Is a New Paradigm of English Education Needed in Asia?

In the last few decades, English education in Asia has been dominated by western-based theories and ideas that were developed on the basis of their effectiveness in ESL environments. Although the learning and teaching situations differ between ESL environments and most Asian settings, these theories and ideas have been implemented without much screening in the Asian context and have therefore failed to be as effective as expected. Ever since Asia TEFL was founded in 2003, the development of an Asian paradigm of English education has been proposed. However, there have been few discussions and research studies related to this topic. In this presentation, the necessity of a new paradigm of English education in the Asian context will be proposed. This study will explore contextual characteristics of the English education contexts in Asia, particularly those in East Asian countries and compare them with those in ESL contexts. In addition, there will be an examination of some of the methodological ideas that have prevailed in the Asian ELT contexts from Asian perspectives. Finally, this study will inquire into the characteristics of an Asian paradigm of English education and consider what would be needed when developing this new approach.