Unit 1: Defining English


Curzon, A. (2014). Fixing English. Prescriptivism and language history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • A very engaging book on prescriptivist approaches to English, taking seriously the role that ‘regulatory’ forces have played, and continue to play, in the shaping of (how people conceptualise) English. 

Graddol, D. (2006). English Next. London: British Council.
    • This is a very influential report for the British Council, using computer modelling, demographic data, and applied linguistic know-how, to make important forecasts about the future of English in the world, with a special emphasis on learning and teaching.

Graddol, D. (2010). English Next India. London: British Council.
    • An extension of English Next to the specific case of India.

Graddol, D., Leith, D., Swann, J., Rhys, M. and Gillen, J. (eds) (2007). Changing English. London: Routledge.
    • This Open University textbook covers the history and contemporary diversity of English in an accessible style, addressing key debates about the nature and status of the language.

Hall, C. J. and Wicaksono, R. (eds) (2020). Ontologies of English. Conceptualising the language for learning, teaching, and assessment. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • A collection of papers examining how English is conceptualised in both L1 and L2 educational contexts. The audience is scholars in applied linguistics, so some of the discussion can be quite technical, but many of the issues raised in this course are put under the microscope there, in case you want to follow them up.

Hall, C. J. (2005). An introduction to language and linguistics. Breaking the language spell. London and New York: Continuum.
    • In this introductory text one of us presents the ‘invisible’ nature of human language using the metaphor of a spell: most language use is unconscious and this has a series of negative effects on the way we conceptualise language, but linguistics can help us break the spell and become more aware of what language is and how it operates at both cognitive and social levels.

Makoni, S. and Pennycook, A. (eds) (2007). Disinventing and reconstituting languages. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    • The original collection of papers arguing for a ‘plurilithic’ view of English. This a very scholarly work, and many readers will find it very hard to read. Some of the arguments are unnecessarily divisive too, and are likely to alienate some readers (as argued in Hall, 2013). But some will find it a breath of fresh air, as we did. It’s certainly a ground-breaking collection, which has been very helpful to the authors of this course, even if we don’t agree with everything in it.

Merrison, A. J., Griffiths, P., Bloomer, A. and Hall, C. J. (2014). Introducing language in use (2nd edn.). London and New York: Routledge.
    • This is an introductory textbook on linguistics, aimed at beginning undergraduates and emphasising language as it is actually used, as opposed to language as an abstract system divorced from its users. The chapters on World Englishes and Multilingualism are particularly relevant for users of this course.


Do you speak American?
    • A website hosted by the USA’s Public Broadcasting Service, with a lot of interesting material on prescriptivism/descriptivism (discussed in Unit 3), and attitudes to ‘correctness’ and ‘Standard (American) English’. A particularly fun interactive exercise for those familiar with US dialects is the Mapping Attitudes page.

English Corpora
    • Access to several very large corpora of (mostly British and American) English, including the British National Corpus used to construct the concordance illustrating the ambiguity of the word rule in section 1.3. The site is maintained by Mark Davies.

How to speak correct English
    • Transcript of a humorous speech recorded in 1927 by George Bernard Shaw, the author of Pygmalion, from which My Fair Lady was adapted. His advice for ‘foreigners’ reflects the kinds of monolithic beliefs questioned in Unit 1.

Speak good English
    • Website of the Singapore Government’s campaign to persuade its citizens to use ‘Standard’ English instead of the local variety. A paradigm case of monolithic thinking to contrast with the ideas presented in this course.

Sounds familiar?
    • British Library site with information on accent and dialect variation in the UK. We use samples from this site in Unit 2.

Unit 2: Using English


García, O. and Li Wei (2014). Translanguaging: language, bilingualism and education. London: Palgrave.
    • A brief but rich and readable introductory text on translanguaging in education. It includes some useful ideas about how teachers can incorporate translanguaging into their classrooms, even if they do not share their students’ first language(s).

Jenkins, J. (2015). Global Englishes. A resource book for students (3rd edn). London: Routledge.
    • An introductory textbook on World Englishes, providing a broad overview of issues and written in a way that is accessible to those without a university studies background. It reproduces some interesting extracts from other scholars’ work in the field.

Jenkins, J., Baker, W. and Dewey, M. (eds). (2018). Routledge handbook of English as a Lingua Franca. London: Routledge.
    • A scholarly survey of ELF in 47 chapters, covering lots of issues relevant to this course.

Kachru, Y. and Smith, L. E. (eds) (2008). Cultures, contexts, and World Englishes. London: Routledge.
    • An introduction to the study of varieties of World Englishes, with an emphasis on cultural contexts and sociolinguistic methods. Includes important discussion of intelligibility in interaction.

