English teaching and globalisation
English and globalisation is a hot topic for teachers of English. English is part of globalisation. It plays a vital role in global trade, media, communication, movement of people, and many other areas. It is not just a system of grammar, words, and pronunciations; it is also a tool to integrate countries both politically and economically into the global community.
However, a question has to be answered. What type of English do we want our students to learn? The three alternatives generally offered are
- centered varieties of English, such as the US and British English;
- English as an international language or lingua franca;
- regional and local English, such as Asian English (Singapore English, Thai English, etc.).
You Say “Englishes”?
In a previous post, I outlined these different choices and how a teacher can handle the “Standard or Global English” dilemma “. In this post, I want to refer to an article on Scott Thornbury’s blog about how different “Englishes” have emerged and created a completely new reality. says on Newsweek blog:
“Non-native English-speakers” worldwide now outnumber native ones 3 to 1. In Asia alone, Newsweek says, the number of English users has topped 350 million – roughly the combined populations of the United States, the UK and Canada. There are more Chinese children studying English – about 100 million – than there are Britons (that’s nearly twice as many).
It goes without saying that those new English users speak different “Englishes”. Given the new facts, what will become of the standard English used in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain? Will the standard English users become the minority?