This paper suggests a set of curriculum and
pedagogical changes in
light of the fact that the English language, in the age of globalization, internationalization and post-Fordism which has touched lives - economically, politically, socially and
culturally - has been transformed into world Englishes. Hall (1991, pp.
57-58) describes some of the most salient characteristics of
Post-Fordism is a [broad] term, suggesting a whole new epoch distinct from the era of mass production... it covers at least some of the following characteristics: a shift to the new information "technology"; more flexible, decentralized forms of labor process and work organization; decline of the old manufacturing base and the growth of the "sunrise", computer-based industries; the living off or contracting out of functions and services; a great emphasis on choice and product differentiation, on marketing, packaging, and design, on the "targeting" of consumers by lifestyles, taste, and culture rather than by the categories of social class; a decline in the proportion of the skilled, male manual working class, the rise of the service and white-collar classes and the "feminization" of the work force; an economy dominated by the multinationals, with their new international division of labor and their greater autonomy from nation-state control; and the "globalization" of the new financial markets, linked by the communications revolution.
The culture of the market (Haskell and Teichgraber III, 1993) also has been instrumental in this shifting of English to world Englishes. In this context English has become the most dominant international language. We need to fully understand the scope of this shift for the educational change process. Before commenting on the scope of this shift, however, I make certain observations and suggestions pertaining to the educational changes taking place in this province and elsewhere.
First, the education of future teachers should be
that those who aspire to be teachers are enabled to function as "cultural workers". In recent discourse on teacher education in this province too much emphasis has been given to the professional
training of future teachers in a narrow sense. The moot question is: should we simply train future teachers or educate them? This question has not been adequately and publicly discussed in this province. It has not been a major issue in recent
rethinking (Cherryholmes, 1988) regarding educational change in this province. Implicitly, the notion of professionalism has become central to the reorganization of the educational system, including teacher education. We have just begun to observe the
restrictive impact of a professionalization model on the offering of curriculum and program designs in the area of teacher education. For example, one consequence of professionalization has been that courses offered to students have become too shallow
and stream lined - devoid of any historical, political, cultural and social discussions. A curriculum which is narrowly designed has a tendency to exclude material which has global significance. If the curriculum design follows a narrow professionalism
frame (e.g., too much emphasis on science, computer and similar courses), it is more likely that a notion such as world Englishes would be excluded from it. Consequently, students would not have opportunity to function as educators by adopting the role
of the cultural worker.
As cultural workers, educators are prepared not only to posses skills required to carry on their responsibilities as teachers in classrooms (e.g., skills involving lesson planning, effective communication, classroom management, evaluation and testing, use of time, and alike), but also to function in ways that would transform or reform their classrooms, schools and communities in the spirit of democracy and democratic living. This means making their classrooms, schools and communities at least more just, fair and open for all stakeholders regardless of their gender, race, class and life styles. Cultural workers are thus committed to expanding the public sphere through pedagogical practices. Fraser (1994, p. 75) states:
The idea of `the public sphere' in Habermas' sense is a conceptual resource... It designates a theatre in modern societies in which political participation is enacted through the medium of talk. It is the space in which citizens deliberate about their common affairs, hence, an institutionalized arena of discursive interaction. This arena is conceptually distinct from the state; it is a site for the production and circulation of discourses that can in principle be critical of the state. The public sphere in Habermas' sense is also conceptually distinct from the official economy; it is not an arena of market relations but rather one of discursive relations, a theatre for debating and deliberating rather than for buying and selling. Thus, this concept of the public sphere permits us to keep in view the distinctions between the state apparatuses, economic markets, and democratic associations, distinctions that are essential to democratic theory.
Giroux in his writings asserts that critical and
educators should function as public intellectuals at sites which provide them openings and safe spaces for trying out new pedagogical practices. Educators like other cultural workers such
as lawyers, social workers, architects, medical professionals, theologians, and writers, should rethink and discuss the purpose and meaning of education in the new world system. Traditionally, the artists, writers, and media producers have been seen as
cultural workers. Giroux (1993) extends the concept and practice of
cultural work by including educators and other professionals and by
emphasizing the primacy of the political and the pedagogical. In his
The pedagogical dimension of cultural work refers to the process of creating symbolic representations and the practices within which they are engaged. This includes a particular concern with the analysis of textual, aural, and visual representation and how such representations are organized and regulated within particular institutional arrangements. It also addresses how various people engage such representations in the practice of analysis and comprehension (p. 5).
Further, Giroux says:
The political dimension of cultural work informs this process through a project whose intent is to mobilize knowledge and desires that may lead to minimizing the degree of oppression in people's lives. What is at stake is a political imagery that extends the possibilities for creating new public spheres in which the principles of equality, liberty, and justice become the primary organizing principles for structuring relationships between self and others (p. 5).
