5. ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY (AEC)

Report
Importance of English in eLearning
Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
Dr. Kuldeep Nagi
NEC_2013
August 5-6, 2013
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
About Me
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Born in India, US citizen
Lived in Seattle, WA, USA for +25 Years
Fulbright Fellowship Award – 2006 to work at
Assumption University
Dan Evans Award for Excellence in Teaching
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
About Assumption University- Bangkok
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Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
Agenda
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
INTRODUCTION
COLONIZATION VS. GLOBALIZATION
SCENARIO IN THAILAND: WRATH OF
NA (T) IVE SPEAKERS
RELEVANCE OF e-LEARNING IN AEC
ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY
(AEC): WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER
2015?
CONCLUSIONS
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
1) INTRODUCTION
 English is currently one of the most widely spoken and written
languages worldwide, with more than 400 million native speakers.
Through the global influence of English in cinema, music, news
papers, books and television broadcasting and the Internet in
recent decades, English is now the most widely learned language
in the world.
 The main language used on the Internet is also English.
Internet services such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, You Tube,
MSN Live and LinkedIn are overwhelmingly American in origin,
so it is no wonder that the mother tongue of the World Wide Web
is English.
Figure 1: Countries with the most English
Language Speakers
(Source : http://cnrsociety.org/english.html)
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
1) INTRODUCTION
Four factors determine the degree to which a given language is used on
the Internet:
I. The number of users of the language
II. The extent of its use as an official language
III. The economic power of the language
IV. The volume of information disseminated in that language.
 Today, English reigns supreme in all the four aspects. It is also studied
as a foreign language throughout the world and employed by a majority
of Internet users.
 Another way to calculate the economic impact of a language may be to
examine gross domestic products (GDP) of all the nations where it is
spoken. People who count English as their mother tongue make up less
than 10% of the world's population, but possess over 30% of the world's
Figure 2: Speakers of English Language
economic power. Therefore, in terms of the volume and quality of
Source:
information, English remains a leading language.
(http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm)
 Of the 193 member nations of the U.N., more use English as their
official language than any other.
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
1) INTRODUCTION
 It is quite evident that successful and fulfilled individuals,
workers, and local and global citizens in the future will need new
kinds of competences ranging from proficiency in second languages
including English, information synthesis to social skills to migrate
to places wherever the new jobs may become available. Of special
importance is the capacity to draw on one’s communication skills.
 Thai e-Learning programs have little experience in doing this, at
least before the e-Learning became an essential part of higher
education. It is difficult to see how Thai universities can meet the
challenges posed by AEC without promoting learning of English.
The main objective of this presentation is to highlight the reasons
why change in attitude about learning English is necessary. More
so, how e-Learning programs can promote supplement this process.
Figure 3: Top 10 Languages n the Internet
Source:
(http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.h
tm)
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
2) COLONIZATION VS. GLOBALIZATION
 It is an historical fact that in the 17th century the British did not
go around the world to impose their language; they went places
with an intention to do trade. Later, they forcibly occupied many
countries in Africa, Asia, and later North America and Australia.
 In more than 300 years of their history British conquered many
countries. Occupation of these countries was followed by the
creation of their own system of education, transportation,
communication and governance.
 Spread of English language in colonies did not drastically
change the native culture and identity. Stretching from India,
Malaysia to Indonesia, Hong Kong and Australia, English became
an alternate way for communication.
Figure 4: British Empire shown in green
color
Source
:(http://www.breakaway.cc/Europe/UK/UKBritishEmpire.php)
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
2) COLONIZATION VS. GLOBALIZATION
 Days of colonization are now history. Every country that was part of
the British Empire is now free. The whole landscape is changed by the
rapid expansion of communication technologies, transport and financial
markets.
 Colonization is now replaced by much more powerful forces of
globalization. English language is no longer a cultural imposition; it is
the language of the Internet, Facebook and Twitter. It has become the
language of the global markets .
 In this context, a common language can become a powerful tool to
succeed in globalized economies.
 To be able to migrate to other countries and find a better paying job
requires knowing more than one language. Knowing English is even
better especially when a person wants to go to England, Australia or
America to have higher education or explore new options for a better
job or a career. Proficiency in English becomes an essential requirement.
Figure 5: Forces of Globalization
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
3) SCENARIO IN THAILAND: WRATH OF NA (T) IVE SPEAKERS

Thailand English teaching and learning problems cannot be
solved by employing the “native speakers”.

It requires a different strategy to expand teaching and
learning of English. As mentioned in my paper, Switzerland,
and many other European countries where teaching and
learning English is a big success, do not rely on what one
researcher calls it as “na (t) ive” speakers but on their own
teachers of English.

In Asia, a good example is India. Although colonized for more
than two centuries India does not employ foreigners to teach
English.

Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia has followed the same
model. It created its own pool of English teachers.
Figure 6: Native Speakers
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
3) SCENARIO IN THAILAND: WRATH OF NA (T) IVE SPEAKERS

The current crisis in Thai educational system is somewhat
captured in the Figure 7.

