The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language

1st Edition

By Alastair Pennycook


366 pages

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pub: 2017-03-13
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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



About the Author

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).

About the Series

Routledge Linguistics Classics

Routledge Linguistics Classics brings together key seminal books from the rich heritage of Routledge linguistics publishing. Each book is reissued with the original text, and also includes an additional new chapter, foreword or afterword to situate these titles in current scholarship. These titles have been deemed classics by leading academics and are essential reading for students and all who need to keep up to date with the field of linguistics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics

Author Interview

We caught up with Alastair Pennycook to discuss his book. Read on for our exclusive interview.