The Incorporation of a World Englishes Paradigm in English Language Teaching. Moroccan Higher Education as a Case Study

Thesis (M.A.), 2018

78 Pages






List of tables

List of figures

List of abbreviations


Chapter one: Introduction
1. Summary and key terms
2. Introduction and contextualization
3. Aim and research questions
4. Contextualbackground
5. Methodology

Chapter two: IntroducingWorld Englishes
1. The spread of English
1.3 Inner Circle, Outer Circle, Expanding Circle
2. Native speakers vs. non-native speakers of English: a controversy in World Englishes
3. Who owns English today?
4. Standard English vs. non-standard Englishes
5. Interlanguage and fossilization
6. English today debate
6.1 Phillipson’s Linguistic Imperialism
6.2 The Kachru-Quirk Debate
7. WorldEnglishes
8. English as an international language and English as a lingua franca

Chapter three: World Englishes, applied linguistics and ELT
1. Integrating language variation in TESOL programs
2. World Englishes and composition
3. World Englishes and English literatures
4. World Englishes and test evaluation
5. Using functional approaches in teaching World Englishes
6. Native speaker English teachers

Chapter four: Research methodology

1. Restating research questions
2. Instruments of data collection
2.1 Survey
2.1.1 Subjects
2.1.2 Method
2.2 Interview
2.2.1 Subjects
2.2.2 Method
3. Participantsinfigures

Chapter five: Data analysis and discussion
1. Introduction
2. The purpose of learning/ teaching English in Morocco
2.1 University professors’ reported answers
2.2 Master students’ reported answers
2.3 BA holders’ reported answers
3. The different varieties of English
3.1 University professors’ reported answers
3.2 Master students’ reported answers ;;
3.3 BA holders’ reported answers
4. The use of ICT tools in teaching varieties ofEnglish
4.1 University professors’ reported answers
4.2 Master students’ reported answers
5. The issue ofNETs vs. NNETs
5.1 University professors’ reported answers
5.2 Master students reported answers
6. The issue of a standard English
6.1 University professors’ reported answers
6.2 Master students’ reported answers
6.3 BA holders’ reported answers
7. The integration of a World Englishes paradigm in ELT in Moroccan Higher
7.1 University professors’ reported perceptions
7.2 Master students’ reported perceptions
7.3 BA holders’ reported perceptions

Chapter six: Conclusion and recommendations
1. Findings
1.1 The purpose oflearning/ teaching English in Morocco
1.2 The different varieties of English
1.3 The use of ICT tools in teaching varieties ofEnglish
1.4 The issue ofNETs vs. NNETs
1.5 The issue of a standard variety
1.6 The integration of a World Englishes paradigm in ELT in Moroccan Higher
2. Limitations of the study
3. Suggestions for further research
4. Conclusion


Appendix A: Survey (University Professors)

Appendix B: Interview questions (Master Students)

Appendix C: Survey (BA Holders)


First, I would like to thank Professor Najib Slimani for having accepted to supervise me.

I would like to express my gratitude for all his valuable remarks, guidance, advice and assistance in the organization and correction of this Master thesis.

I must also give special thanks to Professor John Battenburg who was the first to introduce me to the field of World Englishes. Without his great work, I would not have known much about this new emerging field.

Special thanks are also extended to Professor Abdellah Elhaloui (The Coordinator of the Master Program) and Professor Abdelkader Marrah. I have learned a lot from their courses.

Finally, I wish to give special thanks to my friends Meryem Krimi, Wafa Achkaou, Wafa Aboutalib, Zahra Hamdellah, Hamza Jatte, Bilal Kasaoui, Brahim Dardouri and Yasyn Mouhir. I had rich discussions with these friends, and most of their suggestions were taken into account in conducting the study.

List of abbreviations

The following abbreviations are used in the text:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Chapter 1: Introduction

1. Summary and Key Terms

This study aims to investigate the incorporation of a World Englishes (WEs) paradigm to English language teaching (ELT) in Moroccan higher education. The main objective of the study is to shed light on the usefulness of adopting such a paradigm in a Moroccan context. This study is a replication of work conducted in other places worldwide.

In conducting this study, I consulted a literature review of work related to the fields of WEs, English as an international language (EIL) and English as a lingua franca (ELF). I also consulted a literature review of work related to ELT, applied linguistics and sociolinguistics. The literature review is meant to be a baseline to what is tackled throughout the whole Master thesis.

