English as an International Language/English as a Lingua Franca in Postcolonial and Neomillennial Contexts

Authored by: Tope Omoniyi

The Routledge Companion to English Studies

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415676182
eBook ISBN: 9781315852515
Adobe ISBN: 9781317918929

10.4324/9781315852515.ch7

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Abstract

During the past 20 years or so there has been a perception that globalization has meant English would become the dominant world language. However, some observers now believe that the opposite has happened: international corporations and agencies are using local languages more often than ever before. In her introduction to the paper that introduces the English as a lingua franca (ELF) paradigm, Barbara Seidlhofer (2001: 133) suggested that the global English debate had stalled and failed because it lacked descriptive reality and was thus unable to provide a viable alternative to the dominant paradigm of native English. Any overview of English language scholarship would suggest that it is dominated by non-native English studies and non-native English contexts. The fact that English is used more as a lingua franca globally than as a native language underlines the need for more research like Dawson and Larrivée’s (2010), which looks at language attitudes in novels by non-native English authors. Inherent in those literary works is an ever-expanding corpus of ELF data and all the resources needed to uncouple native English and studies in English and liberalize the latter. To start with, what is English studies?

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