Dr Heath Rose, Department of Education, Oxford, gives a talk for the Department of Education public seminar series.
The spread of English from the language of an island nation to today’s global lingua franca has clear ramifications for society, and for English language education. This presentation aims to provide an overview of research emerging from the field of Global Englishes, which is a growing research paradigm that aims to embrace issues surrounding the diversification and use of the English language. Global Englishes incorporates World Englishes and English as a lingua franca research—both of which have implications for society and pedagogy. World Englishes research (e.g. Kachru et al. 2009), the study of variation in English in geographical regions around the world, has been instrumental in widening our understanding of variation and change in language and challenging the notion of ‘standard’ English. English as a lingua franca research (e.g. Seidlhofer 2011), which examines how English is used within and across linguistic communities, has been instrumental in showcasing current uses of English as a contact language in a range of fluid contexts. This presentation aims to first explore the impact on society of the spread of English as a global language. It will then outline the implications of this spread on societal attitudes towards variation in the English language. Finally, it will summarize recent proposals (e.g. Galloway & Rose 2015) to make the English classroom more relevant to learners who are likely to use English in global contexts.