhancement model that hopes to inspire teachers to undertake professional development.

A critical look at NLP in ELT

Russell Mayne

ELTU, University of Leicester

This article examines Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). It looks at claims made by practitioners and highlights criticisms of these. The spread of this approach through its inclusion in journal articles and books is also examined. I suggest that teacher trainers, experts and journals risk giving legitimacy to, and spreading questionable beliefs and practices throughout the ELT world.


So, without any more fanfare, please cast your vote! Closes Wednesday October 11, 2017 at 5 pm DST

Your moderator, Phil Chappell (@TESOLatMQ, Executive Editor of the English Australia Journal)

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