October 17, 2021

British and American

Trans-Atlantic news and events…

Make English Truly a World Language

10 min read
<div><a href="https://www.languagemagazine.com/2021/09/14/make-english-truly-a-world-language/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Make English Truly a World Language</a>  <font color="#6f6f6f">Language Magazine</font></div>

The Caribbean Sea encompasses over 7,000 islands, together with the well-known vacationer locations of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Barbados. Taken all in combination, the Caribbean islands, now and again known as the West Indies, are extremely numerous, but they proportion distinct ancient characteristics, behaviors, and values that have created a Caribbean tradition and identification. For nations like Jamaica and different islands, English is a shared language. Now not most effective is it a shared language, however it’s the mom tongue, making those teams of English-speaking Caribbean islanders certainly local English audio system.

Even on this age of heightened consciousness of cultural, ancient, and political ties to the English language, the English language educating (ELT) trade struggles with the truth that now not each local English speaker speaks the similar means, has the similar accessory, and even stocks the similar background.

We step in to recognize and problem this overwhelming false impression within the ELT trade: that English is a White-hegemonic language and due to this fact local speakerism is reserved for the people who are compatible that description.

So how will we transfer from misjudging an English speaker’s tradition, pores and skin colour, or nation of beginning as a qualifier to be an English educator? As an alternative, how are we able to use lifestyles stories, comparable to tradition, to give a boost to English instruction? Is there area within the curriculum to leverage tradition, identification, and historical past to confront systemic bias, even racism, when educating English as a
global language?

The solution is sure. We will be able to debunk the parable that the local English speaker is just synonymous with Western tradition when English is actually the main language of many populations within the International South too.

In 2020, Satisfied Lecturers and Bridge Training Team partnered to survey Caribbean English academics to grasp what’s been a success at school, which then is helping to deconstruct falsities about who qualifies as a local speaker and
who doesn’t.

Global English as opposed to Global Englishes
Local speakerism is a sizzling subject within the ELT area and is mentioned ceaselessly. But discrimination towards nonnative English academics is brazenly practiced and documented. It’s all too commonplace to view a task posting from a tutoring corporate and spot the obvious necessities for local audio system. Pictures of the U.S., Australian, Canadian, and UK flags allude to their personal tastes.

We perceive each corporate reserves the appropriate to set their hiring necessities, however it’s a lot of these practices that do away with an enormous chew of nonnative audio system, other folks of colour, and voters of smaller English-speaking international locations from the hiring pool.
How did we get so far, precisely? It boils all the way down to “othering,” or categorizing those that are a part of the “English internal circle” excluding those that don’t seem to be.

As mentioned by means of Mary Romney in “All Englishes Subject,” the unfold, acquisition, and use of English is repeatedly known as the lingua franca type.1 This type used to be theorized by means of linguist Braj Kachru, wherein he recognized the 3 distinct concentric circles of English: the interior circle, the outer circle, and the increasing circle.

The internal circle comprises puts whose population talk English because it firstly took form and used to be unfold the world over within the first diaspora, in large part thru conquering and colonizing new geographic territories. Those self same spaces would then undertake English as the main language or the mum tongue.

Take the Caribbean island of Jamaica for example. English used to be dropped at Jamaica and different portions of the Americas when British colonization used to be prevalent within the sixteenth century. Since gaining independence from Nice Britain just about 400 years later, Jamaica has retained English as its reputable language, regardless of the repeatedly spoken patois.

The second one concentric tier of English, the outer circle, grew roots thru imperial enlargement of Nice Britain within the continents of Asia and Africa. In nations like India, Nigeria, Malaysia, and the Philippines (by way of U.S. colonialism), English isn’t the local language, however it’s the auxiliary language, or the lingua franca, between ethnic and language teams. This performs out in nations like India the place there are over 20 reputable languages belonging to other ethnic teams, however English is the average denominator in establishments like upper academia, govt, and nationwide trade.

Then there may be the increasing circle. This 3rd concentric circle branches out to nations the place English has no ties to the rustic’s historical past, tradition, or govt. The principle distinction within the increasing circle (in comparison to the outer circle) is that English “has now not transform institutionalized with in the neighborhood advanced requirements of use,”2 however, with the intention to compete globally, it’s extensively studied and used as a medium of world verbal exchange.