To Giroux (1993, p. 4) pedagogy means rewriting the relationship between theory and practice as a form of cultural practices. Giroux explains:
Pedagogical theory is not a substitute for the particular practices taken up by historically specific subjects who work in concrete, social, political, and cultural contexts. On the contrary, it is a discursive practice, an unfinished language, replete with possibilities, that grows out of particular engagements and dialogues. It offers up new categories, examples, and insights for teachers and others to engage and rethink everything from the purpose and meaning of schooling to the role that educators might play as cultural workers.
The second suggestion follows the above discussion: that the curriculum should make students aware of the existence of the varieties of world Englishes. Kachru (1995, p. 4) suggests, further, that"qualified teachers familiar with other varieties be appointed to teach English."
As we will soon see, the scope of world Englishes is such that it provides a huge market in Asia, North America and other parts of the world. Any curriculum offered to students should not only open new opportunities for them to learn the subjects taught but also enable young people to pursue their career in the global market system effectively and as cultural workers. Therefore, world Englishes should become an integral part of their career development programs. World English can be seen as a site where educators can function as cultural workers (Singh, 1996). A site is a contested terrain where, according to Simon (1994, p. 128), "the past is traversed by completing and contradictory constructions." Further, be suggests that "cultural workers intending to initiate pedagogies of historical reformation need an understanding of topography on which these struggles are taking place." To struggle as a site means taking into account the specificity of the particular content in which one is located in relationship to others.
From English to World Englishes
Chicago Tribune (March 24, 1995: Section 1, p. 4) reports some concerns of Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne. Speaking at the reception organized by the British Council, an organization which takes pride in maintaining tradition and preserving the national heritage, the Prince attacked American English by saying it was "very corrupting", that "proper English" was the correct version and that it should be the world's preferred means of communication. He explained that overseas adopters of the language are bent to "invent all sorts of new nouns and verbs and make words that shouldn't be". The Prince said, "I think we have to be a bit careful... Otherwise, the whole thing gets rather a mess." He further contested that, "we must act now to ensure that English... and that, to my way of thinking, means English. English... maintains its position as the world language well into the next century."
The use of English in various international situations, such as in education, in business, in tourism, in personal interaction, and in literary creativity, has no doubt become an international custom. As the Prince pointed out, more than 700 milli on people worldwide use English as a first or second language. He also noted that four-fifths of electronic information is stored in English.
The globalization and internationalization of our life, and the expansion of the culture of the market, has created "the hegemony of English" in the minds of certain people. Accordingly, some people assert that the use of English has caused problems of linguistic discrimination, cultural imperialism and colonialization of consciousness (Tsuda, 1993, 1994, 1994a). On the other hand, in this broad historical context English itself has been transformed into "Englishes" or "world Englishes".
Kachru (1994, p. 2), one of the leading figures in
the field of
world Englishes, explains that the cross-cultural function of English has
greatly expanded in many spheres of life and
That has given English an unprecedented status as a global and cross-cultural code of communication... It is for this power that English is presented as an Aladdin's lamp for opening the doors to cultural and religious `enlightenment', as the `lan guage for all seasons,' a `universal language,' a language with no national or regional frontiers and the language on which the sun never sets.
The evidence that English has acquired such a status in the world has been documented by Bailey and Görlach (1992); Kachru (1982) , and 1986 ; and McArthur (1992).
Kachru (1994, p. 3) says that the change from
to world Englishes has taken place both in form and
Now, at least in some circles, the use of the term `English literature' is considered rather restricted and monocultural. Instead, the term ` English literatures' is steadily gaining acceptance... and the term `Englishes' or `world Englishes' does not raise everybrows in every circle.
Kachru (1994, p. 1-2) further explains:
The concept `world Englishes' demands that we begin with a distinction between English as a medium and English as a repertoire of cultural pluralism; one refers to the form of language, and the other to its function, its content. It is the medium that is designed and organized for multiple cultural - or cross-cultural conventions. It is in this sense that one understands the concepts `global', `pluralistic', and `multi-canons' with reference to the forms and functions of world Englishes. What we share as members of the international English-using speech community is the medium, that is, the vehicle for the transmission of the English language. The medium per se, however, has no constraints on what message - cultural or social - we transmit through it. And English is a paradigm example of medium in this sense.
When we call English a global medium, it means that those who use English across cultures have a shared code of communication. And the result of this shared competence is that, in spite of various types of cultural differences, we believe that we communicate with each other - one user of English with another, a Nigerian with an Indian, a Japanese with a German, and a Singaporean with an American. It is in this broad sense of interlocutors that we have one language and many voices."
