Comments: News from the Big Blue Tent (5)

What is an EFL course?

Posted by Ann at Monday, 21 July 2008 at 10:32pm BST

English as a Foreign Language

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Monday, 21 July 2008 at 10:49pm BST

Best wishes for your conference. Sorry to hear about all the controversy. Your organization is one of the few human institutions I actually respect.

Posted by Dudley M. Jones at Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 12:59am BST

Now I'm even more confused. As an ordinary American Episcopalian currently living in a working class suburban neighborhood closer to the Everglades than to Miami, I first thought that in the English Church, EFL was something like "Education for Liturgy". I'm enrolled in Sewanee's EFM course--Education for Ministry--which goes on a lot longer (4 yrs) but I thought that perhaps you all have shorter workshops on liturgy. (Believe me, the past few weeks, starting with your General Synod, have been a real eye-opener on all the things I don't know about England and its Church, but I am infinitely grateful for the chance to learn more).
Similarly, when I read "English as a Foreign Language", I immediately translated EFL to ESL, or English as a Second Language, which is our name for courses to teach English to people whose first language isn't English. (Most often, it's Spanish-speakers, but when I lived in LA, there was a middle school in the mid-Wiltshire district doing this in 71 languages and dialects including Tagalog, Farsi and Hmong.) Then I thought about it some more. English as a Foreign Language? Here, Southerners could teach it to Bostonians and as for Noo Yawkers (of which I am one) . . . . let alone you all and us. So, is EFL what I think of as ESL? If not, please what is it?
PS Thanks to Bishop Walker!!! I've come to wait for your posts. Please write some more!

Posted by Jersey Haracz at Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 2:42am BST

As I understand it, ESL here is used when English is taught in the context of a known second language; so the teacher and pupils have an existing language in common which can be used to explain points of grammar etc. EFL assumes no common language at all, so teaching has to be from scratch, entirely in the target language.

Posted by Karen Spray at Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 9:23am BST

This sounds incredibly encouraging.
Almost an "if you don't come to the listening process, the listening process will come to you", and I am delighted by the clear sense of bishops growing together in trust and understanding.

If this system really proves to work, can we devolve it to the running of all levels of our churches?

Posted by Erika Baker at Tuesday, 22 July 2008 at 9:28am BST
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