An Interview with Nicola Galloway

John Galindo, Himeji Dokkyo University

Welcome colleagues! For the last issue of 2022, we are excited to bring you two fascinating interviews. The first interview is with Nicola Galloway, Senior Lecturer and Programme Director in Education (TESOL) at the University of Glasgow. Her research focuses on the pedagogical implications of the global spread of English and the global spread of English medium instruction (EMI) in higher education. She is the author of four books on Global Englishes and has two books on EMI (in press). She leads a global network that brings together both fields and aims to create a global community of practice of teachers and researchers—Teaching English and Teaching In English in Global Contexts: After her plenary speech at the JALT2021 International Conference, she was interviewed by John Galindo, who is currently a lecturer in English at Himeji Dokkyo University. He has an MA in Linguistics from Rice University. He has taught at universities in the Kansai area since 2019. His research interests include pronunciation pedagogy and tertiary EFL writing instruction. So, without further ado, to our first interview!

John Galindo: Congratulations on a great plenary speech and an interesting workshop at JALT2021. Could you talk about how you became interested in the topic of Global Englishes?

Nicola Galloway: First of all, thank you to JALT for inviting me along to give the talk on Friday and then the workshop on Monday. I saw some old colleagues in the audience, so it was nice to reconnect. It was just a shame it couldn’t be in person. That is always a nice thing about conferences—being able to network and meet people.

I started my career teaching in Japan when I was a JET out in Gunma-ken in a small, very rural community called Nanmokumura. It was there where I really became interested in the topic.

While I was teaching English, I started to question my role there—I questioned my role as a role model, my role as an English speaker, who my students’ target interlocutors were, and the role of the native-speaking English teacher. I wasn’t a qualified English teacher at the time, so I soon felt very inferior to my non-native speaking counterparts who had a much superior knowledge of English, as well as how to teach it, and they possessed an understanding of the educational, cultural, and linguistic contexts in Japan.

I am obviously from Scotland, so I have a Scottish accent, and I was interested in my American colleagues’ lack of understanding of my accent, which my Japanese students found very clear. I began to become quite interested in familiarity with accents and how that can lead to miscommunications. Also, my British spelling was corrected on the blackboard. I was asked to try and sound a little bit more American, so I became aware of this hierarchy of accents. I returned to my master’s in TESOL, and I focused on linguistic imperialism in the JET program, returned to Japan to teach, and then started my PhD, where I introduced a World English course at the university I was working in. I continued researching Japanese students’ attitudes towards English as a global language. I aimed to uncover the underlying factors behind these attitudes, as well as the reasons behind the attachments to native English and preferences for native English in the curriculum. I’ve continued working in this field ever since.

Together with Dr. Heath Rose, you outlined the Global Englishes in Language Teaching (GELT) framework (2019). What are some crucial differences from previous teaching frameworks?

As I outlined in the talk, Global Englishes aims to be an inclusive paradigm that really showcases the similar underlying ideology behind research in the fields of World Englishes, ELF (English as a Lingua Franca), EIL (English as an International Language), and it also resonates with work in translanguaging and the multilingual turn. Scholars in all of these fields may position their work within different research paradigms, but they all focus on the pluricentricity of English, and scholars in all of these fields have called for change to ELT practice.

As I was doing my PhD, I was an English teacher, and it became apparent that there was this theory-practice divide and so many scholars were calling for change at the theoretical level. Within the field of World Englishes, this has been going on for decades, but little headway had been made into classroom practice. One of the first steps was to try and make sense of the literature and what was being called for.

The GELT (Global Englishes for Language Teaching) framework was originally created in the conclusion to my PhD thesis (2011), and it aimed to provide a useful framework for research purposes, but also to inform curriculum innovation. It was informed by similar comparisons to traditional ELT and Global Englishes perspectives such as Jenkins (2006), where she compares EFL to an ELF conceptualization, Canagarajah’s shifts in pedagogical practice (2005), and Seidlhofer’s comparisons (2011) as well.

