The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language  book cover
1st Edition

The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language

ISBN 9780415788137
Published March 8, 2017 by Routledge
390 Pages

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Book Description

A much-cited and highly influential text by Alastair Pennycook, one of the world authorities in sociolinguistics, The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language explores the globalization of English by examining its colonial origins, its connections to linguistics and applied linguistics, and its relationships to the global spread of teaching practices. Nine chapters cover a wide range of key topics including:

  • international politics
  • colonial history
  • critical pedagogy
  • postcolonial literature.

The book provides a critical understanding of the concept of the ‘worldliness of English’, or the idea that English can never be removed from the social, cultural, economic or political contexts in which it is used.

Reissued with a substantial preface, this Routledge Linguistics Classic remains a landmark text, which led a much-needed critical and ideologically-informed investigation into the burgeoning topic of World Englishes. Key reading for all those working in the areas of Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics and World Englishes.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2017 edition


1. The World in English

2. Discourse and Dependency in a Shifting World

3. English and Colonialism: Origins of a Discourse

4. Spreading the Word/Disciplining the Language

5. ELT From Development Aid to Global Commodity

6. The Worldliness of English in Malaysia

7. The Worldliness of English in Singapore

8. Writing Back: The Appropriation of English

9. Towards a Critical Pedagogy for Teaching English as a Worldly Language



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Alastair Pennycook is Professor of Language in Education at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. He is the author of many titles, including BAAL book prize winner 2008: Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows (Routledge, 2007), Language as a Local Practice (Routledge, 2010), and Metrolingualism: Language in the City (co-authored with Emi Otsuji, Routledge, 2015).