To provide answers to the research questions for this study, both qualitative and quantitative data are used (Mixed Methodologies). Two sets of data are collected and analyzed: surveys and semi-structured interviews. The participants who contribute to the study are as follows:

- University professors.
- Master students who had a course on World Englishes.
- BA holders.

One of the qualifications needed for the participants to be chosen as the subjects of this study is their level of proficiency, i.e., they needed to be at intermediate or higher levels, since it is believed that at levels like these, they have already established a sense of what different varieties of English are and have surely formed attitudes towards these varieties, and they presumably have chosen one as their preferred model. The data collected from the participants surveyed/ interviewed is analyzed and interpreted to present the general conclusions.

Key Terms

World Englishes, English as International Language, English as a Lingua Franca, Inner Circle, Outer Circle, Expanding Circle, English Language Teaching, Communicative Competence.

2. Introduction and Contextualization

World Englishes is a new emerging field. It seeks to teach the public of the importance of variation in the English language. English has become a number of different varieties. These varieties are what WEs scholars refer to as Englishes. The publication of numerous books by leading figures in the field of World Englishes has surely helped in establishing new varieties of English that were once looked at as misusages or bad performances of the English language spoken by the British, the colonizers of many parts of the world.

One of the great figures in the field of WEs is the Indian scholar Braj Kachru whom many scholars and researchers consider as the founder of World Englishes. Kachru is best known for his model of the spread of English in the world. “Kachru divides World Englishes into three concentric circles, the inner circle, the outer circle and the expanding circle.” (Jenkins, 2009, p. 18) “The Jnner circle" is made up of those communities in which English has been passed down the generations as a first language [...] The „outer circle" consists of areas in which English is widely used a second language, alongside one or more local languages for public purposes, and often for communication between different language groups in the community [...] The „expanding circle" consists of those areas in which there is neither any native tradition of English speaking, nor institutional use of English, but it is learned as a foreign language, for trade, travel, etc.” (Barber, Beal & Shaw, pp. 242-243)

3. Aim and Research Questions

The aim of this Master thesis is to probe what perceptions/ attitudes Moroccan participants have regarding the integration of a World Englishes approach/ paradigm in English language teaching in Morocco, and how the incorporation of such a paradigm may help learners develop a better sociolinguistic awareness about English.

In this regard, my research questions are:

1_ what perceptions/ attitudes do the participants have towards the incorporation of a WEs approach in ELT in Moroccan higher education?
2_ how can the integration of such an approach in ELT help Moroccan learners develop a sociolinguistic awareness about English?

4. Contextual Background

According to Ouakrime (1986, p. 14), “the history ofHigher Education (H.E.) in Morocco seems to fit the general pattern which has been set for the growth of universities in developing countries.” The first task assigned to the Moroccan University, Ouakrime added, “was to meet the immediate national need for trained professionals (teachers, doctors, engineers, etc.)” (ibid.)

Moroccan Higher Education (M.H.E., for short), thus, aims to train a generation of graduates who are going to work as future teachers, doctors, etc. In this regard, this study seeks to investigate how a new emerging field (World Englishes) may be introduced in a Moroccan context. This Master thesis is in fact a replication of other theses conducted in other places all over the world.

The rationale of this study is to investigate how work conducted on World Englishes in other locations can be discussed in relation to Moroccan Higher Education. In addition, the study investigates how a World Englishes approach may be useful for Moroccan learners, and how these learners may benefit from the field as a whole in their future careers.

5. Methodology

This study adopts a mixed methodology; both qualitative and quantitative data are collected. The study gathers data about what perceptions/ attitudes university professors, Master students and BA holders have regarding the integration of a WEs paradigm in ELT in Moroccan universities, and how such a paradigm, when applied in reality, may improve Moroccan learners" sociolinguistic awareness about English. By adopting such a mixed methodology, we are able to collect a corpus of data, which is analyzed in terms of textual and statistical information.

To answer the research questions of the study, we rely on two sets of data: surveys and semi-structured interviews. University professors and BA holders are surveyed, while Master students are interviewed. All the data gathered has been analyzed, interpreted and discussed to give the general conclusion.

Chapter 2: Introducing World Englishes

In this chapter, we discuss a number of issues related to the spread of English worldwide, the development of World Englishes research and many other concepts related to the study of World Englishes. Chapter 2 is intended to be a brief introduction to the relevant concepts needed in our study, and how they will be used throughout the Master thesis to further and serve the main issues addressed.

