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

The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language

ISBN 9780582234727
Published December 19, 1994 by Routledge
376 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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


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