1st Edition

English in Southeast Asia and ASEAN Transformation of Language Habitats

By Azirah Hashim, Gerhard Leitner Copyright 2021
    182 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    182 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    English in Southeast Asia and ASEAN embeds English in its various regional Southeast Asian and political ASEAN language habitats. Addressing the history, developmental stages and contacts with other languages, it provides in-depth information on the region and its political organization. In doing so, it analyzes the geo-political division of the region between former Anglophone and non-Anglophone colonies and shows that this distinction has led to considerable differences in the status and texture of English. This analysis includes the role and impact of American English in mainland and maritime Southeast Asia to highlight the linguistic properties of English and its linguistic and sociopolitical development, English used in specific domains, language policies and concludes with the future of English and future challenges. This book therefore provides an integrative survey of the various roles of English in ASEAN member states and studies the transformation of entire language habitats, including the major national and regional languages that participate in this process. It also explains how new societies emerge with their conflicting identities and their aspirations to act regionally or even globally and is a valuable resource for scholars and students in the fields of World Englishes, Asian Studies and those interested in language contact, policy and planning.

    List of maps

    List of abbreviations


    Chapter One: English and local languages in Southeast Asia and ASEAN

    Chapter Two: The transformation of local language habitats

    Chapter Three: History of English in Southeast Asia

    Chapter Four: Texture and Features of English

    Chapter Five: Language contact and the development of English in Southeast Asia

    Chapter Six: English in specific domains

    Chapter Seven: English as a Lingua Franca in ASEAN

    Chapter Eight: Language policy and language education

    Chapter Nine: Future of English and future challenges




    Azirah Hashim is a Professor in the English Language Department, Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, University of Malaya and was, until recently, Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Institute and Director of the Centre for ASEAN Regionalism.

    Gerhard Leitner is a Professor in the Institut für Englische Philologie at the Freie Universität Berlin. He is a specialist of varieties of English in South and Southeast Asia, and Australia, as well as of English as a global language. He has been Visiting Professor in Malaysia, Singapore, India, China and Australia.

    This volume on the development and roles of English in South East Asia and ASEAN is unique and timely as English has evolved in leaps and bounds since the first British colony of Penang was established in 1786. This valuable contribution weaves and explains the complex web of growth of the language over a quarter of a millennium.  English has an exciting role in ASEAN and if you have even the minutest interest in the role of English in ASEAN as a scholar, entrepreneur or student you should grab this unputdownable book now!

    Lim Beng Soon, Singapore University of Social Sciences