World Englishes - The Hong Kong Institute of Education

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World Englishes - The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Public Lecture Series 2016:
LOGO
The English You Didn’t Learn in School
IV
World Englishes
Wang Lixun
Dept of Linguistics and Modern
Language Studies, HKIEd
9 April 2016
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Today’s topics
English as a global language
‘World Englishes’
The relationship between language and
political and economic power
Examples of regional and social
varieties of English.
Model of English in language classrooms
Conclusion
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English as a global language
English often said to be a global language
(lingua franca)
Why?
- historical reasons: colonization and emigration (the
British Empire, America becoming super power)
- economic reasons: international business and trade
- intellectual reasons: 80% of information that can be
retrieved electronically is in English
- entertainment reasons: main language of pop music,
films, video games, etc. (Crystal, 2003)
Other global languages?
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Varieties of English
The three circles of English speaking
countries (Kachru, 1985):
Inner Circle: ENL
Outer Circle: ESL
Expanding Circle: EFL
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Expanding circle
Outer circle
Inner circle
e.g. USA, UK
320-380 M
e.g. India,
Singapore
300-500 M
Kachru (1985)
and Crystal (2003)
e.g. China, Russia
500-1000 M
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World Englishes
People talk of World Englishes –
English not British owned
Listen and decide where the
speakers come from. Give reasons.
Speaker 1
arrived, primary, my, time, line, job, new, stupid
Speaker 2
lifelong, Chinese, my, wife
Is one of the variety better than
the others?
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BrE and AmE: Two peoples divided
by a common language
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biscuit
sweets
ketchup
lift
crisps
maths
post code
Don’t move!
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Petrol
Sidelights
Number plate
Windscreen
Boot
Gear box
Tyre
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cookie
candy
catsup
elevator
French fries
math
zip code
Freeze!
Gas(oline)
Parking lights
License plate
Windshield
Trunk
Gear shift
Tire
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Standard BrE and General American (GA):
Differences in grammar:
BrE: the committee were unable to agree
GA: the committee was unable to agree
BrE: Have you ever been to Washington?
GA: Did you ever go to Washington?
BrE: touch wood
GA: knock on wood
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Song
You say either and I say either
You say neither and I say neither
Either. either, neither, neither
Let’s call the whole thing off.
You like potato and I like potato,
You like tomato and I like tomato
Potato, potato, tomato, tomato
Let’s call the whole thing off.
……
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3KQ9cDcw2s
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Power
Language status reflects past or current
political and economic power
A language is just ‘a dialect with an army
and a navy’ (Max Weinreich, 1945)
Is Cantonese a dialect or a language? Why?
How about ‘mutual intelligibility’?
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Language and National
Identity
 Languages were often standardised with the rise
of the nation state in the 19th Century
 Political motives - not because of anything special
about the language itself
 Sense of identity / unity for countries
 Therefore any ‘triumphalism’ about English /
‘evangelical’ or ‘ethnocentric approaches’
inappropriate.
 Terms like ‘Non-Native Speaker’ / ‘Chinglish’ are
loaded / disparaging
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Money, money,
money…
Language / education now a major
commercial product / industry
British Council promotes ‘British
brand’ and seeks to position Britain
‘as a leading-edge provider of
cultural and knowledge-based
products’ (Graddol, 1998)
What about 孔子學院? (500 in 130 countries)
Any dangers in commercialisation?
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Standard BrE
Formerly ‘The Queen’s English’ or ‘Oxford
English’ or even ‘BBC English’
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0etfsnGgEU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynKdYOQmD68 http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=mBRP-o6Q85s&feature=related
Correctly called Received Pronunciation
(RP)
Idea of the educated speaker model
However, no more than 3% of English
speakers claim to be speaking RP. Rare
to hear it in UK.
The Queen speaks Upper Crust RP
The BBC now reflects all regional
variations
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Big UK North - South divide
Short ‘a’ v long ‘a’ in the word ‘castle’
Differences between vowel sounds in ‘bus’
In Scotland– strong ‘r’ sound in ‘world’
Kirk (Kirche) = church
Loch (lake) has Germanic ‘ch’ sound e.g.
Loch Ness Monster
Regional/social varieties = valid systems
of communication, equal at level of theory.
All express meaning and have own
conventions - not ‘wrong’
But Standard BrE has prestige
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Regional varieties of BrE
Innumerable varieties
Newcastle – Geordie – Ee, hinnie?
Liverpool – Scouse - skule, buke
Birmingham – Brummie - Oi’ll give it foive
Midlands – Hurry up, duck. Gerron bus!
London – Cockney
Better get a better bit of butter
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Estuary English
Essex and the Thames Estuary
Fastest growing variety
TV soap operas like East Enders
Gotta lotta, gonna, kinda, sorta, wanna,
cudja, wudja, duntja, gotcha
wicked innit, yer actual English
Jamie Oliver: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LszMqDSKIKQ
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Asian Varieties of English
Indian English
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OoF4i77kPak
Bruneian English
Malaysian English
Filipino English
Singaporean English
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFHKnphZjQY
Hong Kong English?
http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=iIijBLnIKDI
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Model of English in classrooms
 The model of English that should be used in
classrooms has long been a subject of debate.
 At present, ‘Standard’ model in HK – RP (LPATE)
 A standard that is almost impossible to achieve.
 Hong Kong English has its unique features, just like
any other varieties of English.
 International intelligibility: the key criterion for an
acceptable model.
 ‘Standard’ needs to be redefined (Prof. Cheung?)
 Context and learner needs should determine the
variety to be taught.
(Kirkpatrick, 2007)
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Conclusion
English is no longer British owned
There is no one single ‘standard English’
English changes all the time, we should be
tolerant towards varieties and variations
Discrimination against certain varieties of
English is not appropriate
English learners should be exposed to
different varieties of Englishes, instead of
aiming at studying one particular variety
Effective communication is the ultimate goal
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Final remark
Don’t be ashamed of your
Enlgish accent, be proud of it!
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LOGO
Bibliography
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Bolton, K. (2002). Hong Kong English: Autonomy and Creativity. Hong Kong:
Hong Kong University Press.
Bolton, K. (2003). Chinese Englishes: A Sociolinguistic History. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Crystal, D. (2003). English as a Global Language (2nd ed.). Cambridge
University Press
Kachru, B. B. (1982). The Other Tongue: English across Cultures. Urbana:
Univerity of Illinois Press.
Kirkpatrick, A. (ed.) (2002). Englishes in Asia: communication, identity, power
and education. Melbourne: Language Australia.
Kirkpatrick, A. (2007). World Englishes: implications for international
communication and English language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
McArthur, T. (2002). The Osford Guide to World English. Oxford: Oxford
Unversity Press.
Smith, L. E. (1981). English for cross-cultural communication. London:
Macmillan.
Journals:
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World Englishes
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Asian Englishes
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The British Empire
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Empire#/media/File:The_British_Empire_Anachronous.png
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