World Englishes Strand3

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  • Strand 3World Englishes

  • Learning objectivesStrand 3Who speaks English today? (A3)The English Today debate (B3)Teaching and testing World Englishes (C3)

    Strand 4Variation across Outer Circle Englishes (A4)The legitimate and illegitimate offspring of English (B4)Emerging sub-varieties (C4)

  • A3: Who speaks English today?3 groups of users

    Those who speak English respectively asa native language = ENLa second language = ESLa foreign language = EFL

    Neat classifications become increasingly difficultA3

  • Who speaks English today?English as a Native Language (ENL)Language of those born and raised in one of the countries where English is historically the first language to be spoken (i.e. mainly the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand)~ 350 million speakers

    English as a Second Language (ESL)Language spoken in a large number of territories which were once colonized by the English (e.g., India, Nigeria, Singapore)~ 350 million speakers


  • Who speaks English today?English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Language of those for whom it serves no purposes within their own countriesHistorically, EFL was learned to use the language with its native speakers in the US and UK ~ 1 billion speakers with reasonable competence


  • Difficulties with the three-way categorizationENL is not a single variety of EnglishPidgins and creoles do not fit into the categorization.There are large groups of ENL speakers in ESL territories and vice versa.It is based on the concept of monolingualism, but bi- or multilingualism is the norm.It is based on the basic distinction between native speakers and non-native speakers, with the first group being considered superior regardless of the quality of their language.(cf. McArthur 1998)A3

  • Models of the spread of EnglishStreven (1980): World map of EnglishKachru (1985/1988): Three circle model of World EnglishesMcArthur (1987): Circle of World EnglishGrlach (1988): Circle model of EnglishModiano (1999): The centripetal circles of international English


  • McArthurs Circle of World English

  • Kachrus Three Concentric CirclesThe Expanding Circle

    China, Egypt, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Russia, Zimbabwe, South Africa,Caribbean Islands(EFL)The Outer CircleBangladesh, IndiaGhana, Kenya, Nigeria, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Zambia(ESL)The Inner CircleUSAUKCanadaAustraliaNew Zealand(ENL)

  • Three circle model of World EnglishesKachru (1992: 356)Most useful and influential modelWorld Englishes divided into 3 concentric circles:1. Inner Circle: ~ ENL countries, norm-providing2. Outer Circle:~ ESL countries, norm-developing3. Expanding Circle: ~EFL countries, norm-dependent


  • Limitations with Kachrus modelBased on geography and history, rather than the speakers use of English.Grey area between Inner and Outer Circles as well as Outer and Expanding Circles.The worlds bilingual or multilingual speakers are not taken into account.Difficulty of using the model to define speakers in terms of their proficiency in English.Does not account for the linguistic diversity within and between countries of a particular circle.The term Inner Circle implies that speakers from ENL countries are central, and may thus be interpreted as superior.


  • A3 Study questionsWhat do the acronyms ENL, ESL and EFL stand for and what do they refer to?Name some of the difficulties with the tripartite categorisation into ENL, ESL and EFL speakers.Explain Kachrus three-circle model of the spread of English. Highlight its advantages as well as limitations.What are the main characteristics of Modianos two models of international English? What are the problems of Modianos model?A3

  • B3: The English Today debateEnglish EnglishesOuter Circle Englishes still regularly regarded asInterlanguage: learner language which has not yet reached the targetFossilized language: language used when learning has ceased short of native-like competenceExpanding Circle Englishes even less accepted


  • The English Today debateControversy between Randolph Quirk and Braij Kachru, Journal English Today, early 1990sNon-native Englishes as deficit:Quirk: Language varieties and standard languageNon-native Englishes are inadequately learned versions of correct native English formsNon-native Englishes are not valid as teaching modelsNon-native Englishes as difference:Kachru: Liberation linguistics and the Quirk ConcernCriticizes Quirks deficit linguistics positionHighlights four false assumptions of Quirks argument


  • B3 Study questionsWhat is Quirks position with regard to the English spoken in Outer Circle countries? Which role should Outer Circle Englishes play in education and language teaching according to Quirk?What are Kachrus arguments against Quirks position? According to Kachru, which false assumptions underlie Quirks position? How does Kachru see the role of English in Outer Circle countries?B3

  • Activity P.67-70Whose arguments do you find more convincing, Quirks or Kachrus?How can we decide whether a non-standard English usage is an error or an innovation?