So I built on this, but it really aimed to be inclusive for calls to change in the wider literature, and to consolidate interconnected themes but in a reader-friendly format. It’s gone through a number of adaptations as new ideas have emerged and proposals have been put into practice, which I focused on in the talk. As I outlined in the plenary talk and just now, it stemmed from the grouping of what I labeled the “GELT Proposals.” In trying to understand what was being called for in the literature, I identified these six broad proposals for change to ELT, and it was clear that these proposals had implications for the entire curriculum.

The GELT framework differs in that I’ve organized this with 13 dimensions and the GELT framework draws on Richards’ five perspectives of the curriculum (2017): needs analysis, syllabus, methodology, assessment, and evaluation. We aim to provide a framework for both curriculum evaluation and curriculum design.

One proposal for change within the GELT framework includes raising awareness for Global Englishes. How can teachers in Japan explore language attitudes towards linguistic variation and Global Englishes with their students?

My work really started with exploring attitudes towards linguistic variation and Global Englishes and I’ve been involved in designing a number of different activities with students at the university level in Japan and also teacher education programs, as we outline in the systematic review in Language Teaching (Rose et al., 2021). Recent years have seen a flurry of studies introducing innovations into the classroom. This raises an important point here in the importance of attitudes and investigating our students’ attitudes. As we know, needs analysis is central to students’ motivation.

My own work exploring attitudes has stemmed from a concern as ELLs (English-Language Learners) in the field that researchers were concluding that students had more positive attitudes towards native Englishes and therefore that’s what we should provide them in the curriculum. Such studies, however, failed to investigate why students had these attitudes and where these attitudes were coming from, and as we know, this stems from the very dominance of native norms in standard language ideology. As Cook (1999) pointed out, just because learners want to be native speakers doesn’t mean that these attitudes are right. Such attitudes are the product of the many pressures on them to regard ELT users as failed natives. Recent studies have started exploring the factors underlying these attitudes, looking at activities that can address learners’ language attitudes, and highlighting the awareness of things like ELF awareness and ELF experience on students’ attitudes, as well as the positive influence that Global Englishes courses can have on their attitudes.

I think it’s important to note that people don’t have to design an entire Global Englishes course, but there are little things we can do in the classroom to explore attitudes to encourage students to be reflective. I’ve used some tools such as perceptual dialectology, which involves giving students a map, asking them to draw circles around the English speakers that they are familiar with, and using adjectives to get them to think critically about their listening journals. Although it was a difficult task for students to reflect on their ELF experiences, there are a lot of activities to get them to reflect on their attitudes and their stereotypes, including getting them to design their own questionnaires and interview each other.

I think giving students some of the research findings can also be quite interesting, for example, giving them critical incidents to think about and getting them to question stereotypes about Englishes speakers. Global Englishes is part of critical Applied Linguistics, so we should really be encouraging students to be critical of the global spread of Englishes and the dominance of standard language ideology, and to engage with them to think about this critically.

In adapting an English as a Lingua Franca (ELF)-aware pedagogy, should teachers shift content and assessment to focus on the sociocultural context of the target language?

Firstly, it’s important to point out that GELF or ELF-aware pedagogy or World Englishes-informed ELT isn’t just about foregrounding the sociocultural context. There can still be a focus on grammar and vocabulary. It’s about having a more flexible view about grammatical norms and language use, encouraging language creativity, seeing our language learners as creative users of the language, and encouraging them to reflect on how language is used as a global language. We have this growing body of research that showcases that what we’re teaching in the traditional ELT classroom is very different to how the language is being used as a global lingua franca.

So by advocating the inclusion of ELF-aware pedagogy, we’re not suggesting that teachers abolish current content altogether. This can be incorporated into a number of different perspectives, and I’ve tried to show that in some of my work as well. We do wish to encourage a critical examination of this from a Global Englishes lens. It’s not about replacing one standard with another. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to teaching English, and ELF research has indeed indicated that the very idea of a standard is incompatible with the fluid nature of ELF usage.

