Paul Kei Matsuda

Back from IAWE

I'm back from the International Association for World Englishes conference in Nagoya, Japan. Overall, I had a great conference experience. It was really well organized--people at Chukyo University did a great job. I was particularly impressed by Chukyo students who worked really hard to make sure everything was in order and no one was lost in transition.

I was invited to give a plenary talk, and (after consulting my in-house expert) I decided to talk about the implications of world Englishes for the teaching of writing. The title was "World Englishes and Writing Instruction: Conflicts and Possibilities. I explored the theoretical and practical difficulties in incorporating insights from the field of world Englishes into the teaching of writing, and discussed how writing pedagogy might be transformed in increasingly multilingual, multicultural and multinational contexts. I also suggested the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in raising the awareness of linguistic diversity and changes not only among students but among writing teachers, language teachers, faculty across the curriculum, editors and publishers, and the larger public. It was well attended and well received.

The best part, though, was that I had the honor of being introduced by Professor Nobuyuki Hino. He gave a very generous and kind introduction that also reflected his great sense of humor. I responded by sharing a story of how his book influenced me when I was learning English as a high school student.

Aya and I also gave a paper on "The Internationalization of Technical Communication Textbooks." We reported the results of our analysis of four technical communication textbooks for their inclusion of international communication issues that are becoming increasingly important in today's global economy. We discussed how the textbooks represented the relationship between technical communicators and international audience, and how issues of language and cultures are incorporated. We pointed out the need for world Englishes specialists to be involved in the development of technical communication textbooks in order to facilitate the integration of international and global issues into the teaching of spoken and written communication.

One of the reasons I like attending conferences is the chance to meet new people and to spend time with friends. I got to spend some time with some of the people whose work I admire. I also met a few new people as well. I even had the chance to go out with some of my friends from college. That was fun!

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Anonymous Sahana said...

Thank you, that was very interesting. I have encountered occasions where the worldview of the learner has permeated his writing. Then, who am I to correct the collocation and say what is and is not Standard English. Writing contains so much of the writers culture and perception, that merely explaining grammatical niceties and correct word order are not enough. As a teacher,I am increasingly faced with the challenge of trying to understand the worldview of the learners, and feel the need to transform the teaching of writing.

Friday, October 20, 2006 2:53:00 AM  

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