English Around the World Resources for Studying World English: Books • • • • • • • • • • Leech, Geoffrey N. and Jan Svartvik. English : One Tongue, Many Voices. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Crystal, David. The Stories of English. Woodstock: Overlook, 2005. Ch`ien, Evelyn Nien-Ming, Weird English Cambridge: Harvard UP, 2004. PR888.L35 C47 2004 McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Guide to World English. Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2002. Hendrickson, Robert. World English: From Aloha to Zed. New York: John Wiley, 2001. [a vocabulary dictionary] PE 2751 .H46 2001 McArthur, Tom. The English Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. Crystal, David. English as a Global Language. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997. PE 2751 .C79 1997 Dovring, Karen. English as a Lingua Franca. Westport CN: Praeger, 1997. PE2751 .D68 1997 Parakrama, Arjuna. De-Hegemonizing Language Standards: Learning From (Post-) Colonial Englishes About "English". New York: St. Martin's, 1995. PE 2751 .P37 1995 Pennycook, Alistair. The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language. London and New York: Longman, 1994. Resources for Studying World English: Websites • • • • Worldwide Accents of English Varieties of English British Council (facts and figures) Wikipedia entry on dialects of English around the world • English World-Wide (link to BC libraries’ ejournal page - search by title) • World Englishes (ditto) • Very fun quizzes on varieties of English Will English go the way of Latin? Small wonder that there should have been in recent years fresh talk of the diaspora of English into several mutually incomprehensible languages. The fate of Latin after the fall of the Roman Empire presents us with such distinct languages today as French, Spanish, Romanian, and Italian. With the growth of national separatism in the English-speaking countries, linguistically endorsed not least by the active encouragement of the anti-standard ethos I have just mentioned, many foresee a similar fissiparous future for English. A year or so ago, much prominence was given to the belief expressed by R.W. Burchfield that in a century from now the languages of Britain and America would be as different as French is from Italian. Randolph Quirk, English in the World (1984), p. 3 How many people speak English? 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 Today 4 million 6 million 8.5 million 20-40 million 116-123 million (first language) ~ 375 million (second language) ~ 375 million (foreign language) ~ 750 million Total around 1.5 billion (of the 6 billion in the world, about 1 in 4) (source: British Council Website - now down!) Venues for the spread of English • • • • • • • Books Newspapers Airports/air traffic control International business Academic conferences Science technology More venues • • • • • • • Medicine Diplomacy Sports International competitions Pop music Advertising Web More fun facts about English worldwide • English has official or special status in at least 75 countries with a total population of over 2 billion • English is the main language of books, newspapers, airports and air-traffic control, international business and academic conferences, science, technology, diplomacy, sport, international competitions, pop music and advertising • over 2/3 of the world's scientists read in English • 3/4 of the world's snail mail is written in English • 80% of the world's electronically stored information is in English • 80% of web sites are in English (German: 4.5%; Japanese: 3.1%) • of the estimated 200 million users of the Internet, about 35% communicate in English (source: englishenglish.com) One clear advantage… English does have one clear advantage, attitudinally and linguistically: it has acquired a neutrality in a linguistic contexts where native languages, dialects, and styles sometimes have acquired undesirable connotations….It was originally the foreign (alien) ruler's language, but that drawback is often overshadowed by what it can do for its users. True, English is associated with a small and elite group; but it is in their role that the neutrality of a language becomes vital. Braj Kachru, The Alchemy of English (1986) A couple of definitions Structuralism: a modern intellectual movement, based in linguistics - emphasizes the systematic interrelationships among elements in any system - in language, built around phonemes (a unit of meaningful sound - defined by differences from other phonemes) - structuralism can extend to any system - cooking, drama, human society - investigate the internal relations - meant to incorporate social production of meaning (shared relations in a system), but can avoid larger social questions - assumes freedom from larger cultural and political implications Positivism: a philosophy that recognizes only positive facts and observable phenomena - doesn't get into causes or ultimate origins Ngugi Wa’Thiongo on English in Kenya in his youth Nobody could go on to wear the undergraduate red gown, no matter how brilliantly they had performed in all the papers in all other subjects, unless they had a credit (not even a simple pass!) in English. Thus the most coveted place in the pyramid and in the system was only available to holders of an English-language credit card. English was the official vehicle and the magic formula to colonial elitedom. Ngugi wa Thiong'o, "The Language of African Literature" (1985 Economic Aspects of English Language Learning (from FAQs on the British Council Website - now down) What economic benefits does English bring to the UK? • British English language products are worth over 800 million pounds a year to the UK • the total expenditure of the 700,000 visitors to the UK annually to learn English is over 700 million pounds - possibly over one billion pounds • the English language makes it possible for British companies to develop markets, sell into them and form commercial alliances; it brings direct benefits through the supply of English teaching goods and services. What other benefits does English have for the UK? • tourists are encouraged to visit the UK • businesspeople are encouraged to invest and build partnerships with the UK • people are encouraged to watch British films, read books by British authors, and listen to British radio and popular music.