Kachru’s concentric English circle type presentations us something for sure: if the mode of verbal exchange is English, then a local speaker from the increasing circle must successfully perceive and communicate with a nonnative speaker from the interior circle, and vice versa.

What we wish to steer clear of is the preconceived perception that most effective American citizens, Australians, and the British talk English essentially the most naturally and “correctly” when actually the ones from South Africa, New Zealand, and portions of the Caribbean do too, in conjunction with nonprimary audio system who’ve mastered the language. If we’re to label English a world language or lingua franca, we wish to first remember that the language has advanced to occupy many alternative corners and wallet of the arena, now not simply the ones of the International North.

With this figuring out, global Englishes can and must be used to keep up a correspondence between circles, with out discrimination or hierarchy between the local and nonnative audio system. Simplest then is it in point of fact an international English.

Global Englishes within the Interview Room
We remember that biased imagery of the English speaker performs a job within the unethical hiring practices for English academics. The speculation is that loss of range and information leads hiring managers to forget about certified English academics of colour, without reference to their being local or nonnative audio system. The prototypical English speaker is a problematic symbol as it gets rid of other folks of colour who’re certainly professional and skilled within the language.

Once we surveyed a pool of 27 Caribbean academics from the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, and the British Virgin Islands, they felt they have been considered respectfully of their industry, however there used to be a rising development: some academics felt employers didn’t view them as “excellent sufficient” or “as certified” as their U.S. and UK opposite numbers.

For example, each the United Kingdom and the U.S. are advanced international locations, while most of the Anglophone Caribbean international locations are regarded as creating or underdeveloped. The academics indicated that recruiters desired applicants from so-called reformed socio-economic cultures, including every other department of hierarchy to questionable hiring practices.

There’s additionally the social assemble of race and the implicit but bigoted biases that decide a candidate’s are compatible for the process. It’s been argued that “neo-racism” is on the core of commonplace recruiter habits; neo-racism dismisses the power to ship ok English instruction as a result of pores and skin colour, accessory, ethnicity, or title.3

Therein lies the tough correlation: that local English is reserved for White, Western Eu-looking academics, and due to this fact the English language is a proxy of Whiteness.

And the opinion isn’t with out advantage: 70% of academics we surveyed felt their Caribbean heritage, nationality, and/or race affected their process possibilities. One respondent went as far as to mention that this can be a need at the a part of scholars to have a White English-speaking trainer, which then influences corporations’ selections when recruiting perfect applicants.

However as extra international voters proceed to unfold the English language throughout borders, the type of associating local speakerism to so-called White-dominated nations continues to development towards obsolescence. The silver lining to such an old-fashioned observe lies within the resolutions the place Anglophone Caribbean academics, or any local English speaker of colour truly, can enrich the learn about of English with cultural trade and consciousness.

Cultural Influences within the English School room
From the similar survey, Caribbean academics printed a stunning and refreshing normal testimony: their scholars tended to be extra trusting and no more scrutinizing in their Caribbean backgrounds.

Nonetheless, the lecturers confronted abnormal questions on their backgrounds and appearances. In recorded responses, some academics cited that newbies weren’t mindful that Black Caribbeans don’t seem to be from Africa, even supposing they’re a part of the African diaspora. Different testimony pointed to the truth that some scholars naively assigned a language to a race. Questions like “Do Jamaicans talk English?” or “What language do Jamaicans talk?” tell us that English continues to be connected to Anglo-dominated rich nations moderately than creating international locations with non-White dominating populations.

As well as, academics relayed that scholars now and again expected their Caribbean academics would pronounce phrases and orate sentences like an American or a Brit, as though the ones forms of English have been the one applicable ones.

Scenarios like those be offering alternatives to incorporate cultural and social figuring out in education schemes or culturally responsive educating of the English language. Finding out English is not just the method of mastering language paperwork but in addition comprises spotting the cultural idea patterns of English audio system world wide, which in point of fact make it an international language moderately than a language this is assigned a geographic position and race.