1. The Spread of English

Because of the global spread of English and because of the increasing interest in learning it either as a second language or a foreign language, English has recently enjoyed a dominant position among the languages of the world. Kachru (1991, p. 180), for example, pointed out that “English has acquired unprecedented sociological and ideological dimensions.”


The spread of English has been discussed by different scholars in different ways; however, the spread of English, according to Jenkins (2009, p. 15), “is often discussed in terms of three distinct groups of users, those who speak English respectively as”:

- native language (ENL)
- second language (ESL)
- foreign language (EFL)

English as Native Language1 is defined by Jenkins as “the language of those bom and raised in one of the countries where English is historically the first language to be spoken.” She argued that speakers of English as a native language are said to number around 350 million. (Jenkins, 2009)

English as a Second Language is defined by Jenkins as “the language spoken in a large number of territories such as India, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Singapore, which were once colonized by the English”. Again, she argued that speakers of English as a second language are said to number around 350 million. (Jenkins, 2009)

English as a Foreign Language, as is defined by Jenkins, is “the language of those for whom the language serves no purposes within their countries”. These people have historically “learned the language in order to use it with its native speakers in the US and UK- though this is no longer the case”. The number of speakers of EFL, according to Jenkins, is more difficult to assess, and much depends of the level of competence which is used to identify such a speaker. She, however, stated that if “we use the criterion of Reasonable competence", then the number is likely to be around 1 billion (although it should be said that this figure is not uncontroversial)”.

1.2 Inner Circle, Outer Circle, Expanding Circle

To account for the spread of English as a world language, the Indo-US linguist Braj Kachru has suggested that the spread of English around the world may be looked at as “three concentric circles, representing different ways in which the language has been acquired and is currently used”. (Crystal 2003, p. 60)

- The Inner Circle: refers to countries where English is spoken as a first language, and is, thus, a native language. This circle includes the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
- The Outer Circle2: refers to countries where English is spoken as a second language. These countries are ex-colonies of the USA or UK. This circle includes Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and many other countries.
- The Expanding Circle3: refers to those countries where English serves no administrative purposes; it is used for international purposes, and is, thus, spoken as a foreign language. This circle includes countries like Morocco, China, Egypt, Indonesia, etc.4

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2.1 Kachru’s three-circle model of World Englishes (source: Kachru: 1991, p. 179)

As regards this model, Jenkins (2009, pp. 18-20) pointed out that “the English spoken in the Inner Circle is said to be ,porm-providing", that in the Outer Circle to be ,porm-developing" and that in the Expanding Circle to be ,porm-dependent".” The Kachruvian model, Jenkins argued implies that “while ESL varieties of English have become institutionalised and are developing their own standards, the EFL varieties are regarded, in this model, as performance" varieties without any official status and therefore dependent on the standards set by native speakers in the Inner Circle.” However, this is no longer the case. Some scholars have proposed that even countries where English is spoken as a foreign language may be speaking an English that is not dependent on the norms set by those who live in the USA or UK. (cf e.g. Jenkins, 2000; Seidlhofer, 2002)

2. Native Speakers vs. Non-Native Speakers of English: A Controversy in World Englishes

According to Bloomfield (1933, p. 43), “the first language a human being learns to speak is his native language; he is a native speaker of that language.” However, this distinction- “long taken for granted in Linguistics-is being increasingly called into question in World Englishes research.” (Mesthrie & Bhatt, 2008, p. 36) It is very difficult to identify speakers of English as native or non-native based on whether they acquired English first or not. The problem lies in the fact that some people may not live in ENL settings, but still identify themselves as native speakers of English.

Because of the complexity of defining the terms „native" and „non-native", a number of terms have been suggested to capture the distinction between a native and a non-native speaker of English. (Kirkpatrick, 2007) “Examples include a mother-tongue speaker", first language speaker" vs second language speaker" vs ,pforeign language speaker"." (Kirkpatrick, 2007, p. 8)

In the context of World Englishes, Kirkpatrick (2007, p. 10) argued that the terms ,pative" and „non-native" should not be used at all; “these terms should be avoided.” He argued that a possible option to use is the term LI or first language" “but in the sense of the language that the speaker is most proficient in and not in the sense of the language the speaker learned first” (ibid.). But, even here, such an option may not be adequate since it is very hard to specify the level of proficiency needed to identify speakers ofEnglish as such.

