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World Englishes from ideology, ecology and innovations perspective

aerial view of blurred people on grey paved street
May 23, 2024
12:00 - 13:00

Centre for Language Education Research
School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast 

Research Webinar - World Englishes from ideology, ecology, and innovations perspective

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Employing the world Englishes (WE) lens usually leads to identifying English as a new national variety such as Bangladeshi, Indian or Pakistani English. Moving beyond this typical WE focus, this presentation will provide a situated examination of English in local textbooks for English and other subjects for secondary education in Bangladesh. Viewing local production of textbooks as an instance of localising English, I will demonstrate four major ideological functions of English namely the construction of a national imaginary, secularisation, economisation, and politicisation. While critics of WE have identified monolingual and form-focused views of English, I will point out that localisation of English may also reflect other languages, showing various kinds of lexical and grammatical innovations. My examination of the textbooks helps to argue that while WE is motivated by decolonising English in the sense of empowering its non-native speakers, the localisation of English may also promote internal colonisation and subjugation in the interests of local power, politics and hegemony.

Dr Obaidul Hamid is Associate Professor of TESOL Education at the University of Queensland, Australia. Previously he worked at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. His research focuses on TESOL policy and practice in developing societies. He is a co-editor of Current Issues in Language Planning and looks after special issues in the journal. He is on the editorial boards of Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, English Teaching Practice & Critique, Journal of Asia TEFL and Asiatic. He co-edited Language and sustainable development: Policies, practices, and perceptions in Bangladesh (Routledge, in press). Other recent publications include ‘English as a Southern language’ (Language in Society, 2023), ‘Bangladeshi English’ and ‘Language assessment and world Englishes’ (The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of World Englishes, in press). He writes a regular column on language, education, and society in the Dhaka-based English daily New Age.

School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work
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