English for Liberal Arts: Towards a New Paradigm for University Language Teaching

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Paul Wadden; Chris Carl Hale; Edward Rush, Mahidol University; Ditthayanan Punyaratabandhu, Mahidol University; Michael Kleindl; Rab Paterson; Steve Engler


The paper attempts to articulate a novel approach to English language teaching in which language reproduction itself is not the ultimate goal of instruction, but rather the ultimate transformation of the learner in the pursuit of understanding what it means to be human. This goal has long been a feature of liberal arts education, and the authors believe that it should not be limited to students in liberal arts colleges in the West but can form the basis for a dynamic approach to language teaching at the university level. The authors observe that East Asia is an attractive venue for challenging and enriching students with the values and educational goals of the liberal arts through the teaching of English as a foreign language, and they illustrate some of the pedagogical implications of an English for Liberal Arts approach they advocate in several common course types and traditional skill areas.