1st Edition

The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language

By Alastair Pennycook Copyright 1994
    376 Pages
    by Routledge

    376 Pages
    by Routledge

    Covering a wide range of areas including international politics, colonial history, critical pedagogy, postcolonial literature and applied linguitics, this book examines ways to understand the cultural and political implications of the global spread of English.

    Firstly, it explores how a particular view of English as an international language has come into being by examining its colonial origins, its connections to linguistics and applied linguistics, and its relationships to the global spread of teaching practices. It then offers an alternative, critical understanding through the concept of the 'worldliness' of English. This concept suggests that English can never be removed from the social, cultural, economic or political contexts in which it is used.


    1. The World in English
    Introduction: from Hurt Waldheim to Johnny Clegg
    The natural, neutral and beneficial spread of English
    The social, cultural and political contexts of English
    The worldliness of English

    2. Discourse and Dependency in a Shifting World
    Introduction: rethinking internationalism
    Development, aid and modernization
    Dependency and imperialism
    Culture, discourse, difference and disjuncture
    Criket, English and cultural politics

    3. English and Colonialism: Origins of a Discourse
    Introduction: the complexities of colonialism
    Anglicism and Orientalism: two sides of the colonial coin
    English for the few: colonial education policies in Malaya
    Anglicism and English studies

    4. Spreading the Word/Disciplining the Language
    Introduction: anti-nomadic disciplines
    The disciplining of linguistics
    The disciplining of applied linguistics
    The spreading and disciplining of discourse of EIL

    5. ELT From Development Aid to Global Commodity
    From cultural propaganda to global business: The British Council
    'The West is better...': discourses of ELT
    English Language Teaching practices as cultural practices
    Conclusion: the compass of discourse

    6. The Worldliness of English in Malaysia
    Cultural politics after independence
    Malay nationalism and English
    English, class and ethnicity
    English adn Islam
    English and the media
    The debates continue

    7. The Worldliness of English in Singapore
    English as a useful language
    The making of Singapore
    Singapore English
    Pragmatism, multiracialism and meritocratism
    Pragmatic, multiracial and meritocratic English

    8. Writing Back: The Appropriation of English
    Postcolonial English
    Re-presenting postcolonial worlds
    Worldy texts in a worldly language
    Decentered voices: writing in Malaysia
    Centered voices: writing in Singapore
    From aestheticism to yuppyism: the new writing in Singapore
    From writing back to teaching back

    9. Towards a Critical Pedagogy for Teaching English as a Worldly Language
    Critical pedagogies
    Discourse, language and subjectivity
    Insurgent knowledges, the classroom and the world



    Alastair Pennycook