3. Who Owns English Today?

Widdowson (1993, p. 385) stated that “how English develops in the world is no business whatever of native speakers in England, the United States, or anywhere else. They have no say in the matter, no right to intervene or passjudgement.” This means that the ownership of English has been problemtized, in that it is no longer possessed by native speakers ofEnglish who live in the US or UK.

English has become an international language. And, “the very fact that English is an international language means that no nation can have custody over it.” (Widdowson, 1993, p. 385) Widdowson, thus, seems to take a negative attitude towards the dominant views that see native speakers ofEnglish as the owners of the English language.

Because there are Englishes, the English language cannot be owned by one unique group of speakers. English is the language of those who speak it. Thus, the standards set by some scholars living in EMT settings should not be seen as the norms to follow (cf e.g. Quirk, 1988). The spread ofEnglish worldwide has led to the development of many Englishes. These developing Englishes are the ownership of those who speak them, and cannot be owned by those who live in the US or UK. English is no longer owned by Jnner Circle" countries. It is owned by all those who speak it whether they live in EMT, ESL or EFL settings.

4. Standard English vs. Non-Standard Englishes

With the development of World Englishes research, and with the increasing interest in the new Englishes spoken in Outer and Expanding Circle countries, it has become very difficult, if not impossible, to establish one Standard Variety of English that fits all contexts at all international levels. The distinction between Standard English vs. Non-Standard Englishes has been discussed in relation to “Standard Language” and “Language Standards.”

The terms Standard Language and Language Standards are very controversial. In this regard, Jenkins (2009, p. 33) stated that “standard language and language standards are topics which excite an immense amount of controversy both inside and outside the linguistics profession.” Standard Language, as is defined by Jenkins (ibid.), is “the term used for that variety of a language which is considered as the norm.” Jenkins defined Language Standards as “the prescriptive rules which together constitute the standard and to which all members of a language community are exposed and urged to confirm [...].” (2009, p. 33)

5. Interlanguage and Fossilization

The issues of “Interlanguage” and “Fossilization”, as Kachru (1991a) pointed out, are relevant to the study of World Englishes. New Englishes are considered by many EMT speakers, if not all of them, to be mere imitations constrained by the old varieties of English, i.e., US English and UK English. In this regard, speakers of these new Englishes are thought of as speakers who are learning English as a second language or foreign language, and they, thus, going through a process called interlanguage. Once these speakers of these new Englishes start to keep certain linguistic features from their native languages, the English they are speaking is said to have fossilized.

According to Kachru (1991a, p. 185), “interlanguage” is a “developmental process,” while “fossilization” is a “static condition.” “One is developmental in the sense that it is model (or target) oriented, and suggests directionality in terms of attaining stages toward a goal. The other is static and indicates „ffeezing" with respect to creativity.” (ibid.)

World Englishes, thus, should not be described in relation to concepts like interference and fossilization. New Englishes are no longer dependent on the traditional Englishes, and they should not be described based on them. New Englishes have recently gained legitimacy because of the creative writings of a number of authors. These authors have actually played a great role in the spread of these Englishes worldwide. However, the innovative ways they use to write their works should not be judged on the basis of the constraints of interlanguage and fossilization.

Kachru (1991a, p. 186) pointed out “the constraints of Jnterlanguage" and fossilization" on such creativity are simply not applicable. If a text is not viewed in this broader context the result is misleading generalizations of the type which we find in Bell (1976) and Selinker (1972)”. Kachru then added that it is “essential to consider the multiple dimensions of creativity, and then make generalizations.” (1991a, p. 186)

6. English Today Debate

At the end of the 20th century, and as a result of the development of World Englishes research, a number of linguists have started “to question or at least problematise various aspects of the world Englishes approach to English language studies and applied linguistics.” (Bolton, 2006, p. 230) In this regard, this section discusses two current debates in World Englishes and English Language Studies.

6.1 Phillipson’s Linguisticlmperialism

One of the debates in English language studies and applied linguistics comes from the work of a number of scholars interested in what has been referred to in the literature as “linguistic imperialism.” These scholars are “concerned with the continuing spread of English, and its potential as a filler language" threatening cultural and linguistic diversity.” (Bolton, 2006, p. 230) The founding work in this area, Bolton pointed out, is Robert Phillipson"s Linguistic Imperialism.

