The Impact of Global English on Cultural Identities in the United Arab Emirates: Wanted not Welcome, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Impact of Global English on Cultural Identities in the United Arab Emirates

Wanted not Welcome, 1st Edition

By Sarah Hopkyns

Routledge

214 pages | 46 B/W Illus.

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Description

This book provides a nuanced portrait of the complexities of the cultural and linguistic landscape in the United Arab Emirates, unpacking the ever shifting dynamics and attitudes between and about English and Arabic in the region in today’s era of superdiversity.// Employing a qualitative phenomenological approach which draws on a rich set of data from questionnaires and focus groups comprising both Emirati and expatriate students and teachers, Hopkyns problematizes the common binary East-West paradigm focused around the tension between the use of English and Arabic in the UAE. Key issues emerging from the resulting analysis include the differing attitudes toward English and in particular, English Medium Instruction, the impact of this tension on identity, and the ways in which the two languages are employed in distinct ways on an everyday scale. // The volume will be of particular interest to students and scholars interested in issues around language and identity, language policy and planning, multilingualism, translanguaging, and language and education.

Table of Contents

Content page

Chapter 1: Introduction……………………………………………………………………….1

    1. East/West paradigm in media reports ………………………………………..…..1
    2. English as a global language –the debate……….…………………………….….3

Englishization…………………………………………………………….………5

Hybridization…………………………………………………………………….6

Colonial celebration and functionalism………………………………………….7

Post-colonial performativity………………………………………………………7

1.3. Modern cultural identities…………………………………………………..……..9

Culture…………………………………………………………………………..10

Identity………………………………………………………………………….12

Plurality and positioning in identity construction…………………………………..12

Power and negotiation of identities……………………………………………………14

1.4. Interculturality in the age of superdiversity………………………………………15

The principles of interculturality (IC)……………………………………………15

The age of superdiversity………………………………………………………..16

Interculturality (IC) and cultural identities (CI) ………………………………..19

Translingual and transcultural identities………………………………………..20

Translingual identities………………………………………………………………… 21

Transcultural identities………………………………………………………………..23

The bound nature of language, culture, and identity……………………………25

1.5. Research notes and overview of the book…………………………………….….27

Chapter synopses ……………………………………………………………….28

Chapter 2: Linguistic angst and cultural tensions in the United Arab Emirates ……..…….48

2.1. Climate of fast-paced change, hypermobility and superdiversity……………..…50

Social stratification and Wasta…………………………………………………………53

2.2. English as a lingua franca in multiple domains…………………………………..57

English in public domains…………………………………………………………58

English in private domains………………………………………………………..60

English in education………………………………………………………………62

Educational background of the UAE…………………………………………………..63

Educational reforms with an emphasis on English……………………………………64

English medium instruction in higher education……………………………………..68

2.3. Complex histories with English-speaking nations ………………………………69

2.4. Arabic diglossia………………………………………………………………….72

2.5 Parallels with other global contexts………………………………………………75

Chapter 3: Responses to feelings of linguistic and cultural fragility in the Gulf………..….91