  • Activity P.67-70The main question with innovations is the need to decide when an observed feature of language use is indeed an innovation and when it is simply an error. An innovation is seen as an acceptable variant, while an error is simply a mistake, or uneducated usage. If innovations are seen as errors, a non-native variety can never receive any recognition.

    (Bamgbose 1998:22)B3

  • Activity P.67-70What is your response to the comment made by Bamgbose?What do you see as the advantages and the disadvantages of a pluricentric approach to English, in which there are several global centres, native and non-native, each with its own standard variety of English? How far is the way this enables a variety of English to express the culture of its speakers outweighed by problem such as the threat of fragmentation of English into mutually unintelligible languages?B3

  • C3: Teaching and testing World Englishes: teaching English todayChallenging the premise that NS is best teacher:NS is expert informant, but not necessarily expert instructor (Widdowson 1994a)NNS teachers and students have shared experience of learning English asset (Seidlhofer 1999)but:NS teachers still sought most (Kirkpatrick 2007a:185)Authority of NS teacher still upheld in teaching materials (Nayar 1998:287)


  • Demand for native speaker English teachersThe demand for native speakers is so high in many places that being a native speaker is the only qualification that many teachers require. Thus native speakers who have no specialist training in English language teaching are routinely employed by schools, institutions and universities all over the world.

    (Kirkpatrick 2007a: 185)C3

  • Authority of native speaker English teachersThe discourse of Applied Linguistics as well as the vast amount of supporting material brought out by the ESL/EFL enterprise have created and perpetuated the image of the native speaker as the unquestionable authority of not just language ability but also of expertise in its teaching.

    (Nayar 1998: 287)C3

  • Activity P.121-122You are a learner of English as a second language. To what extent do your experience resonate with the comments made by Kirkpatrick and Nayar?


  • Activity P.121-122Kirkpatrick (2007a: 195) has a checklist for teachers who wish to work in Outer and Expanding Circle Countries. How far do you agree with it? Would you add or remove any of the criteria? Which of them (if any) do you think could/should be applied to teachers of L2 English learners in Inner Circle countries?C3

  • Testing English todayStudents still measured against NS norms (also in international English tests) washback effect on classroom practices features which are standard in local (Outer and Expanding Circle) contexts but not in the Inner Circle are regarded as deviations and errors (Lowenberg 2000, 2002) rethinking of teaching and testing goals?


  • Activity P.124-125Lowenburg believes that there is an assumption held by many who design English proficiency tests that the native speakers still should determine the norms for standard English around the world. Items in test such as TOEIC do not reflect the fact that normative features in Expanding Circle varieties sometime diverge from Inner Circle norms.

    Lowenburg (2000:81)C3

  • Activity P.124-125Kachru and Nelson (2006:131) argue that the many contexts and norms of world Englishes preclude any simple limitation of correctness and make professional test-writers task more difficult the more they come to understand about world Englishes.

    Kachru and Nelson (2006:131)C3

  • Activity P.124-125Take a look at some English language tests that are used on a worldwide basis, e.g. TOEFL, IETLS.

    How strictly do their writers limit correctness to native English norms?How far do they demonstrate an awareness of World Englishes by accepting non-native speaker variation of the kind Lowenberg describes and the complex situation to which Kachru and Nelson refer?C3

  • C3 Study questionsWhat are the advantages and disadvantages of having native speaker teachers/non-native speaker teachers of English?As regards teaching and testing: what is the washback effect?C3

  • Learning objectives for next weekStrand 4Variation across Outer Circle Englishes (A4)The legitimate and illegitimate offspring of English (B4)Emerging sub-varieties (C4)