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Problematizing the Linguistic Goal in English Language Curricula

  • Mario SaraceniEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

The linguistic goal in English language curricula has been debated in the last 50 years. In particular, the idea that learning English means approximating the linguistic behavior of the “native speakers” of the language, a central point in mainstream research in second language acquisition, has been repeatedly and forcefully challenged in sociolinguistics. This critique has taken place in three interrelated “waves.” First, in the 1980s and the 1990s, the World Englishes paradigm highlighted the importance of local varieties of English as legitimate pedagogic goals. Subsequently, and as a development of the World Englishes school of thought, a number of scholars underlined the significant role that English plays as a lingua franca in international communication among people for whom it is an additional language. More recently, a multilingual “turn” in sociolinguistics has challenged traditional boundaries between languages and has reframed language learning as a process of enriching one’s existing linguistic repertoire. This chapter provides an overview of these developments, all of which call for a paradigm shift in the teaching of English in the world.

Keywords

English language teaching World Englishes English as a lingua franca Translanguaging 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of PortsmouthPortsmouthUK

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