University of Limerick
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The target English/es used by EFL teachers from Ireland: current trends and perspectives

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posted on 2023-02-25, 13:42 authored by ANGELA FARRELLANGELA FARRELL
This research is undertaken against the backdrop of changing trends and perspectives surrounding spoken English, and growing calls for target model reform in the English language teaching (ELT) world. Its primary aim is to investigate the relationship between novice and experienced teachers of English as a foreign language (EFL) from the Irish English (IE) background, and varieties of spoken English that have hitherto been excluded from this educational domain for normative reasons pertaining to language ‘prestige’. To achieve this, the study adopts a triangulated methodology, and a multidisciplinary analytic approach featuring corpus-assisted discourse analysis, and theories and frameworks from sociolinguistics, pragmatics and SLA for the analysis of primary data from a 60,000 word corpus of teacher talk, on-line teacher questionnaires and semi-structured dyadic interviews. The specific focus of the research is to explore teacher language awareness, teacher language attitudes and teacher classroom language use together with correlations between these dimensions and underlying macro-sociolinguistic influences. Overall results indicate a closer relationship between the novices and the specified varieties represented than the experienced teachers, with language awareness and age seen to act as key underlying determinants. The qualitative analysis further investigates the primary socio-pragmatic and discourse roles played by the specified usages in teacher talk in the local EFL classroom context and key related pedagogical issues and considerations, in order to gauge whether their use can be warranted, and the ways in which this can be successfully mediated for learners. The findings are expected to lead to a more finely-nuanced understanding of the model of English used by teachers in an IE context, which has potential to inform English language teacher education (ELTE) in Ireland and more widely.



  • Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences


  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Angela Chambers





Department or School

  • School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics

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