As a place to begin, English finding out thru cultural immersion may come with evaluating and contrasting. Examine-and-contrast fashions support newbies who don’t seem to be from the similar tradition in figuring out the adaptation between cultural behaviors, which in flip will increase cultural competence and figuring out. Comparability and distinction can distinguish applicable habits and unacceptable habits, permitting newbies to just accept the objective tradition, reinforcing English as a world language.

An extra proposition for this finding out type comprises attractive in culture-based actions. In a standard finding out type, acquisition of data of tradition depends on written fabrics wherein newbies are enlightened about psychology, cultural characters, customs and conduct, and social family members thru textual content and now not revel in.

Communicative actions are the ones involving newbies’ energetic participation in verbal exchange, comparable to role-play, information-gap actions, and problem-solving actions. As an example, an English trainer would possibly need to introduce newbies to forms of cultural dishes from world wide, which might come with educating newbies to cook dinner a standard recipe, the right way to order at a Caribbean eating place, or the right way to order meals by means of telephone.

Finally, the usage of unique fabrics and resources from a number of English-speaking resources is helping to interact scholars by way of unique cultural stories and moreover aids the destruction of implicit nativism biases when dissecting the {qualifications} of an English speaker.

Take the music “I Shot the Sheriff” by means of Bob Marley and the Wailers, as used to be beneficial by means of one survey respondent. As debatable a message because it used to be when the music used to be composed in 1975, or even in present occasions, the music gifts a possibility for newbies to observe the /ʃ/ (sh sound) as it’s utilized in English. Different unique resources can come with motion pictures, information publicizes, and tv presentations, in conjunction with numerous revealed and virtual fabrics that may be tailored to fit the age and language talent degree of scholars.

Extra importantly, when academics draw on multicultural consciousness and figuring out, they open their scholars’ eyes to fight the misconceptions that English is a White, Western Eu-dominant language, due to this fact appearing them it additionally belongs to other folks of colour.

Global English Lecturers and Global English Beginners
English has advanced to transform a world language with over part a thousand million other folks occupying the local speaker area, with every other one and a part billion finding out or the usage of English as a secondary or international language. That’s what makes English distinctive to the arena—the whole collection of English audio system globally, now not the collection of local audio system.

Thru academics’ grassroots efforts to advertise cultural consciousness and cut back different biases (like the ones in terms of accessory and race) within the educating of English as a world language, they’re actively preventing this systemic factor of local speakerism and racism within the trade.

After all, new strategies of English finding out, specifically the ones paired with cultural trade and enrichment, must at all times are compatible the desires of the scholar and their talent to seize this new means. A method to make sure that is to request and set sensible expectancies for finding out. Will global Englishes from the outer circle be approved by means of the scholar? Lecturers should at all times be mindful whether or not global Englishes can be approved within the scholar’s revel in and if they’ll stunt or fortify the scholar’s expansion. In the end, educators must replicate on how this immersive cultural finding out fashions admire, exploration, and inclusivity for internal, outer, and increasing circle English audio system.


  1. Romney, M., “All Englishes Subject,” Language Mag, March 2021, www.languagemagazine.com/2021/03/11/all-englishes-matter.
  2. www.thoughtco.com/expanding-circle-english-language-1690619
  3. https://bridge.edu/tefl/blog/native-speakerism-discriminatory-practice-or-response-to-market-demands

Venice Irving, knowledgeable within the ELT box for greater than twenty years, taught all ranges in Asia sooner than founding Satisfied Lecturers in 2009. She is a sought-after speaker for international ELT occasions, specifically in Latin The usa and Europe. She additionally consults with native and world govt businesses and NGOs on schooling construction within the area. She recently leads an internet team of over 3,000 academics as CEO of Satisfied Lecturers (https://happy-teachers.com).

Anna Hearrell is Bridge’s product supervisor (https://bridge.edu/tefl). She has advanced leading edge on-line methods designed to fulfill the desires of English language academics world wide, together with a micro-credential path devoted to educating English as a world language. As a trainer coaching supplier, Bridge seeks to empower the worldwide English language educating group with out there skilled construction choices, trainer reputation, and advocacy.