If we think about assessment, GELT would argue for assessment criteria to be based on competence rather than accuracy, so we have to think about proficiency or competence. What does “communicative” mean now? What does it mean to be a successful user of English as a global language rather than focus on accuracy? We can still have a focus on grammar and vocabulary, but really being critical of this notion of accuracy and conformity to static, native norms. Essential criteria to any piece of assessment that aims to make inferences about a learner’s ability to use English in a global context should really make its evaluations of speakers’ ability to communicate effectively in global contexts. It’s much like the focus we see in ESP (English for Specific Purposes), about this shift that we saw in the field from a focus on language skills to language strategies.

Based on Global Englishes research and your own experience teaching in Japan, what are some examples of ELF communication strategies that teachers can implement in their classroom?

One of the activities that I introduced was listening journals, and it was obvious to me that students were using ELF in their arbaito (part-time jobs) outside of the classroom, yet they still thought that their target interlocutors who use English would be a native speaker. I asked them for ten minutes every week to either focus on the variety of English spoken by the person they were communicating with or focus on the ELF encounter. The journal was successful in the sense that it raised awareness of their use of English, but they did find it difficult. They didn’t really have the metacognitive awareness to reflect on the ELF experiences or the vocabulary to discuss this. I think with developments in online language learning, there are increased opportunities to engage in real-like ELF communication, so we’re probably going to see a lot more work in online learning, negotiating tasks, task reflection, and this could include looking at strategies that people are using.

As I noted, GELT longs for a shift away from assessing learners’ linguistic knowledge of English towards assessing the strategic use of English. It’s focusing on strategies of negotiations, situated performance, and their use of their communicative repertoire. If we think about activities or assessment then in terms of strategies, we might want to work with our students to look at how they use spoken Englishes to take part in a successful oral task with a classmate. For example, we can look at how they negotiate meaning in a communication breakdown, and how they overcome that because as we know, when we look at ELF research, non-conformity to native norms isn’t resulting in unsuccessful communication. ELF users use a number of different strategies to overcome this. It’s really about engaging with that and looking at these strategies with our learners that I think are important: paraphrasing, repetition, and accommodation. I think there are a lot of different projects that we can be doing, and we are seeing a lot of work now looking at how to introduce Global Englishes, which is exciting.

The English classroom in Japan is an ELF interaction itself in which the participants navigate cultural differences in educational context and communication strategies, including participation styles, repairs, eye contact, the role of silence in an interaction, and even communication breakdowns. With these in mind, what are some accommodations that teachers can make in the classroom to facilitate communication and learning?

I think this is an important point about Global Englishes: awareness isn’t needed just for non-native speakers learning English. It’s very much about emancipation from native norms and this applies equally for native speakers who are teaching. Multilingualism today is the norm, and Ryuko Kubota has done work in this area with teaching Global Englishes concepts to a native speaker audience (2021). I think that we all need to learn how to communicate in a multilingual world.

I think that awareness of our students’ context and cultural and educational backgrounds and linguistic backgrounds is very important as well. It’s as much on us as teacher educators as the students, but we do see headway being made in this area with the inclusion of Global Englishes subject matter on Applied Linguistics and TESOL practitioner education courses, which is promising. There’s been a lot of work in this area on the relevance of what our future teachers are learning in these western master’s courses and their applicability to different contexts, and I think a lot more research is needed. Like I said (in the presentation), we need more longitudinal research within the field of Global Englishes on how our future teachers are incorporating these aspects into their classrooms, what barriers they’re encountering, how perhaps they’re reinventing innovations, how they’re adapting things, and there’s not enough longitudinal research in the field at the moment to investigate some of the examples that you’ve given just now.

Your plenary talk also addressed some of the needs of research design in ELT pedagogy. Could you go into more detail about the need for more robust methodologies and other considerations when planning research?

