SLS 680U: Global English

Dr. Christina Higgins
Fall 2006
Department of Second Language Studies
University of Hawaii at Manoa

Course description                                                            

In language teaching and applied linguistics research, it is often assumed that people learn languages in order to use them in real-life situations. Because of this expectation, many instructional practices are based on actual language usage. This means that learners are taught to use the 'target' language in ways that will suit their perceived communicative needs.   It also usually means that learners are taught to use the 'target' language following the various norms provided by those who speak that language in their daily lives. Given these circumstances, it is important to examine the usage issues surrounding English, the most widely taught second/foreign language in the world. If English is taught and learned based on presumed actual usage, we ought to have a better sense of what this usage looks like. This semester, we will ask the broad question How is English used across the globe? in order to develop a basis for language teaching and language analysis. In addressing this broad question, we will focus our examination on the ways in which English is currently used in the Asia-Pacific region, though we will also draw on research in other geographic areas when relevant. Once we establish the forms and functions of global English in use, we will address the issue of English language teaching. The course will begin with an examination of theoretical models, including World Englishes, Linguistic Imperialism, and English as a Lingua Franca. These models will provide starting points for a variety of topics on language use and language teaching. Students will be required to lead small group discussions on a weekly basis, write weekly reflections, and produce a research paper or research project on a topic of their choice.  

Required text: Course packet. Available at Professional Image, 2633 S. King St., 973-6599

Recommended Texts:

1. McKay, Sandra L. 2002. Teaching English as an international language: Rethinking goals and approaches . Oxford University Press. ISBN: 0194373649

2. Jenkins, Jennifer. 2003. World Englishes: A resource book for students . London: Routledge

3. Hall, Joan Kelly, and William Eggington. (eds.) 2001. The sociopolitics of English language teaching . Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Limited.

Schedule of Readings and Assignments

August 21



Introduction to the course.   Theoretical models describing global English in use

World Englishes (WE), English as an/the International Language (EIL) Linguistic Imperialism (LI) , and Lingua Franca English (LFE)

August 28

Theoretical models, debates, and practical questions



[Quirk, Kachru, Berns et al., Phillipson], in Seidlhofer, Barbara. 2003. The global spread of English. Controversies in applied linguistics (pp. 7-75). Oxford.

Jenkins, Jennifer. 2006. Current perspectives on teaching World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca. TESOL Quarterly 40, 157-181.

Discussion leaders: Hakyoon, Bonggi, Brian           Pupus: Hakyoon

September 4 Holiday

How is English used?

September 11

As commodity: Buying and selling (with) English

Lee, Jamie S. 2006. Linguistic constructions of modernity: English mixing in Korean television commercials. Language in Society 35, 59-91.

Pang, Jixian, Xing Zhou, & Zheng Fu. 2002. English for international trade: China enters the WTO. World Englishes, 21, 201-216.

Video: Diverted to Delhi (in class)

Discussion leaders: Priti, Brian, Tom           Pupus: Yumi

September 18

As creative expression: English in pop culture and literature

[Achebe and Ngugi] in Jenkins, J. (2003). World Englishes (pp. 169-177). NY: Routledge.

Yunick, Stanley. 2001. Creativity and ideology in Maori literature in English. In E.Thumboo (ed.) The three circles of English. Singapore: Unipress.

Pennycook, Alastair. 2003. Beyond homogeny and heterogeny: English as a global and worldly language. In C. Mair (ed.) The politics of English as a world language (pp. 3-17), Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Discussion leaders: Bonggi, Aiko, Takayo        Pupus: Yuka

September 25

As social class marker: Effects of differential access to English

Choi, Po King. 2003. The best students will learn English': Ultra-utilitarianism and linguistic imperialism in education in post-1997 Hong Kong. Journal of Education Policy, 18, 673-694.

Khuwaileh, Abdullah, & Al-Shoumali, Ali. 2001. Private tuition in English: The case oftwo universities in Jordan. English Today , 65, 17, 31-35.

Park, So Jin, & Abelman, Nancy. 2004. Class and cosmopolitan striving: Mothers' management of English education in South Korea. Anthropological Quarterly , 645-672.

Discussion leaders: Hakyoon, Mayumi, Yukiko, Tom      Pupus: Adam

October 2

As cross-cultural encounter: English in the FL classroom

Degen, Tang, & Doug Absalom. 1998. Teaching across cultures: Considerations for Western EFL teachers in China. Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics , 3, 117-132.

Kramsch, Claire. 1993. Language study as border study: Experiencing difference. European Journal of Education , 28, 349-358.

Corbett, John. 2003. Implementing an intercultural approach. Ch. 2 (pp. 31-46) in An intercultural approach to English language teaching . Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Discussion leaders: Myong Hee, Yusuke, Yuka      Pupus: Yukiko

October 16

As a tool for personal em/(dis)empowerment and development

McMahill, Cheiron. 2001. Self-expression, gender and community: A Japanese feminist English class. In A. Pavlenko et al. (eds.) Multilingualism, second language learning, and gender (pp. 307-344). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Lan, Pei-chia. 2003. 'They have more money but I speak better English!' Transnational encounters between Filpina domestics and Taiwanese employers. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, 10, 133-161.

Vaish, Viniti. 2005. A peripherist view of English as a language of decolonization in post-colonial India. Language Policy , 4, 187-206.

Discussion leaders: Yuka, Aiko, Mayumi, Priti      Pupus: Tom

How can global English be modeled in ELT?

October 23

Pluricentric models for ELT

Morrison, Richard, & Mathew White. 2005. Nurturing global listeners: Increasing familiarity and appreciation for world Englishes. World Englishes , 24, 361-370.

Shim, Rosa. 2002. Changing attitudes toward TEWOL in Korea. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 12, 143-158.

Lin, Angel, Wendy Wang, Nobuhiko Akamatsu, & Mehdi Riazi. 2005. International TESOL professionals and teaching English for glocalized communication (TEGCOM). In S. Canagarajah (ed.) Reclaiming the local in language policy and practice (pp. 197-222). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Discussion leaders: Myong Hee, Yumi, Adam, Takayo       Pupus: Brian

October 30

Testing Englishes

Lowenberg, Peter. 2002. Assessing English proficiency in the expanding circle. World Englishes , 21, 431-435.

Lynch, Brian, & Shaw, Peter. 2005. Portfolios, power and ethics. TESOL Quarterly, 39, 263-297.

Shohamy, Elana. 2001. Democratic assessment as an alternative. Language Testing, 18, 373-391.

Discussion leaders: Yusuke, Yumi, Yukiko, Adam        Pupus: Takayo     

November 6

Comprehensibility and EIL: Two Seminal Readings in Applied Linguistics        
  Firth, Alan, & Wagner, Johannes. 1997. On discourse, communication, and (some) fundamental concepts in SLA research. Modern Language Journal, 81, 285-300.

Smith, Larry. 1987. Language spread and issues of intelligibility. Georgetown University Roundtable on Languages and Linguistics. 265-282.

Pupus: Aiko

November 13

Student presentations                Pupus: Bonggi

November 20

Student presentations                Pupus: Priti & Myong Hee

November 27

Student presentations                Pupus: Mayumi & Yusuke

December 4

Student presentations, evaluations         

Higgins's home page