English as a Lingua Franca in ASEAN

English as a Lingua Franca in ASEAN: A Multilingual Model

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 236
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  • Book Info
    English as a Lingua Franca in ASEAN
    Book Description:

    The lingua franca role of English, coupled with its status as the official language of ASEAN, has important implications for language policy and language education. These include the relationship between English, the respective national languages of ASEAN and thousands of local languages. How can the demand for English be balanced against the need for people to acquire their national language and mother tongue? While many will also need a regional lingua franca, they are learning English as the first foreign language from primary school in all ASEAN countries. Might not this early introduction of English threaten local languages and children’s ability to learn? Or can English be introduced and taught in such a way that it can complement local languages rather than replace them? The aim of this book is to explore questions such as these and then make recommendations on language policy and language education for regional policymakers. The book will be important for regional policymakers and language education professionals. It should also benefit language teachers, especially, but by no means exclusively, English language teachers. The book will be of interest to all who are interested in the development of English as an international language and the possible implications of this upon local languages and cultures.

    eISBN: 978-988-8053-52-0
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Series editor’s preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    Kingsley Bolton
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Part I: ASEAN and English
    • 1 The origins of ASEAN and the role of English
      (pp. 3-18)

      This chapter will give a brief summary of the context in which the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established with the signing of the Bangkok Declaration in August 1967 by the five founding member countries. The circumstances surrounding the joining of the remaining five countries will also be reviewed. The main principles of the original 1967 Bangkok Declaration will be compared with those of the recently signed ASEAN Charter. An introduction to the role that English plays within the Association and the place and role of other languages underpins the chapter.

      The Bangkok Declaration of 8 August 1967...

    • 2 Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines: Linguistic context and the role of English
      (pp. 19-42)

      This chapter will provide a historical description and comparison of the roles of English in those ASEAN countries that were previously colonies of English speaking empires and which, following Kachru (1992c) can be classified as ‘outer circle countries’, namely Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. While Burma was once a colony of the British empire, its decades of closure to the outside world means that the role of English is radically different from the other countries of the colonial enterprise, and it will thus be considered in the next chapter. The different and changing roles of English in the four...

    • 3 Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam: Linguistic context and the role of English
      (pp. 43-64)

      The previous chapter summarized the development and roles of English with a particular focus on language in education in those ASEAN countries that had a colonial history from which they inherited an institutional role for English. In this chapter the development and roles of English and the national language in the remaining countries of ASEAN will be considered. Again, the focus will be on language education.

      Three of these countries — Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam — were once part of the French Protectorate of Indo-China. Indonesia was a colony of Holland. Thailand is the only country of the ASEAN group that was...

  6. Part II: Linguistic Features of English as a Lingua Franca in Asia
    • Introduction to Part II
      (pp. 67-72)

      In Part I, the history of ASEAN, the development and roles of English in the ASEAN member states were compared and contrasted. In Part II, the focus shifts towards a description of the linguistic features of English in ASEAN, especially when it is used as a lingua franca. The need for or indeed the possibility of describing English as a lingua franca is in itself controversial, as some scholars believe that, by definition, lingua franca English cannot be realized as a single variety on the grounds that its speakers come from different linguistic backgrounds and have different levels of proficiency....

    • 4 Pronunciation, intelligibility and lexis
      (pp. 73-94)

      This chapter describes a selection of the phonological and lexical features of ASEAN speakers of English. As described and illustrated in Part I, ASEAN comprises ten nations which have had different histories with regard to their exposure to English. Those countries which were colonized have developed their own varieties of English and some of these have been codified (cf., for example, Platt and Weber 1980; Deterding, Low and Brown 2003; Deterding, Brown and Low 2005; for Singaporean English). The varieties of Bruneian, Malaysian and Singaporean English share a number of features, not least because the inhabitants of these nations speak,...

    • 5 Grammar, discourse and pragmatics
      (pp. 95-122)

      In this chapter a selection of syntactic and discourse features and pragmatic norms is illustrated. The first part of the chapter will provide some examples of grammatical variation in the dialects of British English. In this way, the reader can see how common and wide-ranging grammatical variation is within a traditional variety of English. Examples of grammatical variation in new varieties of English will also be illustrated, as this will help demonstrate that the type of variation and non-standard forms that are emerging in Asian varieties of English and in the use of English as a lingua franca are not...

    • 6 The communicative strategies of ASEAN ELF users
      (pp. 123-142)

      The data upon which the findings in this chapter are primarily based come from the audio-recordings of six group discussions in which all ten ASEAN nations are represented. These are the same groups which were described in Chapter 4, but are repeated here for ease of reference and, because the individual speakers are referred to in slightly different ways, it is easier to refer to the speakers using these labels in the discussion of their communicative strategies. Naturally, some of the examples will be remembered from Chapters 4 and 5, but are here illustrating communicative strategies rather than linguistic features....

  7. Part III: Implications for Policy and Pedagogy
    • Introduction to Part III
      (pp. 145-146)

      In Part I, a review of the development and role(s) of English in each of the ten member states of ASEAN was provided. Despite the significant differences which exist, English is playing an increasingly important role in each, a role heightened by ASEAN’s decision to make English the group’s sole official and working language. The increasing importance attached to English in each of the member states — even Burma is now moving to promote the use of English — has seen its introduction as a compulsory part of the school curriculum of each country. In almost all the member states, it is...

    • 7 Implications for language education policy
      (pp. 147-168)

      As indicated earlier, Chapter 7 will first consider the implications for language education policy behind the following three questions:

      (i) When should English be introduced into the school curriculum?

      (ii) Should English be introduced as a subject or as a medium of instruction?

      (iii) How can a mix of languages be equitably balanced in education?

      I now consider the first question, ‘When should English be introduced into the school curriculum?’, and begin by discussing the issue of resources.

      As we have seen, almost all the member states of ASEAN have made English a compulsory part of the primary school curriculum,...

    • 8 Pedagogical implications: The multilingual model and the lingua franca approach
      (pp. 169-190)

      In this chapter, the pedagogical implications of the role(s) of English within ASEAN will be considered. In particular, the following three questions will be addressed:

      If English is to be taught in schools, what variety of English should be taught and how?

      Who should teach it?

      What should be taught through English and with what materials?

      First, however, a brief summary of the current situation with regard ELT in the region is presented. This will be followed by a critical analysis of the current situation and proposals for radical changes.

      As illustrated in earlier chapters, all the member states of...

  8. Appendices
    (pp. 191-192)
  9. Notes
    (pp. 193-194)
  10. References
    (pp. 195-212)
  11. Index
    (pp. 213-222)