In the systematic review that I conducted for Language Teaching with my colleagues Heath Rose and Jim McKinley (2021), we’ve used the growing body of empirical work on Global Englishes innovations on the classroom level, and also for teacher innovation. We concluded that there was an overabundance of one-shot, cross sectional data collection methods in classroom-based studies, and these were usually collected at the end of a course or task. We called for more quasi-experimental designs, so more research, more pre- and post-course intervention data collection methods to measure actual change. A lot of these studies in the conclusion were claiming that the innovation had influenced teachers’ beliefs and attitudes, but they didn’t have the methodological design to back this up. So that’s what I meant there by “more robust methodology.”

We also need more action research. In this review, we found that lots of these studies were labeled “Action Research” simply because they were conducted in their own classroom. We see a lot of work in this field being conducted by teachers with their own students, but they hadn’t included the requisite cycles of planned innovation that we see in the cyclical process of Action Research, like multiple data collection points, and these can be very powerful to pinpoint effects and also to demonstrate causality to the innovations. We need to scrutinize the methods used here.

Really robustly designed action research designs were absent in the work that we reviewed, so one of the reasons for setting up the online network is really to foster more engagement between practitioners in the classroom and researchers. Perhaps if we encourage this collaboration, researchers could provide more methodological expertise, and teachers can provide the pedagogical expertise to ensure good implementation and reporting on the innovation. I’m not saying that one is better than the other when conducting research here, but we have different time allocated for research, and I think we really need to encourage collaboration between researchers and practitioners to work closely together to design these studies. Researchers can also be very disengaged with classroom practice, so it’s important to get that valuable expertise from those working in the classroom.

We also found in the field of Teacher Education, a lot of the work was at the pilot stage. It’s promising that a lot of work is happening, but really this would benefit from more systematic approaches to data collection, with the inclusion of more pre- and post-course data, so that we can adequately measure change.

I think one final point, too, is just to be cautious with qualitative methods. These were really predominant in the field. Many of the studies relied on somewhat unreliable methods to elicit evidence of the impact of an innovation, such as reflective papers from students at the end of the course and retrospective interviews. Again, I think there’s a need for more direct measures to look at the impact of these innovations on students’ beliefs, for example.

Do you have any suggestions for where teachers can find resources for Global Englishes?

When I identified the six GELT proposals (Galloway & Rose, 2015) that were being called for in the literature, I also identified barriers to curriculum innovation at the time, which, I think, is very important. Needs analysis is clearly central here, and when we’re considering curriculum innovation, we really need to look at the various context-specific barriers that may exist when incorporating this perspective into the classroom. One of these was definitely materials, as there was a lack of Global Englishes materials.

As we know, teachers are very busy, so adapting or designing their own materials is very time-consuming. We do see an increased body of materials. Aya Matsuda (2012) has some lesson plans, my 2017 book has some lesson plans in the appendix (Galloway 2017), and I have an upcoming book with Ali Fuad Selvi and Heath Rose in Cambridge Elements (2021) in which we break down the GELT framework and look at concrete activities that can be used in the classroom to introduce these different 13 dimensions. We do see work in this field developing, but we definitely do still have a lack of resources. I think that the increased body of work is helping to address this and one of the main reasons for setting up the (Teaching English and Teaching IN English in Global Contexts) network was to encourage the creation of a depository of resources so that we could facilitate the development of an online community of practice and that teachers and researchers can share their data collection tools to foster replications studies, and also for mentoring of early career researchers. This relates to your questions about research, but also to facilitate pedagogical innovation by way of sharing resources and facilitating dialogue on these resources. I’m working at the moment on a student and alumni strand to the network. I’ve got funding for this, an intern in place, and I’m going to work with the resource coordinator and the professional development coordinator for teacher education resources. They’ll all be organized according to elementary, university, or teacher education. It’s a big project, but the idea is that people will be able to upload and download (resources). Hopefully it will be of use to people in the future, but it’s in the very early days.


The Teaching English and Teaching IN English in Global Contexts network can be accessed at

The plenary presentation is available at: JALT2021 Nicola Galloway Plenary: New Perspectives for Teaching English as a Global Language



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