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ENGLISH AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE Part 1.  Sandra Lee McKay: Teaching English as an International Language.

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Presentation on theme: "ENGLISH AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE Part 1.  Sandra Lee McKay: Teaching English as an International Language."— Presentation transcript:


2  Sandra Lee McKay: Teaching English as an International Language

3 INTRODUCTION ENGLISH AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE To be considered an international language, a language cannot be linked TO ANY ONE COUNTRY OR CULTURE; rather, it must belong to those who use it. Hence, the typical relationship that exists btw culture and language needs to be re- examined. This relationship needs to be examined with reference -to the teaching of discourse competence -The use of cultural materials in the classroom -The cultural assumptions that inform teaching methods  The question of whose discourse rules to apply in the use of EIL will be problematic. Some of the central issues are: -SHOULD THOSE WHO USE EIL BE ASKED TO ACQUIRE NATIVE SPEAKERS’ STANDARDS IN BOTH SPOKEN AND WRITTEN INTERACTIONS? -SHOULD THEY EMPLOY STANDARDS CONSISTENT WITH THEIR OWN CULTURE? - IF ENGLISH IS APPROACHED AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE, WHOSE CULTURE OF LEARNING SHOULD BE USED?

4 Cultural topics Currently, many ELT materials use cultural topics related to native English-speaking countires on the grounds that learning English should entail knowledge of native English-speaking cultures. Is such an approach appropriate in the teaching of an international language? What do you think?

5 1. ENGLISH AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE DEFINING AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE For some, an international language is equated with a language that has a large number of native speakers. In this sense Mandarin, Mandarin,English, Spanish, Spanish, Hindi, and Arabic, the 5 most widely spoken mother tongues in the world today, might be considered international languages. However, only if spoken by a large number of native speakers of other languages, the language can serve as a language of wider communication. English is, in this sense, the international language par excellence. A language achieves global status when it develops a “special role that is recognized in every country” and this special status can be achieved either by : a)making it an official language of the country or b) by a country giving special priority to English by requiring its study as a foreign language.

6 Crystal (1997): Some countries that give special status to English: American Samoa Antigua and Barbuda Australia Bahamas Bangladesh Barbados Belize Bermuda Bhutan Botswana British Virgin Islands Brunei Canada Dominica Fiji Ghana Gibraltar GGGGrenada HHHHong Kong IIIIndia IIIIreland JJJJamaica KKKKenya LLLLiberia MMMMalawi MMMMalaysia MMMMalta MMMMarshall Islands MMMMauritius MMMMicronesia NNNNamibia NNNNepal NNNNew zealand PPPPakistan PPPPhilippines PPPPuerto Rico

7 …and more:  Rwanda  St Luca  Seychelles  Sierra Leone  Singapore  Solomon islands  South Africa  Sri Lanka  Tanzania  Tonga  Trinidad and Tobago  Tuvalu  Uganda  United Kingdom  Uk island (Channel Is, Man)  United States  US Virgin Islands  Western Samoa (now Samoa)  Zambia  Zimbabwe Total population: 2,024,614,00 Usage estimate: L1 337,407,300 L2 235,351,300

8 Categorisationa of countires in which English is used: (Kachru) INNER CIRCLE L1


10 Studied as a foreign language EXPANDING CIRCLE

11 Inner, Outer and Expanding Circles  Inner Circle: e.g. USA, UK, Austarlia ( million)  Outer Circle: e.g. India, the Philippines, Singapore ( million) ( million) Expanding Circle: e.g. China, Japan, Germany ( million) ( million)

12 The roles English serves  The various roles English serves in different countries of the world are best conceived of in terms of three concentric circles:  A) the Inner Circle, where E is the primary language of the country  B) the Outer Circle, where E serves as a second language in a multilingual country, and  C) the Expanding Circle where E is widely studied as a foreign language.

13 Features of an international language  “International language” – the language which is used by people of different nations to communicate with one another.  Important assertions regarding THE RELATIONSHIP OF AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE AND CULTURE: -Its learners do not need to internalize the culutral norms of native speakers of that language -The ownership of an international language becomes “de-nationalized ” “de-nationalized ” -The educational goal of learning it is to enable learners to communicate their ideas and culture to others

14 English as an international language As an international language, E is used both in a global sense for international communication btw countries and in a local sense as a languge of wider communication within multilingual societies. The use of E is no longer connected to the culture of Inner Circle countires. In a local sense, E becomes embedded in the culture of the country in which it is used. In a global sense, one of tis primaary functions is to enable speakers to share with others their ideas and culture.

