World English Models

  • Created by: Lissimay
  • Created on: 11-03-19 14:19

Kachru's Three Circles of English

  • 1985
  • Inner Circle-Norm Providing-  English as it originally took shape. Traditional sociolinguistic bases of English in its regions as a primary language (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and South Africa). 
  • Outer Circle-Norm Developing- English produced by second dispora of English through imperial expansion, not native tongue but serves as useful lingua franca. Higher education, legislature and judicary, national commerce dictated in English. (India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Phillipines and Kenya) .  
  • Expnading Circle- Norm Dependent- Countries where English plays no historical or governmental role but language is still used. (China, Russia, Japan, South Korea) 

PROS- Shows english is used for different purposes, how English operates in multilingual contexts 

CONS- Developed in 1980's, not accurate representation of present day world. Crystal suggests 'Expanding' should be 'expanded' due to English being recognised and virtually used everywhere. Not all varieties of English fit into the three circles and doesnt show diversity within the circle or boundaries. Only based on Geography. Multilingualism is not accounted for. Outer and Inner maybe seen as perscriptivist- ' better' and worse'.


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McArthur's World of Circles

  • 1987
  • Idealised central variety- World standard English.
  • Next circle- regional standards that are emerging 
  • Outer layer- Localised varieties which may have similarities with regional standards or emerging stnadards.

PROS- More detailed and is neat.

CONS- Doesn't recognise complexities of multilingualism. Quickly outdated due to the rapidly changing topic of langage- standards may be irrelevant. Doesn't show all the Englishes used in Europe. Pidgins and Creoles grouped in the same family although many linguists believe they should'nt overlap.

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World Englishes by Modiano

  • 1999
  • Center consists of English as international language with a core set of comprehensible features to the native and competant non speakers.
  • Second circle- features which maybe internationally common or may fall into obscurity.
  • Outer Circle- Five groups- American English,British English, Other major varieties, local varieties and foreign varieties. Each with features peculiar to their own speech community and are unlikely to be understood by most members of the other four groups.

PROS- Disproves idea of prestige, cares for diversity of English and understands the spread of language from a geopolitical view. By placing EIL in the center and just focussing on proficency as a globally funcationing language may not be restircted to a particular country or group.

CONS- Doesnt consider the proficency of the speaker just common features. Raises the question- what are the core features?

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Jenkins- Two Disapora Model


- First Dispersal- Large scale migration of English Speakers to North America, Australia and New Zealand in the 17th and 18th century. New standardised forms of English Emerged in these areas. Suggested all new forms of BE and AE have affiliated with at least on of these.

-Second Dispersal- Spread of English as a second language due to colonisation of West Africa and South Asia 

PROS-Clear and easy to see. Ideas about migration as a key feature

CONS- Too simple, Other models explore in more detailed ways such as the Four Channel model.

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Four Channel Model- Nicola Gallaway and Heath Rose


-Channel One- Settler colonisation- spread of Eng to convict settlements in Aus

- Channel Two- Slavery- Spread of English to plantations in Jamaica 

- Channel Three- Trade and Exploitation colonies- spread of English to local trading ports in India.

-Channel Four- Globalization- Spread of English to China 

PROS- Is more representative of messy spread of English 

CONS- still generalising 

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