6.2 The Kachru-Quirk Debate

Another debate in English language studies and applied linguistics is that between Kachru and Quirk. Jenkins (2009, p. 67) pointed out that “the controversy over the legitimacy of non-native varieties of English is crystallized in a debate which took place in the pages of the journal English Today in the early 1990s.” Quirk"s position was that “non-native Englishes are inadequately learned versions of „correct" native English forms and therefore not valid as teaching models.” (ibid.)

In Kachru"s Liberation linguistics and the Quirk concern, he stated that “the Quirk"s position is not much different from what in another context has been termed “deficit linguistics.” (1991b, p. 207) Kachru has outlined six concerns expressed by Quirk “as an attack on the positions which linguists [...] have taken about the spread of English, its functions and its multi-norms; in other words, on the recognition of pluricentricity and multi-identities of English.” (ibid.) For space limitations, these concerns are ignored in this study.

7. World Englishes

Before the emergence of World Englishes research, English was thought of as one unique variety having one grammar, one spelling form and a restricted number oflexical items. This World English ideology has unfortunately dominated research in ELT and applied linguistics for long years. However, beginning from the 1980"s, few voices have started to describe the reality of English as being pluricentric rather than being monocentric. The new approach was meant as a reaction taken against the monocentric approach that used to conceive of English as being one unique variety that fits all.

The monocentric vs. the pluricentric distinction can be clearly observed in the literature written on English when it comes to how scholars use terms like international English vs. international Englishes, World English vs. World Englishes, global English vs. global Englishes, etc. The-es ending has been added to the word „English" to express the plurality of English being a group of different varieties. (Bolton, 2006)

According to Bolton (2006, p. 240), the term “World Englishes” has a number of different “meanings and interpretations.” The term, Bolton pointed out, can be explained in three different senses. First, the term “functions as an umbrella label referring to a wide range of differing approaches to the description and analysis of English(es)worldwide.” (ibid.) Seen in this first sense, a number of terms have “come into use, including: English as an international (auxiliary) language, global English(es), international English(es), localized varieties of English, new varieties of English, world English(es), new Englishes, alongside such more traditional terms as ESL (English as a Second Language) and EFL (English as a Foreign Language).” (2006:240)

Second, the term is also used in “a narrower sense” to “specifically refer to the “new Englishes” found in the Caribbean and in West African and East African societies such as Nigeria and Kenya, and to such Asian Englishes as Hong Kong English, Indian English, Malaysian English, Singaporean English, and Philippine English.” (ibid.)

Third, the term “refers to the wide-ranging approach to the study of the English language worldwide particularly associated with Braj B. Kachru and other scholars working in a “world Englishes paradigm”.” (Bolton, 2006, p. 240) In this Master thesis, World Englishes is conceived of in this third sense, i.e. as being related to work conducted by Braj Kachru and other leading scholars in the field.

The study of World Englishes has been discussed in relation to different approaches. A new topic, for instance, in current World Englishes is that of “English as a lingua franca,” “a recently-emergent approach to English as an international language, which is now proving particularly popular in Europe.” (Bolton, 2013, p. 230) Other approaches in World Englishes are summarized by Bolton (2013) as follows:

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Table 2.1 Approaches to World Englishes

8. English as an International Language vs. English as a Lingua Franca

Recent research on World Englishes has started to educate the public to problematize a dominant ideology that has colonized English Language Teaching research for long decades, i.e. a World English ideology. In this regard, Seidlhofer (2001, p. 133) stated that “fundamental issues to do with the global spread and use of English have, at long last, become an important focus of research in applied linguistics.”

ELF research is still emerging; however, it has not so far been integrated in ELT. ELT professionals still adopt a modest view of English, i.e. they still teach Inner-Circle Englishes, especially BrE (British English) and AmE (American English).ELF research is developing so fast, but “the daily practices of most of the millions of teachers of English worldwide seem to remain untouched upon by this development.” (Seidlhofer, 2001, p. 134)

Early applied linguistic research was mainly concerned with finding efficient ways to better teach Inner Circle Englishes. Most applied linguists, then, were not concerned with language variation; their main concern was about how a World English could be taught properly. It is only within the last four decades that things have started to change. “English teaching, which once seemed such a straightforward activity, has become a much more complicated affair.” (Seidlhofer, 2000, p. 51). Seidlhofer (2000) added that “whereas language teachers used to be preoccupied mainly with the description and instruction of the language as such, we now find a much wider variety of concerns, with cultural, political, social, ecological, psychological, technological, and managerial issues demanding at least as much attention as the language proper.” (p. 51)

As regards English as an international language, Jenkins (2006, p. 160) pointed out that “one complication for ELF is the fact that international English is sometimes used as a shorthand for English as an international language, or EEL, itself an alternative for ELF.” Used in this way, this will imply the existence of one unique variety ofEnglish that is referred to as international English, which is surely not the case. (Jenkins, 2006) Thus, a number of World Englishes scholars prefer to use the term ELF instead ofEIL.

