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Teaching World Englishes - EDU00024M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Ursula Lanvers
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

In its earliest days English was no more than a local language barely known outside of a small corner of Europe, while in the last two to three centuries it has become a highly influential global language. This module explores the ways in which English has become a world language and the role the different varieties of English now play in the modern world. The practical implications of the status of English for teachers and students in both ESL and EFL contexts will be investigated.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

Students who complete the course successfully should be able to:

  • Articulate the factors that have led to the spread of English and the impact that this spread has had on the English language and how it is taught
  • Engage critically with the current debates regarding questions of standard and variety in English and how they relate to the construction of national and individual identities, with particular relevance to the implications for teaching and learning
  • Understand the relevance of culture in language use, both in oral and written contexts
  • Understand issues relating to national language and educational policies and planning, in particular the role of English within the national framework. Students should be able to reflect on this as it relates to their context of interest
  • Engage critically with current debates regarding English-medium education both in multilingual, post-colonial societies and in societies where English is a foreign language
  • Understand issues relating to the teaching of English as an international language (EIL) and non-native speaking teachers of English
  • Understand the initiatives undertaken to maintain heritage languages alongside English across different speech communities, and how these initiatives relate to teaching ESL/EFL

Module learning outcomes

Subject Content:

  • Understand different conceptualisations of World English and understand how English has spread and influenced of the world.
  • Understand issues surrounding standard and variety in English language.
  • Understand the complexities of teaching English as an international language.
  • Explore the relationship between English, the non-native speaking (NNS) teacher and Communicative Language Teaching (CLT).
  • Analyse the link between language, identity and culture.
  • Understand the broad issues relating to language planning and language policy: English-medium education and bilingual education.

Academic and Graduate Skills:

  • Formulate arguments and contribute to discussion.
  • Develop academic writing skills.
  • Participate in individual and group work, presentations, and peer-teaching activities.
  • Demonstrate effective planning and time management.
  • Word-process, manage files, use-email, VLE and the Web.
  • Undertake empirical and literature research.

Module content

Course content by week

Week 1 Introduction, Global English trends

We will discuss the main challenges facing the most popular lingua franca and fastest changing language today. The session is also a general module introduction.

Week 2 Defining World English

• historical and cultural context of the spread of English

• What does the notion of World Englishes signify?

• Why has English and not any other language assumed a dominant linguistic role in the contemporary world?

Week 3 Standard and variety

• standardization in the history of English

• processes that promote uniformity in language use

• Standard English and intelligibility in English use across cultures

Week 4 Teaching English as an international language

• pedagogical implications of the spread of English

• teaching an international language

• mutual intelligibility

• attitudes towards varieties of English

Week 5 English and the non-native English teacher

• Native and non-native speaker teachers (NNT)

• native speaker teachers

• controversies around the term ‘native’

• Communicative Language Teaching and NNT teachers and students

Week 6 Language and identity

• Identity as multiple and subject to change

• target language identity vs first language identity

• teacher identity and language

Week 7 Language and culture

• What is culture?

• Culture in language teaching

• boundary of two (or more) cultures

• ‘third place’ created in the classroom

Week 8 Language planning and language policy

• language policy and planning. Issues relating to educational policies

• English medium education (EME)

• Equality in EME

• standards and varieties in EME

Week 9 Decolonising teaching English

• Racialised and marginalised Englishes

• Approaches to decolonising teaching English

• Can English be neutral?

Week 10 English around the world: Student presentations

• Groups of students select a country in which they are interested

• growth of English in that country?

• English teaching policy?

• Which English is taught?

• Controversies, issues?

Week 11 Assignment workshop

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework: 3500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

The summative assessment for this module is a 3,500 word essay.

Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework: 3500 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

You will receive feedback in a range of ways throughout this module. This will include oral feedback in class, responses to posts on the VLE discussion board and written comments on work. You will have the chance to obtain feedback on your writing during the module, and you will have a short one-to-one meeting with a module tutor to discuss assessments.

You will be provided physical written feedback on assignment report sheets as well as them being readily available on the VLE. The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information

Indicative reading

Required readings are available by accessing key texts through the module reading list

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.