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A resource book for students World Englishes Jennifer Jenkins.

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Presentation on theme: "A resource book for students World Englishes Jennifer Jenkins."— Presentation transcript:

1 A resource book for students World Englishes Jennifer Jenkins

2 Current debates in World Englishes C. Exploration

3 C1: Postcolonial America and Africa English Only in the US Increase in multi-ethnicity: Growing population of ethnolinguistic minorities  Reversal of policy for education in immigrants’ L1s ‘Proposition 227’ (1998) – Obligatory immersion program – ‘Sink or swim’  Alienation from own first language and culture  Social isolation  Loss of cultural identity C1

4 English in Africa: Nigeria A case of linguistic imperialism? Bisong (1995) – English has not displaced indigenous languages – English only one factor in a multicultural society – English used by African creative writers: self-assertion, not victimisation Phillipson’s response (1996) – African languages marginalised in favour of English – Promotion of English to de-emphasise ethnicity – African literature in English not accessible for 90 per cent of population – Choice of English-medium education owing to neglect of state schools C1

5 C2: Creole developments in the UK and US: London Jamaican A combination of Jamaican Creole and a local form of non-standard English Powerful marker of group identity Shows grammatical, phonological and lexical features of Jamaican Creole Also shows features of London English which do not occur in Jamaican Creole C2

6 Ebonics Also known as Africa-American Vernacular English (AAVE) No agreement on how it developed Debate about its status and the approach to be taken in schools — Oakland school board: Ebonics regarded as valid linguistic system and as second language, used as language of instruction — Strong reactions: many opposed this approach, some were in favour C2

7 C3: Teaching and testing World Englishes: teaching English today Challenging 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: Authority of NS teacher still upheld in teaching materials NS teachers still sought most C3

8 Testing English today Students 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? C3

9 C4: Emerging ‘sub’-varieties: Singlish Singlish = Colloquial Singapore English (CSE) Differs from Standard Singapore English (SSE) Not clear whether CSE and SSE are continuum or two distinct varieties (Deterding 2007) Fear that use of Singlish among children might affect literacy Main difference from Standard English is syntactic, lexis is dominated by English (Gupta 1999) C4

10 Singlish Grammar – Verb features: e.g. past tense not marked, no present tense -s suffix, copula dropped to describe states – Noun features: e.g. non-count nouns treated as count, indefinite article dropped, relative clause with different word order and one – Sentence structure: e.g. subject dropping, conjunction dropping, use of pragmatic particles lah and ah C4

11 Singlish Pronunciation e.g. avoidance of th-sounds, less distinction between long and short vowels, rhythm very syllable-timed Lexis – Borrowing from other Singaporean languages (e.g. Hokkien, Malay) – Shifted meaning (e.g. stay for long-term residence) – Conversion: verbs to adjectives (e.g. blur ‘confused’), nouns to verbs – Idiomatic forms peculiar to Singapore (e.g. love letters ‘flaky, tube-shaped biscuits’) C4

12 The politics of Singlish Speak Good English Movement (SGEM) (2000) – Promotion of SSE – Use of Singlish discouraged – Concerns about international intelligibility  economic imperative – Sociolinguists (e.g. Schneider 2007) have different view: concerns about falling standards are common in postcolonial contexts – Rubdy (2001): Singlish is symbol of cultural identity – Wee (2002): SGEM is an attempt to eliminate Singlish  breach of linguistic human rights C4

13 Estuary English (EE) Rosewarne 1996 Accent variety between Cockney and RP Pronunciation features – Word final ‘t’ replaced with glottal stop – L-vocalisation – Lengthening of final vowel sounds – Dropping of yod in words like ‘assume’ – Syllabic consonants avoided by insertion of schwa – th-fronting Might replace RP or be absorbed into RP (thus changing RP) C4

14 Estuary English (EE) – a variety? Challenges to Rosewarne’s account of EE: Fails to take into account intraspeaker variation, i.e. adjusting accent to context (Maidment 1994) EE is StE with non-RP, London-influenced accent (Wells 1998) EE as ‘inaccurate myth’ (Trudgill 2002): not a variety but a lower middle-class accent, unlikely to replace RP because not taught in schools Not a variety but a set of levelled accents or dialects (Kerswill 2007) A number of distinct accents, not a single and definable variety, is part of more general changes which are not exclusive to the British Isles (Przedlacka 2002) C4

