© QuiTE 2006
Quality in TESOL Education
The Association for the Promotion of
Annual Seminar 2006
Abstract, Constant Leung, King’s College London
Should there be standards of English for English language teacher education?
The multi-faceted notion of ‘standard/s’ has been the subject of a long-running debate among some English Language Teaching (ELT) professionals. There is, however, little doubt that the ELT industry worldwide has traded profitably on the promotion of ‘desirable communication standards’. This paper will argue that the advent of the concept of communicative competence in ELT over thirty years ago has allowed language ‘standards’ and norms to claim social legitimation. The concept of communicative competence, initially developed for ethnographic research, appeared to offer an intellectual basis for pedagogic broadening. The transfer of this concept from research to language teaching has, however, produced abstracted standards and idealized language learners. This paper will discuss critically the uses and misuses of standards and norms (as part of the concept of communicative competence) in the light of some recent conceptual and empirical work in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), academic literacies, and English as Lingua Franca (ELF).