15 FINALLY… …an international language spreads not by speakers of that language migrating to other areas but rather by many individuals acquiring the language.

16 Reasons for the spread of English 1 MACROACQUISITION (Brutt-Griffler’s model): MACROACQUISITION International language spreads not through speaker migration but rahter by many individuals in a speech community acquiring the language. Language spread by speakers migration results typically in the development of largely monolingual English-speaking communities (US, New Zealand, Australia). Macroacquisition, in reference to Englsih, has occurred largely in Outer Circle countries but even in some Expanding Circles countires. The result is not monolingualism but rather large-scale bilingualism.

17 Microacquisition and its implications First, it means that the study of E as an international language must involve an investigation of bilingualism in both Outer and Expanding Circle countires, rather than on LANGUAGE SHIFT (moving to the Inner Circle countries); LANGUAGE SHIFT (moving to the Inner Circle countries); Second, because the current spread of E entails macroacquisition, the focus of investigation must be on bilingual E speech communities rather than on individual language learners.

18 2. URBAN MIGRATION There is one type of migratin today that may be a significant factor in the continued growth of E today – urban migration. The most rapid urbanization today is taking place in the developing world where in Asia alone bw 1994 and 2025 there is likely to be an increase of more tha 20% in the urban population. Urban areas are typically the focus for linguistic change. They are also important points for language contact and diversity, and they encourage the growth of a middle class who become consumers of the global material culture. URBANISATION has importan effects on language demography. New languages emerge, others change, some are lost; new patterns of English uses will arise among second-language speakers.

19 3 MORE REASONS FOR THE SPREAD OF ENGLISH – past and present a) IN THE PAST Colonialism, speaker migration, and new technology -19th and 20th century British and American coloialism and the migration of English-speaking individuals to other areas -Briatin becoming the world’s leading industrial and trading nation (beginning of the 19th century)

20 b) CURRENT SPREAD AND THE MICROACQUISITION OF THE LANGUAGE WITHIN EXISTING SPEECH COMMUNITIES The current uses of Englsih in various intellectual, economic, and cultural arenas: -International organizations: of international organizations listed in the Union of International Associations’ Yearbook, 85% make official use of E. -Motion pictures: in the mid 1990s, the US controlled about 85% of the world film market. -Popular music: of the pop groups listed in The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 99% of the gropus work entirely or predominantly in E. -Publications: more books are published in E than in any other language. -Communications: about 80% of the world’s electronically stored information is in E. -Education: in many countries E plays a significant role in higher education.

21 NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE SPREAD OF ENGLISH  The threat to existing languages  The influence on cultural identity  The association of the language with and economic elite

22 CONCERNS: The dominance of E: many individuals learn E because they want access to such things as scientific and technological information global economic trade, and higher education. many individuals learn E because they want access to such things as scientific and technological information global economic trade, and higher education. Many concerns are raised in relation to the negative economic repercussions of the spread of English. One of the primry concerns in this regard is the strong relationship btw economic wealth and proficiency in the language, and the role that language education policy and practices play in promoting this.

23 Tollefson (1991)… …notes that, because E is typically acquired in school context, this situation can lead to significant social inequalities. As he puts it, Those people who cannot afford schooling, who do not have time to attend school, who attend substandard programmes, or who otherwise do not have access to effective formal education may be unable to learn E well enough to obtain jobs and to participate in decision-making systems that use E. Because education is a major concern of the state, this fundamental shift in the manner of acquisition means that state policies play a decisive role in determining who has acess to the institutions of the modern market and therefore to political power. This shif to school-based language learning is a worldwide phenomenon, and so language policy plays an important role in the structure of power and inequality in countries through the world.

24 Kachru… …“Knowing English is like possessing the fabled Aladdin’s lamp, which permits one to open, as it were, the linguistic gates to international business, technology, science and travel. In short, E provides lingustic power.”

25 Check your understanding  What is necessary for a language to be an international language?  Who does an international language belong to?  When does a language achieve a global status and how is it achieved?  The categorisation of the countries where E is spoken is…(Kachru)?  What is the role of E in those countires?  What are the features of an international language?  What is the educational goal of learning it?  What is EIL in a local and global sense?  What is a language spread by migration?  What is a microacquisition?  What is a language shift?  What is urban migration?  What are historical and current reasons for the spread of English?  What are the negative effects?  What are the concerns raised in relation to the negative economic repercussions of the spread of English (Tollefson) – explain!?

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