In Thailand, the nationalistic, single language based one-size-fitsall educational system is a big impediment to any progress. If the
Thai Ministry of Education is genuinely interested in improving
English education, then they have to do the following:
I.
Improve the quality of Thai English teachers. Thai teachers
of English have to be good; they have to be an inspiration
for their students.
Figure 7: Thai Educational System - One size fits all
II.
If Thailand really wants to employ a foreign teacher, then
he/she must be a real qualified language teacher, not just a
na (t) ive speaker. It has to be one who has a high degree in
language or linguistics, and who has also learned at least one
or more foreign languages.
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
4. RELEVANCE OF e-LEARNING IN AEC

e-Learning programs offered in English can
enable students residing in AEC to pace their
learning in their own ways.

It can bring information and data in various
formats and can be easily interpreted with click
of a mouse. With enhanced translation
capabilities provided by the Internet browsers
all information can be translated into any
language spoken within AEC.

In e-Learning, if instructionally designed by an
expert team, can support learning objectives
and outcomes in a more scientific manner than
the traditional teaching then in F2F teaching.
Fig 8: E-Learning in AEC
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
4. RELEVANCE OF e-LEARNING IN AEC

e-Learning programs for teaching and
learning English language can bring high
levels of interactivity and engage students in
an active learning process suited to their
needs and abilities, hence, giving them an
immersive learning experience.

e-Learning has flexibility, it provide choices
and can help in analysis, evaluation and
improvement of key factors of teachinglearning process.
Fig 9: E-Learning Outcomes
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
4. RELEVANCE OF e-LEARNING IN AEC
There is tremendous opportunity in AEC to focus on
the following three sectors of e-Learning.
i. Content -Courseware, multimedia, simulation, and
evaluation
ii. Technology/Infrastructure-LMS, LCMS, CMS,
content authoring tools, virtual classroom. Along
with regional platforms some dominant LMSs such
as Netex, Desire2Learn, Blackboard, Moodle,
Skillsoft, and Successfactors (now owned by SAP)
can be utilized. Mobile phones and Smart devices are
new and emerging markets for on-line learning
iii. Services- HRM, Educational consulting, learning
strategies, development, maintenance and many
others
Fig 10: E-Learning Infrastructure
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
5. ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY (AEC): WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER 2015?

The world is moving from a competitiveness
model based on cheap manpower to one based
on brainpower. In total, India, China and
Russia educate + 20 million university students
each year, as many as in the USA.

Through Internet technologies these brains can
be accessed from all over the world. Thai
universities have yet to recognize these trends.
To participate in the increasingly competitive
market of higher education Thai universities
need to recognize new and emerging forces
shaping the AEC job markets.
Figure 11: AEC Economic Community (AEC)
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
5. ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY (AEC): WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER 2015?

Although there may be some similarities between AEC and
the European Union’s Bologna Process which seeks to
harmonize the region’s higher education system.

But in comparison to Europe the diversity in education
systems and economic development across AEC presents
many more difficult challenges.

AEC is a very diverse regional bloc encompassing more
than 600 million people. Along with different cultural and
social differences, higher education landscape also varies
greatly. From highly developed Singapore, which has few
universities that often place well in international university
rankings, to countries like Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia
which only established their first national universities a
decade ago?
Figure 12: EU Vs. AEC
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
5. ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY (AEC): WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER 2015?

However, it is quite unclear whether 2015 deadline to establish a well integrated educational
system will come to fruition.

Some efforts are being made to providing more opportunities for student exchanges, credit
transfer systems (CTS) and improving quality assurance (QA) mechanisms. But so far, the
progress has been very slow.

As a small effort to raise standards, the ASEAN University Network (AUN) began operating
a regional quality-assurance (QA) system to assess undergraduate programs at its member
universities in 2007.

Since 2009, national QA agencies from various countries have been meeting regularly to
learn from each other. While there are no attempts to standardize curriculum or grading
across the region, there is awareness of the need to align different academic calendars of
various countries.
Figure 13:: AUN
Importance of English in eLearning Programs in Context of ASEAN
Economic Community (AEC)
6) CONCLUSION

In AEC only few countries have risen to the challenge of seeing English language relevant;
most others have hardly progressed beyond the education system that was introduced a
century ago.

What might it take for slow-to-change mind set in some countries is to embrace the
economic benefits, and manage the risks, associated with mandating English as a
compulsory subject as well as an alternate medium of instruction in schools and colleges
and cultivate broader competences for the future beyond AEC 2015?

Part of the answer to future changes in AEC lies beyond the walls of schools, colleges and
universities. Parents, governments, the professionals, popular media and even the free
marketplace, are all important stakeholders in promoting English.

For eLearning to take hold as a forceful alternate to on-campus learning it is essential to
create state of the art e-Learning degree programs that cater to the growth of AEC.
[email protected]

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