New English cultures and learner autonomy for intrinsic motivation and democratic empowerment in the Chilean context

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Abstract

Chilean youth are currently demanding access to better-quality education for all: greater democracy and curricula that respect the country's indigenous cultural roots form part of their petitions. This article puts forward a twofold pedagogical proposal for English Language Teaching intended to foster intrinsic motivation and democratic empowerment through a combination of meaningful cultural content taken from the New English cultures and autonomous learning, including technology-supported student participation and self-reflection. Rather than alienating learners by presenting "traditional" English-speaking cultural content, emphasis is placed on cultural expressions originating from indigenous and postcolonial contexts, many of which parallel the Latin American experience. A case study based on a first-year course of an Initial English Teacher Education program at a Chilean university shows that learners participate actively, make immediate connections to their own country's reality and arrive at powerful conclusions for their own future as teachers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages18
JournalEnglish Teaching
Volume12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Blogs
  • Culture in language learning
  • Empowerment
  • English as a foreign language
  • Learner autonomy
  • Motivation
  • Reflection
  • Technology supported interaction

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