Chapter 3: World Englishes, Applied Linguistics and ELT

The discussion ofWorld Englishes research will be incomplete if no reference is made to the fields of applied linguistics and English language teaching. The World English ideology that has colonized applied linguistic research for long years is actually the result of ELT. (Brutt-Griffler, 2002). World English “would not be a world language without the field of ELT. The latter is true because ELT now takes place on an ever-expanding international scale.” (Brutt-Griffler, 2002, p. 182) It is, thus, ELT and early applied linguistic research that led to the emergence of a World English, and it is these fields that are responsible for the spread of such an ideology.

1. Integrating Language Variation into TESOL Programs

Because ELT professionals have been concerned with teaching one variety of English, i.e. the so-called “standard variety”, a World English ideology has dominated ELT and applied linguistic research. Professionals, then, were promoting Inner Circle Englishes, especially British English and American English. TESOL programs, for example, are based on such Inner Circle Englishes, and the learners" proficiency is still measured based on them.

In this regard, Wolfram (2014, p. 15) stated that “although the globalization of English underscores the range of English language variation world-wide, most models for TESOL assume an idealized, monolithic version of English.” This means that although ELT professionals and applied linguists, on theoretical grounds, seem to have a sociolinguistic awareness about the nature of English language variation, they, on pedagogical grounds, are observed to keep promoting one unique variety of English.

TESOL programs are still dominated by what can be called myths or assumptions. (Wolfram, 2014). The majority of teacher training centres worldwide do not introduce teacher trainees to issues related to English language variation. Most ELT professionals assume that incorporating such variation in TESOL programs is of no use, claiming that the main objective of such courses is to teach Inner Circle Englishes, since it is the ones that learners themselves hope to learn.

2. World Englishes and Composition

Despite the efforts of World Englishes scholars efforts to teach the public in general and ELT professionals in particular of the importance of incorporating variation in English language courses, the pedagogical practices of ELT still rely heavily on Inner Circle Englishes, and students" level of proficiency is still tested on these Englishes, or what Canagarajah (2006a) labels “Metropolitan Englishes.” (ME, for short)

However, with the growing interest in Outer and Expanding Circle Englishes, a number of scholars have started to call a variety of issues into question, especially when it comes to the pedagogy of teaching writing and composition, (c.f. Canagarajah, 2006a, 2006b; Matsuda and Matsuda, 2010) The teaching of composition, in most Outer and Expanding Circle countries, is still dominated by Inner Circle Englishes, especially BrE and AmE.

In this regard, Canagarajah (2006b, p. 589) pointed out that “the dominant approaches to studying multilingual writing have been hampered by monolingualist assumptions that conceive literacy as a unidirectional acquisition of competence, preventing us from fully understanding the resources multilinguals bring into their texts.” ELT, thus, has been colonized by a “monolingualist” ideology that conceives ofEnglish in monocentric terms, i.e. as being one unique variety.

This ideology is the result of academics promoting a so-called “Standard English”. The publication of numerous books, grammars and dictionaries has played a great role in the spread of such an ideology worldwide. Matsuda and Matsuda (2010, p. 371) stated that “from early grammar books and dictionaries to contemporary writing handbooks and academic writing manuals, writing has long contributed to attempts to stabilize certain aspects oflanguage.”

According to Canagarajah (2006b, 592), “a classroom based on “standard” English limits the linguistic acquisition, creativity, and production among students.” This means that students should be encouraged to write creatively. Writing creatively can only take place when learners are given the chance to express their thoughts in different Englishes that would carry the weight of their experiences. Canagarajah (ibid.) added that “classes based on monolingual pedagogies disable students in contexts of linguistic pluralism.” This implies that

since the sociolinguistic reality of English is about variation, a focus on one variety of English will surely affect the linguistic performance of the learners in question.

