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Unit information: Globalisation and the Politics of English in 2018/19

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Unit name Globalisation and the Politics of English
Unit code EDUCM0048
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Giampapa
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will address theory and research into the spread of English around the world. The focus will be a consideration of the historical, political, social and cultural and educational aspects of the spread of English. The unit will examine themes such as variation in English and the use of global Englishes, the sociology and politics of the spread of English, its impact on other languages and language education, the process of standardisation and the social recognition of non-standard varieties of English, and its impact on English language teaching. This unit will provide a context for critical engagement with policy development in language education in national and institutional contexts, and thus locate TESOL in the increasingly globalised domains of educational and cultural development.

The unit aims to:

  • develop an understanding of the historical, political, social, cultural aspects of the global spread of English;
  • build an awareness of ethical issues in relation to the internationalization of English worldwide, its function and status across diverse contexts;
  • understand the emergence and significance of varieties of English, in addition to its standard forms;

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will have developed an understanding of:

  • The historical, political, social, and cultural factors, which influence the spread of English globally.
  • The theoretical frameworks in the study of English as a global language with reference to language teaching

By the end of this unit, students will have developed skills in:

  • Critically evaluating research approaches to globalisation and the spread of English;
  • Analysing and interpreting data from research that focuses on global Englishes, its spread and the impact on other local languages.
  • Identifying the pedagogical implications of global English research.

Teaching Information

A variety of approaches to learning and teaching will be used including:tutor input, small group discussion, experiential work, case studies, student led seminars and presentations, the use of audiovisual materials, action research, data projects (on-line resources, using data for Tutors Research Projects), tutorials and supported self-study.

Contact Hours

20 hours

Assessment Information

Summative assessment:


A negotiated assignment of 4,000 exploring professional aspects of globalisation and English as an international language informed by both current perspectives in the literature, and the development needs of a specific curricular context.


An outline proposal of 4,000 words for an empirical research study addressing a current theoretical or curricular issues in globalisation and English as an international language, including a focussed literature review, research questions and procedures for data collection and data analysis.

Reading and References

  • Block, D. & Cameron, D. (Eds.). (2002). Globalization and language teaching. London: Routledge.
  • Canagarajah, S. (ed.)(2005). Reclaiming the local in language policy and practice. London: Lawrence Earlbaum.
  • Coupland, N. (2010) (ed.).The handbook of language and globalisation. Wiley-Blackwell: UK.
  • Kachru, B.B. Kachru, Y. & Nelson, C. (eds.) (2009). The handbook of World Englishes. Wiley-Blackwell: UK.
  • Omoniyi, T. & Saxena, M. (2010). Introduction. In Saxena, M. & Omoniyi, T. (eds.). Contending with Globalisation in World Englishes. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
  • Park, JSY. & Wee, L. (2012). Markets of English: Linguistic capital and language policy in a globalising world. London: Routledge.