The Shift and Conflicts
This shift in terminology i.e., from English to Englishes or world Englishes - has been full of conflicts. In Kachru's (1994, p. 3) words, "this terminological feud is not innocent; it is loaded with ideologies, economic interests, and strategies for power."
Language has always been a fundamental site of
social, cultural, political and economic control because all these processes begin in language. There are several discourses on this issue. I will touch only upon a few due to the
limitation of space.
Let me start by referring to the English only
movement in the
United States. After the Quebec referendum, Morris wrote in The Evening Telegram that "a movement to make English the official language of the U.S. government is gaining momentum
on Capital Hill, buoyed by lingering fears stirred by the Quebec referendum." (November 7, 1995, p. 7). "There are at least four bills pending in the U.S. Congress that aims to make English the official language," Morris reported (p. 7). He said that
"other bills would go further, eliminating bilingual education and multilingual publications and making English the only language for citizenship ceremonies and election ballots." (p. 7). In an article in The Evening Telegram (November 2, 1995, p
. 37) Morris reported that "opponents say the language bills are driven by racism and the urge to discourage immigration to the United States." He said, "supporters claim an English-first law would help unify the nation, making it clear to everyone that
if they want to pursue the American dream, they must speak English." (p. 37). "Supporters also say they're driven by fear - fear of discord, internal isolation - and fear of the Canadian predicament," Morris reported (p. 37). Morris also noted that
"there are 323 languages spoken in the United States." (The Evening
Telegram, November 7, 1995, p. 37).
Secondly I will examine the idea of post-colonial discourse. Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin (1995, p. 283) state
Language is a fundamental site of struggle for post-colonial discourse because the colonial process itself begins in language. The control over language by the imperial centre - whether achieved by displacing native languages, by installing itself as a `standard' against other variants which are constituted as `impurities', or by planting the language of empire in a new place - remains the most potent instrument of cultural control. Language provides the term by which reality may be constituted; it provides the names by which the world may be `known'. Its system of values - its suppositions, its geography, its concepts of history, of difference, its myriad gradations of distinction - becomes the system upon which social, economic and political discourses are grounded."
Many writers in Asia, Africa and the Caribbeans use
language for divergent reasons. These writers "have a common heritage of colonialism and post-colonialism, a common heritage of multilingualism and multiculturalism, a common heritage
of displacement and migration." (Jussawalla and Wasenbrock, 1992, p. 14). Many of these writers have expressed their views involving English language use and these opinions have been documented by Jussawalla and Wasenbrock (1992). For example, many
writers in Africa who use the English language show confidence that English can be instrumental in resisting the process of imperialism, and in India its use has provided a neutral vehicle for communication between rival language groups (Ashcroft,
& Tiffin, 1995, p. 284).
There are many other discourses on the language issue which make conflicting demands on educators as cultural workers. For example, Grossberg (1994, p. 10, in Giroux and McLaren, 1994) points out that education as a field in the United States and elsewhere has been caught in conflicting demands:
Between the conflicting demands and critiques are two opposed discourses. On the one side, there is a discourse of multiculturalism and liberation which calls for a democratic culture based on an acceptance of social difference and which is usually predicated on a theory of identity and representation. On the other side, there is a discourse of conservatism based on canonical notions of general education and a desire to impose what it cannot justify - the existence of an illusory common culture.
Another related discourse is on the clash between the western and non-western civilizations (Huntington, 1993). Newt Gingrich, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives had this to say:
You watch the vote in Quebec and ask yourself, how far down that road do you want to go before it scares you enough? And you have to be one civilization or this country won't make it (Reported by Morris in The Evening Telegram, November 7, 1995, p. 7).
Yet there is another discourse which links the
problems of a
multicultural workforce and multicultural consumers with the interest of global/transnational/multinational corporations in global popular culture. Global corporations are interested in
global programming to sell their products to multicultural consumers through advertising. A multicultural population is seen as presenting a dilemma for both the transnational corporations and the nationalists. The question is which culture should be
reproduced - the global culture or the national culture? Here, there are many conflicting discourses. In the United States, Allan Bloom (1987) argues for maintaining western cultural tradition and Hirsch (1988) argues for cultural literacy based on
western tradition to maintain national unity. In contrast, groups dominated by European-American white cultures argue for multiculturalism, multicultural education and Afrocentricity. For these discourses, see Giroux (1993), Giroux and McLaren (1994),
(1991), Giroux (1994), and Spring (1994).
Kachru (1994) presents discourse surrounding English as a pluralistic language and discusses the three themes - cross-cultural communication, global interdependence and educational linguistics - the themes that are closely related to the world Englishes. In all these discourses, world Englishes play an important role directly and indirectly.
