Susan A. Kelly
Anglophones and holograms at USP: The 2020 English lesson at the University of the South Pacific
In a region with over 200 active, indigenous language communities, spread across 33,000,000km2 of ocean, teaching in the one language – English – poses multi-faceted challenges that require constant mitigation. Anglophones face increasing and regular erosions not only through first language interferences but also to rapidly developing text-language and other electronically-transmitted forms of English.
Furthermore, the twelve member countries of the USP region each have their own Ministries of Education and English curricula, a total of twelve different types of English teaching curricula with Vanuatu having an added dimension: a bi-lingual, parallel English and French-based system. Designing learning materials that exemplify institutional graduate attributes including academic excellence and “effective interpersonal communication skills,” demand expertise and vision that is agile, effective and sustainable.
Currently, the teaching of English at USP is predominantly through Face to Face (F) classes and Print (P) materials for Distance and Flexible Learning (DFL) students. Some multimedia components are also included in the Print materials, for example, CDs and DVDs.
By highlighting selected examples from various forms of English usage at USP, the issues that will inform a much more integrated, activity-oriented and easily accessible set of learning materials will be explored in this presentation. Reference will also be made to contemporary, international, learning and teaching practices and their suitability to the USP environment.
This snapshot of the 202 English ‘lesson’ will provide the most recent commentary on English language learning and teaching at USP and most importantly, interrogate the ‘limits’ and the relevance of current learning designs. Finally, a voice-activated and multilingual hologram-tutor will provide one example of an innovative and sustainable solution-in-progress.