1st Edition

The Impact of Global English on Cultural Identities in the United Arab Emirates Wanted not Welcome

By Sarah Hopkyns Copyright 2020
    232 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    230 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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

    1. Introduction 2. Linguistic Angst and Cultural Tensions in the United Arab Emirates 3. Responses to Feelings of Linguistic and Cultural Fragility in the Gulf 4. The Study – Multiple Perspectives 5. Language and Symbolism 6. English and Cultural Identity – The Good, the Bad, and the Complex 7. English Medium Instruction – Sociolinguistic Implications 8. New, Not Less – Embracing Complexities, Multiplicities, and Hybridity


    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.

    "Sarah Hopkyns’ book is a timely intervention in the fast-changing field of Global English. A plethora of sophisticated terminologies and in-depth examples in each chapter, exhibiting the complex elements of language, culture and identities that interplay into theory and practice of Global English in the mystifying world of the United Arab Emirates."Sender Dovchin, Senior Research Fellow, Curtin University, Australia, and author of Language, Media and Globalization in the Periphery (Routledge, 2018).

    "An excellent addition to the scholarly work on global English and a dynamic contribution to the discussion of the expanding role of English in the Gulf region. Hopkyns' insightful and well documented research is an important addition to scholarship in applied linguistics. The book offers valuable information to researchers, graduate and undergraduate students interested in multilingualism, language and identity, language planning and policy and linguistic landscape." - Ahmad Al-Issa, Professor and Associate Dean, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

    "Hopkyns’ groundbreaking research meticulously details the complexities of language and identity in the burgeoning United Arab Emirates. The book presents the growing pains of a country with global aspirations yet language ideologies that are steeped in language purism and tradition. With wide appeal to those working in language and identity and language policy and planning this is a must read for students and scholars in the Arabian Gulf." - Kevin S. Carroll, Associate Professor, University of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico

    "As English is transforming cultures and identities around the globe, Sarah Hopkyns takes the reader on a deep-dive into the maelstrom of one of the epicenters of "Englishization" and its discontents: the glittering cities of the UAE." - Ingrid Piller, Distinguished Professor of Applied Linguistics, Macquarie University, and author of Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice (Oxford University Press, 2016)