Kirkpatrick, A. (2010). The Routledge handbook of World Englishes. London: Routledge.
    • A comprehensive set of articles on World Englishes written by experts in the field.

Murata, K. and Jenkins, J. (eds) (2009). Global Englishes in Asian contexts. Current and future debates. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
    • A collection of papers on global English and ELF in Asia, including an important and quite readable paper by Alistair Pennycook on ‘Plurilithic Englishes’.

Seidlhofer, B. (2011). Understanding English as a Lingua Franca. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • A major review of research on English as a Lingua Franca, providing a clear overview of the position of those who identify with the emerging ‘ELF studies’ community in applied linguists.


English as a Lingua Franca
    • BBC Radio episode of the Word of Mouth programme on English as a Lingua Franca, from September 2011, including interviews with Jennifer Jenkins and Andy Kirkpatrick, as well as alternative viewpoints from Michael Swan and the assistant director of Cambridge ESOL.

Language Varieties
    • Resource website on ‘non-standard’ global varieties of English, by Jeff Siegel, a pidgin and creole expert at the University of New England.

Translanguaging Resources
    • Resources and guides for translanguaging in education from the CUNY-New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals. The project also offers a series of videos called Teaching bilinguals (even if you’re not one).

World Englishes
    • Video on international varieties of English by Kyle Nuske and Tomoko Oda at Indiana University Pennsylvania. In it they interview international students from the Outer and Expanding circles about their English learning goals and experiences. It is used in a classroom activity described in Matsuda (2012): see resources for Unit 4. Full versions of the interviews are also online.

What is English as a Lingua Franca? An introduction to the field
    • Accessible online article by Alessia Cogo, a prominent ELF researcher, which provides a good overview of the phenomenon and (her) research on it.

Unit 3: Learning English


Cadierno, T. and Eskildsen, S. W. (eds) (2015). Usage-based perspectives on second language learning. Berlin: De Gruyter.
    • Unfortunately there are no book-length introductory accounts yet of the ‘usage-based’ approach to SLA that underpins much of the content of Unit 3 (although check out the following recommendation). This edited volume brings together chapters from some of the best-known researchers working in the area, so is worth a look for those interested in the scholarship behind the approach.

VanPatten, B. and Williams, J. (eds) (2015). Theories in second language acquisition. An introduction. London: Routledge.
    • This accessible introduction to SLA theories contains two chapters which are particularly relevant to the content of Unit 3. Chapter 5 (by Nick Ellis and Stephanie Wulff) explains ‘usage-based’ approaches to SLA, and Chapter 8 (by Michael Ullman) explains the declarative/procedural model informing our section on automatisation and the neural underpinning of the distinction between rules as ‘regularities’ and ‘regulations’.

Hilpert, M. (2014). Construction Grammar and its application to English. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
    • Although this textbook isn’t directly about learning English, it’s relevant to the approach we’ve taken in Unit 3 because it explains how the language can be characterised by a grammar of ‘constructions’: the ‘regularities’ in the speech and writing that users are exposed to.

Tomasello, M. (2003). Constructing a language. A usage-based theory of language acquisition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    • This book is a seminal theoretical work providing a usage-based account of L1 development, but it won’t be very accessible for readers without a background in linguistics or cognitive psychology.

Tyler, A. E., Ortega, L., Uno, M. and Park, H. I. (eds) (2018). Usage-inspired L2 instruction: Researched pedagogy. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    • A collection of papers on approaches to teaching inspired by the usage-based approach to SLA. The editors’ introduction lists ‘five tenets that shape usage-inspired L2 instruction’.


    • The source of the data on Barbara and her mother, this online corpus also includes bilingual and second language data in a variety of languages. It is not an easy page to navigate, but the key links are ‘Database manuals’ in the right-hand column and ‘Database’ at the top of the central column.

Kurt Kohn at TESOL
    • Video of Kohn’s keynote talk at the 2012 TESOL Conference, entitled ‘My English’: Second Language Acquisition as Individual and Social Construction. Although he doesn’t mention the word plurilithic, Kohn’s message is entirely consistent with ours and indeed he makes many of the same arguments. He also takes the position further and deeper than we have done in this course.

Construction Grammar and its Application to English
    • This is the first of a series of videos made by Martin Hilpert to accompany his 2014 textbook, listed above. It’s accessible and informative.