15 C5: Standards across channels Differences between speech and writing: Three approaches (Baron 2000): – Opposition view – Continuum view – Cross-over view Continuum between ‘typical speech’ and ‘typical writing’ (Leech et al. 1982) C5

16 Grammar of spoken (British) English Carter and McCarthy 1995: Features identified on the basis of CANCODE corpus Heads (or left dislocation) Tails (or reinforcement) Ellipsis Word order C5

17 E-discourse / emails Features of both speech and writing Email as ‘speech by other means’ (Baron 2000) Differences in style depending on context, addressee, age, sex, L1 e.g. features of texting especially used by young emailers Potential blurring of L1/L2, NS/NNS distinction  Reflect on your own practices C5

18 C6: The nature of English as a lingua franca (ELF) ELF is used in contexts in which speakers with different L1s (mostly, but not exclusively, from Expanding Circle) need it as their means to communicate with each other ELF is an alternative to EFL rather than a replacement for it – depends on speaker’s (or learner’s) individual needs and preferences C6

19 English as a lingua franca (ELF) EFLELF Part of modern foreign languages Part of World Englishes Deficit perspectiveDifference perspective Metaphors of transfer / interference / fossilisation Metaphor of contact / evolution Code-mixing and switching are seen as interfererence errors Code-mixing and switching are seen as bilingual resources Kirkpatrick (2007b) adapted from Jenkins (2006c) C6

20 English as a lingua franca (ELF) ELF involves linguistic innovations that differ from ENL and which, in some cases, are shared by most ELF speakers. ELF involves the use of certain pragmatic communication strategies, particularly accommodation and code-switching. ELF forms crucially depend on the specific communication context. Descriptions of ELF that may lead to codification are drawn from communication involving proficient ELF speakers. C6

21 ELF features Lexicogrammar (Seidlhofer 2004) e.g. ‘dropping’ third person –s, interchangeable use of who and which, flexible use of articles, invariant tag questions, additional prepositions, frequent use of verbs with high semantic generality, heightened explicitness Collaborative behaviour in interaction e.g. supportive interruptions, positive minimal responses, repetition, completion of the interlocutors sentences Pronunciation C6

22 ELF features Pronunciation (Jenkins 2000) – Lingua Franca Core (LFC) c onsonant sounds except th-sounds and dark ‘l’, vowel length contrasts, avoidance of consonant deletion at the beginnings of words, placement of nuclear stress – Non-core features e.g. vowel quality, weak forms, assimilation, elision, word stress C6

23 ELF processes ELF features are the result of processes similar to the ones affecting ENL Additional factors in ELF – language contact on a massive scale – intercultural communication  Acceleration of processes Attitudes towards ELF still scepticism/rejection among many linguists and ELT professionals C6

24 C7: Asian Englishes in the Outer and Expanding Circles: Indian English One of the two highest populations of English speakers British colonial history After independence in 1947: attempt to replace English by Hindi, but English remained ‘associate’ official language Indian English identity, complementary relationship with indigenous languages Varietal characteristics Mixed acceptance of English as an Indian language C7

25 Hong Kong English Hong Kong: British colony since 1842, special administrative region of China since 1997 Hong Kong English – Position as accepted variety is not secure – British English still aspired to (also teaching model – importing of NS teachers) – Distinct lexical items – At stage three in Schneider’s (2003) five-stage model for the evolution of New Englishes – Might be further influenced by Cantonese and Mandarin C7

26 China English A variety? Lexical, grammatical and phonological features Growing acceptance among the Chinese Growing importance – Likely to become most common variety of English in Asia – High number of speakers C7

27 C8: Language killer or language promoter?: English as killer language Global spread of English as a cause for language death Some positions/beliefs associated with why languages become endangered: – Primitive technology equals primitive linguistic means – Linguistic survival of the fittest (social Darwinism) – Immigrants are encouraged to abandon their language – Linguistic capital – promise of economic advantages make a language worthy of acquisition – Western school curricula in developing countries  devaluation of traditional knowledge and culture C8

28 English-knowing bilingualism Important role in prevention of language death The de facto norm apart from monolingual Inner Circle English speakers Would be crucial for predominantly monolingual ENL societies to embrace this concept – Becoming multilinguals – Development of intercultural competence – Acceptance of immigrant minorities Reversing the traditional hierarchy of Englishes C8

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