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The University of Southampton

LING6014 English as a World Language

Module Overview

This module explores the rise of English to its current dominant status.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• explore the rise of English to its current dominant status; • consider the implications of its current position for language professionals; • develop appropriate professional skills in response to the current position of English in the world. • develop an awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity • prepare students for further study in the field of Global Englishes, which differentiates itself from the established research area of World Englishes

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the history of the rise of English and the phenomenon of English in various contexts;
  • major arguments for and against the use of English as an international language;
  • the impact of a range of philosophical, political, economic, and cultural arguments on the practice of English and other language teaching;
  • the diversity of English and cutting-edge approaches to English
  • the implications of the multilingualism in the world of English for language professionals and linguists
  • possible ways of addressing concerns about the role of English in pedagogy and teaching materials, including: 1. components of teaching or teacher education programmes 2. teacher education materials 3. emancipatory and critical pedagogies.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • communicate applied linguistic and educational work in a variety of written formats;
  • communicate your response to applied linguistic and educational work orally, in discussion and in formal presentations;
  • identify, select and draw upon a wide range of reference resources, printed and electronic;
  • develop and maintain a personal bibliography;
  • use information technology appropriately to support and present your research;
  • demonstrate interpersonal skills whilst working with others in the investigation of problems, and in the presentation of arguments and evidence;
  • take appropriate ethical issues into account in linguistic and educational work
  • critically evaluate literature and real life situation.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • make use of the relationship between academic, professional, public and user conceptions of language to clarify educational policy and practice;
  • describe the roles of language in social behaviour and users’ attitudes to global language;
  • better assess the implications of theoretical and practical developments in applied linguistics teaching to the education professions
  • critically analyse language issues in the status quo.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • recognise principles underlying the analysis and description of language;
  • apply current theories of language, language learning, language in use, and language education to language in a global context.


The module will explore the following topics: Personal, local, regional and world languages, English in the past: the establishment of standards, the spread of English through native and non-native speakers, English from a third world perspective, power and exploitation, language rights, features of English varieties among both native and non-native speakers, the role of literary and cultural studies, the role and the status of English as a lingua franca in the context of the globalisation, and the fluid, flexible, hybrid and complex nature of English in the contemporary world.

Special Features

Discussion in seminars will help you to develop understanding of the major issues, and to contribute to well- organised academic discussion. Readings will increase your knowledge of approaches to understanding global languages, and the lectures will demonstrate ways of theorising a rapidly changing contemporary sociolinguistic phenomenon. The essay will enable you to draw upon these skills, and those developed on other modules on the course, to produce a coherent argument on a topic of your own choosing. This will require more extensive, independent reading which will contribute to your overall understanding.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Seminars; • Lectures; • Workshops; • Virtual learning environment (Blackboard). Learning activities include • Literature searches and contributions to VLE; • Practical data-based activities; • Analysis of philosophical positions.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Brumfit C.J. (2001). Individual Freedom in Language Teaching. 

Graddol D. (2006). English Next. 

McArthur t. (2002). The Oxford Guide to English. 

Seidlhofer, B. (2011). Understanding English as a lingua franca. 

Crystal D. (2003). English as a Global Language. 

Graddol (1997). The Future of English?. 

Jenkins J. (2015). Global Englishes. A resource book for students. 

Crystal D. (2003). Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 

Widdowson, H.G. (2003). Defining Issues in Language Teaching. 

Kirkpatrick A. (2007). World Englishes: Implications for international communication and English language teaching. 


Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback • Evaluation of participation; • Evaluation of understanding of set reading


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4500 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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