De-mystifying World Englishes in English Language Teacher Education


The 21st Conference of the International Association for World Englishes (21st IAWE), İstanbul, Turkey, 8 - 10 October 2015, pp.96

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.96
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


English in its present state is a global lingua franca that is spoken by people in different sociolinguistic landscapes of the world to fulfill a wide range of functions. Allowing its non-native speakers “ownership” and, thereby, flexibility and changes in its usage, it has become language that has been transformed and multiplied. Its non-native varieties have appeared in different communities of practice that adopted them and gained currency.

“World Englishes” is an encompassing term that refers to these Englishes in use around the world today and it has been approached by a significant number of scholars for definition, categorization and investigation of present and future implications. These endeavors have not resulted in exact and clear-cut definitions and classifications, however. What has emerged, instead, are discussions regarding the legitimacy, treatment and the future of non-native varieties of English placed next to the native ones. 

Aligning with the premise that the reality of World Englishes calls for an acknowledgement and scrutiny in any applied linguistics study concerning English, thereby, English language teacher education, the purpose of this study is to offer pedagogic tasks to create critical awareness of the controversial issues surrounding the reality of “World Englishes” for pre-service English teachers. To this end, it suggests ways these issues can be explored through reflective tasks that are based on various areas of concern from a World Englishes perspective (i.e. “standard” English, learners’ local linguistic needs, “nativeness”). It is believed that such awareness will unpack the World Englishes paradigm for prospective English teachers and provide for the emergent need to integrate it as a perspective into the “default curriculum” (Matsuda, 2009) of teacher education programs.

Matsuda, A. (2009). Desirable but not necessary? The place of World Englishes and English as an International Language in English teacher preparation programs in Japan. In Sharifian (Ed.), English as an international language: Perspectives and pedagogical issues (pp. 169-189). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.