The English language was first spread via the global reach of the British Empire and subsequently through processes of globalization driven by the United States. While the social, political and economic complexities brought about by these processes have established the contemporary place of English as the world’s primary international language, there are some crucial and controversial issues that need critical analysis, particularly as regards the persistent exo-normative model of Standard English, non-standard variations in New Englishes or postcolonial Englishes, the emergent variant forms of ‘glocal’ Englishes in the so-called Expanding Circle, and how English is used by non-native speakers amongst themselves i.e. English as a Lingua Franca (EFL). Students in this course will learn about the origins and development of the English language in the British Isles, critically examine the spread and polycentric development of English today and the current academic debate on the ideology of Standard English, the discourses of postcolonialism, the relationship between language and power, the attitudes to and the linguistic rights of non-native speakers of English, the concept of the ‘native speaker’, and the future of English as a global language.
The origins and development of the English language; language standards and codification; models of English spread and development; Nativized English; ‘New’ Englishes; language ideology, ownership and identity; pidgin and creole languages; the future of World Englishes.
By the end of the course, students should:-
- Demonstrate an understanding of the origins of English and its development within the British Isles.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the major historical, linguistic, economic, educational, and sociopolitical developments in the spread of English as a world language
- Be able to identify different varieties of English by their associated linguistic features
- Critically examine the current debates in the rise of World Englishes especially in the context of postcolonial societies.
- Actively engage in classroom activities and tutorials by studying key readings and drawing on individual experiences to address the particular topic at hand
- Demonstrate the ability to carry out an investigative study of topics regarding Global Englishes and critically assess the materials and themes discussed in the course
Lectures; in-class debates, discussion and presentations.
100% coursework, comprising two or more of the following:
In-class tests, reflective practice, essays, project work and (group/individual) presentations.
Jenkins, Jennifer. 2015. Global Englishes: A Resource Book for Students (Third Edition). London and New York: Routledge. (Required textbook; please note this book may be available online, and also as an e-book through various university libraries)
Additional readings will be made available on Moodle. A list of required and recommended readings will be provided.