Problems of Embracing Postmodernism in English Language Teaching: Issues of Pedagogical Legitimacy in Non-Native Context

Mohd Asjad Husain, Aligarh Muslim University, India, ID CLEaR2017-421;     Abstract: The discipline of English Language Teaching (ELT) has echoed with the notion of ‘best methods’ and the standardization of the different elements of English pedagogy, wherein local realities, learners’ autonomy and teachers’ voices have remained ignored in an unopposed pedagogical dictatorship of foreign expertise. Nevertheless, the emergence postmodernism in ELT has brought a new light and this paper intends to assess the advent of postmodernism and provides an insightful discussion on the issues of implementing it in non-native context. The paper analyses the underlying principles of postmodern ELT practices for non-native countries and provides a discussion on the challenges. This paper discusses ELT’s denial of metanarratives by replacing global claims based, centre facing, utopian, ‘the best’ seeking, generalizing, rigid attitudes and understandings of language teaching  by more flexible, local based, constructivist, ‘better’ seeking, non-generalizing and practical understandings and approaches to the situations, issues, problems of ELT by entertaining diversities and pluralities of non-native countries. Despite such innovative and favourable pedagogical reforms, non-native countries seem to be resisting the revolution. They are questioning the legitimacy of fresh attitudes and new thinking models in the context of center facing and native based traditional approaches which is, perhaps, the result of colonial mindset. Thus, this paper investigates, outlines the reasons and seeks to find details on why non-native countries are resisting this positive change.

Key words: English Language Teaching, postmodernism, ELT, ESL, EFL, culture, subjectivism, constructivism, pragmatism, relativism and localism, language teacher, language learning