The Scope of World Englishes
It should be realized that there now exists a huge amount of professional and research material in this area (Smith & Nelson, 1985; Smith, 1981, 1987). The field has its own journal, World Englishes, and there are local, regional, n ational and international associations which deal with the phenomenon of world Englishes. These associations systematically organize seminars, meetings and conferences all over the world. The second International Conference of the
International Association for World Englishes (IAWE) was held in Nagoya, Japan, in May 1995.
Kachru (1985, 1992) discusses in detail the three concentric circles of Englishes (see Figure 1).
Kachru (1995, p. 1) also provides a current profile
of English in Asia and enumerates the following major
$ That Asia comprises the largest English using population in three distinct contexts of use as a first language (e.g., in Australia, New Zealand), as an institutionalized additional language in multilingual context (e.g., in India, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines), and as a foreign language (e.g. in Tiwan, Korea);
$ That in the Outer Circle India has over 40 million users of the language making it the third largest English using country after the USA and the United Kingdom;
$ That in the Expanding Circle China has almost 200 million EFL users with varying competence in the language, approximating numerically the users of English in the US A;
$ That the
initiative in planning, administration, and funding for the increasing
bilingualism in English in Asia is essentially in the hands of the
$ That there is extensive creativity in different literary genres with various types of experimentation and innovation in English as medium and in the messages that the language conveys; and
$ That almost every major town in Asia has a newspaper in English and a local radio station transmitting news in English.
Let us not forget the importance of economic trade with Asian countries. Recently this fact was highlighted by Team Canada's visit to the Asian countries led by Prime Minister Chretien. Billions of dollars are involved.
Figure 1 about here
The current profile of the English using
population in Asia,
Africa, North America, Europe and elsewhere generates a huge industry. As suggested in the beginning, the transformation of English language into world Englishes needs to be recogniz
ed for pragmatic reasons. Every effort should be made to equip people,
especially the young people, with those abilities, skills, qualifications
and attitudes which would enable them to participate successfully in this
Obviously, this industry seems to provide ample opportunities for young people to make the transition from school to the world of work, locally and globally.
In the area of teaching, the demand for Englishes
has never been
greater in all parts of the world. East Asia alone constitutes the most dynamic economies in the world and teaching and non-teaching jobs are available in that part of the world
Kachru (1995, p. 4-5) suggests several strategies to readjust attitudes and approaches to world Englishes. These strategies should be used to redesign curriculum offered to students at various stages of their schooling. In this frame English should be seen in terms of
$ One medium and pluralistic canons: Consider the medium as a repertoire of canons and develop a pluralistic vision for English - the vision of world Englishes;
$ Repertoire of ESPs and genres: Reject the extreme version of English for special purposes (ESP), and provide exposure to regional ESPs and genres of English (See Kachru 1988);
$ Acculturated communicative strategies: Expand the concept of cross-cultural discourse strategies and speech acts, not restricting these to the outer circle;
culture induction: Use the medium to articulate local cultures, and do
not restrict it as a resource for one-way cultural induction;
$ Multilingual's creativity: Teach English within the paradigms of multilinguals' creativity in order to make multilinguals' creativity meaningful at various levels, contextual, sociolinguistic, pragmatic and linguistic, within the theory and methodology of contact linguistic.
Kachru (1995, p. 4) suggest a number of ways to introduce "variety repertoire:"
$ That the curriculum include courses to introduce selected varieties of English from the region;
$ That text from such varieties be used to illustrate the distinctiveness in acculturation and nativization of a variety;
teachers familiar with other varieties be appointed to teach English, for example, Filipinos in Japan, Sri Lankans in Malaysia, Malaysians in the
Philippines, and so on, in order to provide `variety exposure' - that is, of course, the real world of world Englishes. This, indeed, is a very effective strategy to create variety awareness and to develop `tolerance' toward other accents. In other words, o
ne has to overcome the `native speaker' syndrome as it has been
inculcated by the `English conversation' approach and such other
A great deal of work needs to be done in the field of education and in other fields such as tourism, industry, business, communications, advertising and alike, where varieties of English comprise a valuable medium. For example, in the area of education, teacher training/education programs have to be developed. Curriculum would have to be redesigned. Pedagogical resources (e.g., dictionaries/manuals) need to be produced. Textbooks have to be selected and produced. Finally, instruments of testing and evaluation need to be designed, produced and circulated.
All the above areas have potential for providing career opportunities for those whose interest lie in world Englishes and who wish to make the transition from schools to the world of work, locally and globally, in the real world of world Englishes.
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