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This course explores some of the historical, political and social issues associated with the development of different World Englishes, discussing key structural differences between varieties of English along the way. Of course, for the language professional attempting to operate in this environment (e.g. teacher, writer, editor, policy maker), there are a number of practical challenges: e.g. what type of English should we teach (and endorse)? How do learners' attitudes towards their target variety affect their eventual proficiency? How do we codify new and emerging varieties? These and many more real-world issues associated with policy, planning and pedagogy are tackled in this course.
English is one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, and nowadays more people learn and speak it as a secondary language, as compared to people for whom it is their first language. As English spread, it underwent changes along the way, and therefore we have a multitude of different varieties existing alongside each other: in addition to those seen as more standard, like British English or American English, we find New Zealand English, Singapore English, Nigerian English, and many more. As a language professional working with English (such as a teacher, writer, editor or policy maker) you are therefore very likely to come across speakers of these variable World Englishes.This course explores some of the historical, political and social issues associated with the development of different World Englishes, discussing key structural differences between varieties of English along the way. Against this background, we will pay particular attention to practical challenges facing language professionals. For instance, what is the role of standardisation and standard language ideology? How can we support students from diverse language backgrounds? How do learners’ attitudes towards their target variety affect their eventual proficiency? How do we codify new and emerging varieties?In the first five weeks of this course we will engage with these questions. The second half of the course will be dedicated fully to students’ individual research projects. Students write a research proposal, formulating a research question following on from discussions in the first half of the semester. They either gather their own data with an online questionnaire, or use an existing dataset. For the final assessment, students report on the results of their research. Along the way, they receive training and support both from their lecturer and classmates, learning transferable research skills.
By the end of the course students will:1. Have a critical understanding of the histories and social contexts which led to the development of multiple Englishes in the world today;2. Engage critically with discourse on standard language ideology and its role in language teaching;3. Have a critical understanding of research methods in language attitudes research, such as survey questionnaires;4. Be able to formulate a research question based on existing literature, and develop a proposal for a research project investigating this question;5. Know how to manage the process of ethics application (if applicable) and data collection for a small individual research project;6. Be able to explore, comprehend and visualise a quantitative dataset using the R software;7. Be able to produce a written report on a research project, including justification, data collection, data analysis and conclusions/recommendations, in a clear and concise manner.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Subject to approval of the Head of Department.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Domestic fee $2,046.00
International Postgraduate fees
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
This course will not be offered if fewer than 5 people apply to enrol.
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences