ENGLISH AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE (EIL) AND IMPLICATIONS FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
The nature of English as an International Language (EIL) has significant implications in the area of English Language Teaching (ELT). The current essay will review the implications of EIL in three different areas: research on attitudes towards varieties of English, research on methods of improving non-native speakers’ intelligibility, English teaching curriculum and materials for teaching pronunciation. Despite the debate of appropriateness of native speakers’ accent as models for teaching pronunciation, the findings from most of the research on attitudes towards varieties of English suggest the students’ preferences towards native speakers’ accent. In the mean time, the research on methods of improving non-native speakers’ intelligibility indicate the necessity of giving more emphasis on teaching suprasegmental features such as intonation and stress to non-native speakers. At the curriculum level, although the experts have proposed some ideas of how EIL should be, the implementation of such curriculum might be difficult to realize in some countries. With regards to pronunciation teaching materials, many English practitioners recommend the use of authentic materials that incorporate students’ local culture in the classroom.