Unit 1: Defining English
This unit introduces the idea of alternative monolithic and plurilithic conceptions of English.
- 1.0 Introduction
- 1.1 Monolithic vs Plurilithic Concepts
- 1.1.1 Monolithic Concepts of Language
- 1.1.2 Plurilithic Concepts of Language
- 1.2 ‘Standard English’
- 1.2.1 ‘Standard English’: History
- 1.2.2 ‘Standard English’: Beliefs
- 1.2.3 Advantages and Disadvantages of ‘Standard English’ for ELT
- 1.3 Rules of English
- 1.3.1 The ambiguity of the word rule
- 1.3.2 Rules of English: The Monolithic View
- 1.3.3 Rules of English: The Plurilithic View
- 1.4 Four Dimensions of Monolithism
- 1.5 Check Your Understanding
- 1.6 Reflect and Discuss
Unit 2: Using English
This unit explores the plurilithic usage of English in diverse global settings.
- Unit 2: Using English
- 2.1 Introducing Lingua Franca Usage
- 2.2.1 Native speaker Variation
- 2.2.2 Native speakers: Accommodation
- 2.3 Englishes in the British Isles
- 2.4 World Englishes
- 2.4.1 Englishes in Your Part of The World
- 2.4.2 Owning a language (Part 1)
- 2.5 ELF
- 2.5.1 Intelligibility
- 2.5.2 ELF in Your Part of The World
- 2.6 Translanguaging with English
- 2.7 Check Your Understanding
- 2.8 Reflect and Discuss
Unit 3: Learning English
This unit discusses how English is learned as a first or additional language.
- Unit 3: Learning English
- 3.1 First Language Acquisition
- 3.2 Back to Rules
- 3.2.1 Rules as Patterns in the Mind (Part 1)
- 3.2.2 Rules as Social Markers
- 3.2.3 Rules as Mental Representations
- 3.2.4 Rules in Schools
- 3.2.5 Rules as Patterns in the Mind (2)
- 3.3 Models and Targets
- 3.4 Learning Contexts
- 3.5 Owning a Language (Part 2)
- 3.6 Learners and Users
- 3.7 Check Your Understanding
- 3.8 Reflect and Discuss
Unit 4: Teaching English
This unit examines the teaching implications of plurilithic conceptions of English.
Unit 5: Changing English
This unit suggests ways to share your learning on the course with others.
- Unit 5: Changing English
- 5.1 The Challenge
- 5.2 Changing Learners’ Beliefs About English
- 5.3 Changing Teaching Colleagues’ Beliefs About English
- 5.4 Changing Policy-Makers’ Beliefs About English
- 5.5 Changing the Public’s Beliefs About English
- 5.6 Check Your Understanding
- 5.7 Reflect and Discuss
- Course Finish
Unit 5: Changing English
In this last unit we’ll make some practical suggestions about how you might continue to develop some of the ideas we have introduced in this course and how you might share them with others. We know that some of the ideas are quite radical, and that many English teachers will find it a struggle to come to terms with and contest their own and others’ monolithic views about languages. But we believe that it is English teachers who are best positioned to effect change, both in the classroom and beyond it.
There are many stakeholders involved in the global process of changing English: learners, teachers, testers, programme administrators, materials developers, parents, general linguists, applied linguists, policy-makers, politicians, journalists, commentators, writers, publishers, school administrators, employers, workers in international organisations, call centre employees, translators, speech/language therapists, dictionary compilers, software developers, university admissions tutors, … indeed, anyone who uses or has interest in English in either a private or professional capacity (i.e. lots and lots of people!).
These stakeholders will vary dramatically in their beliefs and ideological positions, as well as in their capacity or desire to change the status quo. Few of them will be conscious of the plurilithic perspective (although many of the insights described in this course will no doubt strike a chord with them). Fewer still will have the power or influence to change things directly and immediately. Linguists, both general and applied, can play an important role in getting people to think about the issues, but their influence, credibility, and reputation are not as high as that of teachers. Although in some cultural contexts teachers often lack the recognition and status that other professionals have traditionally been accorded, you hold the future of English in your hands!