Unit 4: Teaching English


Alsagoff, L., Mckay, S. L., Hu, G. and Renandya, W. A. (eds) (2012). Principles and practices for Teaching English as an International Language. London: Routledge.
    • One of two collections of papers from 2012 examining ‘principles and practices’ in teaching English as an International Language with (almost) the same name (the other is Matsuda’s: see below). This is one is slightly more principle-oriented, with persuasive argumentation regarding the need for change.

Bayyurt, Y. and Akcan, S. (eds) (2015). Current perspectives on pedagogy for English as a lingua franca. Berlin: De Gruyter.
    • A collection of papers addressing how to incorporate new our understandings of ELF usage into English classrooms, teacher education programmes, and teaching materials, using examples mostly from Europe and East Asia.

Kirkpatrick, A. (2007). World Englishes. Implications for international communication and English Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • An accessible introduction to global variation in English and to major varieties, written with teaching implications in mind.

Marr, T. and English, F. (2019). Rethinking TESOL in diverse global settings. The language and the teacher in a time of change. London: Bloomsbury.
    • A robust discussion of the realities of contemporary TESOL and the consequent need for the profession to face the challenges presented by Global Englishes by becoming (and positioning themselves as) specialists, with expert knowledge (precisely the kind that this course engages you with, we would point out!).

Matsuda, A. (ed.) (2012). Principles and practices of Teaching English as an International Language. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
    • One of two collections of papers from 2012 examining ‘principles and practices’ in teaching English as an International Language with (almost) the same name (the other is Alsagoff et al.’s: see above). This is one is slightly more practice-oriented, with a chunky final chapter on actual classroom activities.

McKay, S. (2002). Teaching English as an International Language. Rethinking goals and approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • A short but invaluable textbook on the teaching of English for international communication.

Rose, H. and Galloway, N. (2019). Global Englishes for language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    • This books motivates an approach to ELT the authors call Global Englishes for Language Teaching (GELT), using theory and empirical research. It has been written to be accessible to both researchers and practitioners.

Sharifian, F. (ed.) (2009). English as an International Language. Perspectives and pedagogical issues. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
    • A collection of inspiring and provocative papers, many of which highlight the injustice of the assumption that native speakers have a privileged status in matters concerning the learning, teaching and use of English.

Widdowson, H. G. (2003). Defining issues in English language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    • A statement of Henry Widdowson’s philosophy of English and the learning/teaching of English, which may not be explicitly ‘plurilithic’ in nature, but in many ways seems to anticipate the plurilithic position we present in this course, as we acknowledge in the Learning English unit.

Unit 5: Changing English


Gardner, H. (2006). Changing minds: The art and science of changing our own and other peoples minds. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
    • If you want to understand the practical psychology behind the process of changing people’s minds on tough issues like the resilient belief in monolithic English, then you might appreciate this book. It was written for business folk, psychologists and educators by the cognitive psychologist Howard Gardner (famous for his Multiple Intelligences theory).

Hall, C. J., Smith, P. H., and Wicaksono, R. (2017). Mapping Applied Linguistics. A Guide for Students and Practitioners (2nd edn). London: Routledge.
    • This is the second edition of a book we wrote with our colleague Patrick Smith from Texas State University, in which we survey different areas of applied linguistics and present our view of the field as a bottom-up, user-based, problem-oriented enterprise.

Ng, P. C. and Boucher-Yip, E. F. (eds) (2016). Teacher agency and policy response in English language teaching. London: Routledge.
    • A collection of papers addressing the issue of agency in teachers’ individual and collective responses to curriculum reform and other ELT policy issues, including the challenges of global mobility. Contributions draw on examples from several countries.

Ricento, T. K. and Hornberger, N. H. (1996). Unpeeling the onion. Language planning and policy and the ELT professional. TESOL Quarterly, 30, 3, 401-427.
    • This is the introductory article for a special issue of the influential academic journal TESOL Quarterly from 1996, dedicated to the notion of English teaching as language policy and planning, a way of viewing the profession that we adopt and advocate in this unit.


    • The National Association for Language Development in the


(NALDIC) is the UK’s national association for EAL. The Association “provides a professional forum for the teaching and learning of English as an additional language, supporting bilingualism, raising the achievement of ethnic minority learners, and promoting the development of research, policy and practice”.

    • The international TESOL organization has a blog which now includes a series of “white papers, research briefs, and policy briefs” that could be a site for ‘changing Englishes’ as we describe the process in this unit.

TESOL Advocacy and Policy Summit
    • This annual event provides teachers in the USA with the opportunity to “learn about U.S. federal education issues and advocate for policies that support English learners and the field of English language education”.