Teaching English in the Global Village

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This thesis presents a semester long reading/writing programme for Sri Lankan university undergraduates. This was framed by a close examination of two underlying phenomena: the role and status of English in Sri Lanka as a postcolonial space and the global ramifications of the neoliberal ideology which by and large governs the choices made in higher education of today. The insights drawn from this exploration inform the programmatic and pedagogic moves which would be essential in formulating a programme that simultaneously trains the students to achieve success in academia and also critically engage with the hegemonic forces which govern it. In the first chapter, a telescoping of the colonial and postcolonial history of the presence of English in Sri Lanka was attempted, and the timeline corresponds with the long historical periods which shaped the world's economy. In the second chapter, the goal was to explore how the discourses of globalization and neoliberalism influence the operations of the higher education institutions in Sri Lanka, and how it influences English Language Teaching (ELT) practice. The pedagogical rationale, which is the third chapter, presents the justifications for the choice of pedagogical strategies in terms of the content, tasks, assessment and classroom implementation. Finally, as appendices, a full syllabus, semester long schedule and four writing tasks are presented as the proposed reading/writing course for Sri Lankan undergraduates.

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