3.1. Emiratization…………………………………………………………………….93

3.2. Cultural identity themed conferences and symposia…………………….………95

3.3. Arabic language drive…………………………………………………………….96

Reading…………………………………………………………………………..97

Promoting Arabic in schools……………………………………………………..98

Promoting Arabic through social media and art…………………………………99

Grassroots promotion of Arabic – events and institutions………………………102

3.4. Resistance to EMI language policy……………………………………………..104

3.5. Translingual practices for social justice…………………………………..…….107

Talking T-shirts – wearing a message………………………………………….109

3.6. Questioning the effectiveness of resistance…………………………………….112

English – too powerful to fight…………………………………………………113

The impracticalities of ‘preserving’ a language…………………………………114

Institutionalized monolingualism ………………………………………………116

Wanted not welcome……………………………………………………………118

Chapter 4: The Study - Multiple perspectives……………………………………….……..127

4.1. University setting: a microcosm of society……………………………………..127

4.2. Approach: Making the invisible visible…………………………………….…..130

Angle 1: Focus groups ………………………………………………………….133

Angle 2: Open-response questionnaires ………………………………………..135

Angle 3: Reflexivity through a researcher journal………………………………136

4.3. Participants: Multiple realities……………………………………………….…140

Group 1: Emirati university students……………………………………………141

Group 2: Emirati primary school teachers……………………………………..142

Group 3: Expatriate university English teachers………………………………..143

4.4. Data collection and analysis: Emergent themes………………………………..144

Data Collection ……………………………………………………………….144

Sampling – Selecting the participants……………………………………………….145

Data collection tool design and bilingual support…………………………………147

Data analysis………………………………………………………………….150

Stage 1: Quantitizing questionnaire data………………………………………….151

Stage 2: Sweeping the data………………………………………………………….153

Stage 3: Use of descriptive summary tables……………………………………….154

Stage 4: Transcribing and coding the focus group data…………………………155

Stage 5: Thick description and reflexivity………………………………………….156

Emerging themes ………………………………………………………………157

Chapter 5: Language and symbolism……………………………………………….……..167

5.1. Language use and ideologies ………………………………………………..…167

Defining language use and language ideologies……………………………….167

Essentialism in language ideologies and polarization of languages……………169

Language ideologies - No view from nowhere…………………………………170

Emiratis’ and Expatriates’ Language Use …………………………………….172

Emiratis language use………………………………………………………………..172

Expatriates’ language use……………………………………………………………173

5.2. Symbolic language: English…………………………………………………….177

English as important for communication……………………………………….182

English as a language of power and prestige ………………………………….184

Linguistic passport vs. Linguistic imperialism…………………………………185

5.3. Symbolic language: Arabic…………………………………………………….187

Arabic as a language of religion……………………………………………….191

Arabic as a language of terrorism………………………………………………192

Arabic as mesmerizing, classic and beautiful………………………………….195

5.4. Implications of divisive language ideologies…………………………………..197

Chapter 6: English and cultural identity - the good, the bad and the complex ……..……209

6.1. Power and agency………………………………………………………………212

Besieged culture mentality…………………………………………………….213

The cultural supermarket………………………………………………………215

English as the new Wasta…………………………………………………………….221

6.2. English as additive and subtractive…………………………………………..…224

Confident bilinguals……………………………………………………………224

A generation of non-native speakers………………………………………..….226

The domino effect – Oshba’s stairs…………………………………………….230

6.3. Complexities in modern cultural identity………………………………………234

Owning ‘glocal’ identities with pride…………………………………………..234

Imbalance of old and new – Copying the West………………………………..239

6.4. A conflict of desires………………………………………………………….…242

Mixed messages…………………………………………………………………242

Linguistic and cultural conflicts in families ……………………………………243

Chapter 7: English Medium Instruction - sociolinguistic implications………………..…254

7.1. English medium instruction, Arabic medium instruction, or a choice?…………..255

Both EMI and AMI preference: "A balance is good"…………………………256

EMI preference: "English is more demanded"…………………………………258

AMI preference: "Some talented mathematicians may be poor linguists"……261

EMI: Too much, too early……………………………………………………..263

7.2. Importance of teachers’ linguistic background………………………………….265

The native-speaker fallacy in full swing: "For me only UK or USA"…………267

The benefits of teachers and students sharing language and culture……………272

7.3. Which English?……………………………………………………………………………………….277

"Putting a frame" on Western culture………………………………………….279

Intercultural pragmatics……………………………………………………….280

Looking to Asia…………………………………………………………….…283

Think globally, teach locally………………………………………………….285

Local topics: connecting information with real life…………………………..….286

Global topics: "You don’t want to feel stupid when you go outside"………….289

Moving forward…………………………………………………………….…290

Chapter 8: New, not less - Embracing complexities, multiplicities and hybridity…………298

8.1. Discourse of balance and inclusion……………………………………………..300

8.2. Hybridity over purity……………………………………………………………308

8.3. Rethinking English medium instruction ………………………………………..314

Challenging monolingual ideologies and native-speakerism……………………315

Providing choice and agency around medium of instruction………………..…317

8.4. Conclusion – the big picture…………………………………………………….318

 

About the Author

Sarah Hopkyns is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has presented and published widely in the field of Sociolinguistics, with a focus on global English, English Medium Instruction (EMI), and cultural identities.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Language and Intercultural Communication

Routledge Studies in Language and Intercultural Communication publishes theoretically informed and empirically grounded research monographs and edited volumes that offer state of the art reviews of and debates in this evolving field. Its aim is to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and methodological innovations, thereby extending the scope of intercultural communication. Titles in this series also seek to maintain a strong practical and professional interest and inform and influence teaching and learning, business and organizational communication, daily communication, and beyond.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAN000000
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / General
LAN009000
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General