The issue of composition teaching invites ELT professionals to rethink of the pedagogical practices manipulating composition courses. ELT professionals seem to be unaware of the usefulness of variation in ESL/ EFL classes. To use Canagarajah"s term, students should be encouraged to shuttle between varieties of English. This does not, of course, entail that a classroom should be a mixture of different Englishes. Teachers, for academic reasons rather than linguistic ones, should focus on one variety of English; however, they, should, when the opportunity allows them, inform their learners that English has become different Englishes. These Englishes cannot be taught at the same time, and the focus on one variety does not mean that it is superior to the other varieties. It only means that curriculum designers have chosen it as a medium of instruction.

3. World Englishes and English Literatures

Sridhar (1982, p. 291) pointed that “the emergence of a large body of creative writing in English by its non-native speakers demands that we develop critical perspectives for understanding , evaluating, and appreciating such writing.” This means that the growing numbers of non-native users who write in English invites academics to rethink of how English literature is being taught in most Outer and Expanding Circle countries.

In recent years, the number of non-native writers ofEnglish is increasing so fast. Nowadays, we have what has been referred to in the literature as English literatures; the s- ending is of great importance here, in that it shows the significance of the variety of literary works that has been produced worldwide. As regards the history of non-native English literatures (NNELs, for short), Sridhar (1982, p. 291) stated that “although the history of non-native creative writing in English goes back almost two centuries, quantitative- and, more important, qualitative- strides in such non-native English literatures [...] are a phenomenon of the last four or five decades.” This means that NNELs go back to a very long time; however, it is only within the first half of the 20th century that such creative writing started to gain recognition worldwide, especially literary works written by authors from India, West Africa and East Africa. (Sridhar, 1982)

The discussion of NNELs is very important in relation to World Englishes, for it shows academics how vital it is for teachers of English literature to encourage their learners to read more literary works written by non-native English (NNE) writers. The way literature is being taught in Outer and Expanding Circle countries should be adapted to suit the culture it is delivered in. If the teacher, for instance, is addressing an African audience, it may be useful to ask them to read works by authors like Achebe and wa Thiong'b, since it is the ones that may best express what is seen around in an African society.

In Achebe"s The African Writer and the English Language, he stated that “the African writer should aim to use English in a way that brings out his message best without altering the language to the extent that its value as a medium of international exchange will be lost. He should aim at fashioning out an English which is at once universal and able to carry his peculiar experience.” (1975, p. 100) This does emphasize the fact that literature is the expression that carries the weight of the author's experiences.

4. World Englishes and Test Evaluation

Tomlinson (2010, p. 599) pointed out that “learners of English are being tested on a variety of English they do not and never will speak. They are being tested on British English or American English and not on the Singapore English or Brazilian English or the international English they speak.” The majority of learners worldwide, if not all of them, are, thus, still being tested on Inner Circle Englishes.

In a similar vein, Canagarajah (2006c, p. 229) stated that “because it is unwise to define proficiency based on a single variety and because it is impossible to teach or measure proficiency in many varieties simultaneously, we have to consider revising the dominant paradigms of assessment.” However, the question remains how a leamer"s proficiency can be measured then?

Canagarajah"s answer is that “the changing pedagogical priorities suggest that we have to move away from a reliance on discrete-item tests on formal grammatical competence and develop instruments that are sensitive to performance and pragmatics.” (2006c, p. 229) This means that Canagarajah emphasized that fact that there should be a shift from grammar-oriented approaches to more pragmatics- oriented approaches.


1 - Jenkins pointed out that English as a Native Language is sometimes called 'English as a mother tongue' (EMT, for short).

2 - Another term that is used to refer to this circle is the 'The Extended Circle'.

3 - Another term that is used to refer to this circle is 'The Extending Circle'.

4 - Crystal (2003, p. 60) argued that ''the term 'expanding' reflects its origins in the 1980s: today, with English recognized virtually everywhere, a tense change to expanded circle would better reflect the contemporary sense."

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The Incorporation of a World Englishes Paradigm in English Language Teaching. Moroccan Higher Education as a Case Study
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
World Englishes, English as International Language, English as a Lingua Franca, Inner Circle, Outer Circle, Expanding Circle, English Language Teaching, Communicative Competence
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Mustapha Mourchid (Author), 2018, The Incorporation of a World Englishes Paradigm in English Language Teaching. Moroccan Higher Education as a Case Study, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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