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How ELT practice in low resourced contexts informs policy, training, and Applied Linguistics: Evidence from Cameroon (Eric Enongene Ekembe, ENS Yaounde, Cameroon)

10:00 AM, Friday 30 Apr 2021 EDT (30 minutes)
  Virtual session
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Eric Enongene Ekembe, ENS Yaounde, Cameroon

Title: How ELT practice in low resourced contexts informs policy, training, and Applied Linguistics: Evidence from Cameroon

Keywords: ELT; contexts; low resourced; innovations


Teaching and learning is context bound, as what works in one context may be unsuitable in another context. In this case, appropriate ELT methodologies are expected to be chosen in different ELT contexts taking into consideration the constraints and opportunities offered by the school and broader community. Unfortunately, innovations in approaches and methodologies have mostly been a reaction to learners’ proficiency and the demand for specified competences by the public and, in such cases, have dominantly been Centre-driven. In recent times, English has spread beyond the borders of conservatism, thereby pushing the concerns of a homogeneous ELT landscape to more flexible and dynamic spectra of teaching and language use. In spite of this flexibility, the Centre still believes in Centre-driven methodologies. This paper examines 100 teachers’ articulation of their successes in exceedingly large and under-resourced Cameroonian classrooms and their convictions about teaching after taking part in context-rooted CPD activities to attempt an explanation of how practice informs theory, policy, and the whole Applied Linguistics field of study. While the paper posits the irrelevance of Centre-driven approaches to all ELT contexts, it delves into the teachers’ perception of successes to explain how they conceptualise and operationalize ELT in their respective ecologies. Based on this, the paper offers reflections on how theories related to language teaching/learning methodologies can draw from practice in different ecologies to be more informative in conceptualizing ELT.

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