World English


Key words

English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) - The role of English as a bridging language in interactions where it is not everyone's first language.

Global English - The idea of English as a worldwide language.

International English - the idea of English as a language that is used in international contexts of all kinds.

Diaspora - the dispersal of people (and their language) to different parts of the world. 

First Language (L1) - the first language learned by an idividual, usually in childhood. (400 million)

Second Language (L2) - the second language learned by an individual. (400 million)

EFL - English as a Foreign Language. (600 million)

Pidgin - A trade language, usually not the language of either speakers. 

Acrolect - A term used to refer to a standard or official languahe variety where creole is spoken.

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Key Words continued...

Basilect - The most informal variety of a craole.

Mesolect - The middle style of language, between standard and colloquial varieties.

Post-colonial - The time since former colonies gained their independence.

Endonormative - Looking within the immediate community for the norms of language use.

Exonormative - looking beyond the immediate community for the norms of language use.

Retroflex - A particular way of pronouncing the sounds /t/ and /d/ with the tounge curled backand touching the roof of the mouth.

Schwa - The sound /e/ sometimes called the middle or central vowel in English because of where it is produced in the mouth.

Stress-timed - intonation that is based on applying stress at refular intervals.

Syllable-based - Intonation that is spread accross syllable evenly.

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Kachru's 'Circles of English' model

1982, 1988 - Consists of three circles;

1. The inner circle refers to the traditional bases of English, where it is the primary languageIncluded in this circle are the USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The varieties of English used here are, in Kachru's scheme,  'norm providing'.

2. The outer or extended circle  involves the earlier phases of the spread of English in non-native settings, where the language has become part of a country's chief institutions, and plays an important 'second language' role in a multilingual setting. Singapore, India, Malawi and over fifty other territories are included in this circle. The varieties used here are what Kachru calls 'norm-developing': Such varieties are both endo- and exonormative. 

3. The expanding circle includes those nations which acknowledge the importance of English as an International Language. Historically, they do not belong to that group of countries which were colonised by members of the inner circle, and English doesn't have any special intranational status or function. They constitute the context in which English is taught as  a 'foreign' language as the most useful vehicle of international communication. These are 'norm-dependent' varieties, and are essentially exonormative in Kachru's terms. Suggests that the inner circles English varieties are held in higher regard.

Suggests that the inner circle's language variety is held in higher regard.

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McArthur's circle of world English

1 - world standard English which is written international English, therefore universally understood.
2 - band of regional varieties, including both standard and standardizing forms.  
3- described as 'a crowded (even riotous) fringe of subvarieties. examples- aboriginal English and black English. 

  • English native language differs from one territory to another such as USA and UK. In each area the standards of English are different. 
  • There have always been large groups of ENL speakers in ESL(English as a second language) territories due to colonialism. 
  • There is also large numbers of ESL speakers in ENL countries due to immigration. for example US. 

Criticism of the model 
The three categories do not take into account that much of the world is bi or multilingual and that is English is often spoken with a framework of code mixing/
Code switching oversimplified has been replaced by Modiano's. 

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Modiano's centripetal circles of international Eng


the inner circle represents features that are comprehensible to the majority of native and non-native speakers. Proficient speakers use the language well where it is lingua franca (native or non-native) this is EIL it does not inlude regional accents. This can cover two circles (one that also includes accents).

The outer circle consists of features which may become internationally common or may fall into obscurity.The next circle, covers the learners Outside of the circles are the people who do not speak English

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Schneiders Dynamic model


1. Foundation - English is brought to a new territory,

2. Exonormative Stabilisation - An elite bilingualism spreads, led by the politically dominant country.

3. Nativisation - Bilingual speakers forge a new variety of English.

4. Endonormative Stabilisation - After independence, a new linguistic norm is established.

5. Differentiation - Group specific varities emerge, leading to internal diversity.

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  • One of the key differences between English variations is the accent in which they are spoken with.
  • In Jamaican English thing is pronounced as ting and this is pronounced as dis.
  • In Indian English often pronounce /t/ and /d/ differently by pronouncing them with the tip of their tounge on the roof othe thier mouths. This is known as a retroflex and is a variation of the same phoneme.
  • Vowel sounds can also be pronounced differently, and some variations do not differentiate between short and long vowels, i.e. seat and sit, in Nigerian and Ghanaian English.
  • Many Englsih words contain the use of the schwa, the unstressed vowel sound that occurs at the end of the word butter.
  • another phonological pattern is whether the language is stress-timed or syllable based.
  • Stress-timed is where there is an unequal stress put on each syllable, such as how are you doing? or tomato.
  • Syllable based is where there is an equal intonation placed on every syllable in a word. languages like french have this. 
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  • English has borrowed a huge number of words from other languages.
  • Uers of english oftenmix english with their native toungues, sometimes taking English and adding their own ending, e.e. film - filmi in Hindi.
  • local terms can also remain unchanged and interspersed within other english words.
  • there are also some varieties of english that use Uk English words to maean a different thing, e.g. thong - flipflop in Australia/
  • Idioms leave room for misunderstanding between speakers of different Englsih varieties; they rely on shared cultural background and understanding. These cannot be assumed when the conversation is between speakers from different countries.
  • e.g. 'take a rain check'
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Differences is sytax are less distinct compared to morphology when looking a grammatical differnces between English Varieties.

  • Endings of words are often what distinuishes one variation from another:
  • Not marking plural endings on nouns (she has two shoe)
  • Not marking agreement in third-person verbs (he walk 10 miles to college)
  • Limited marking of past tense (he walk here yesterday)
  • Using present progressive forms that wouldn's normally take them in UK English. (she is a very good footballer, i am thinking)
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The Lingua Franca Core

Jenkins suggests that the focus for English teaching should be on those features that most effect the intelligability of speaker.

  • It is disputed if all english speakers want to learn UK English
  • And if some features of UK english are necissarily needed by speakers of English as a lingua franca.

Jenkins has identified some features that she judges as essential for intelligabilty:

  • Most consonant sounds (except for 2 and the short and long vowel sounds.

And those that she views as peripheral, hence less significant:

  • Such as stress-timed and syllable based intonations

Some view these accomadations towards foreign speakers as degrading of standards.

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