English in Europe and Euro-English


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Short presentation about the role of English within the countries of the European Union. Including a discussion on 'Euro-English' as a (possibly) emerging new variety of English.

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  • How did English spread into Europe? Influence of GB and Ireland (mostly GB). After WWII influence of USA.
  • This is Braj Kachru’s famous ‘circle’ model where three groups of speakers of English are assigned to these concentric circles. There is some debate about whether this is a realistic description as for example the borders between the circles are normally not clear. Let’s have a look at the numbers (read them as they will be too small). The expanding circle is also the fastest growing of all.
  • The European Union: 27 member states 23 official languages English official language in GB and Ireland (L2 in others? Malta?) In the institution of the European Union: Need for fewer or even only one language when translators are not around.
  • “ English is the most important communication tool in Europe?” – Who agrees?
  • From Eurobarometer: English keeps on growing its share as the most widely spoken foreign language. Both French and German have also slightly increased their share compared to the situation in 2001. When looking at the overall situation within the European Union, English remains the most widely used language, followed by German and French . In the EU, English (34%) is the most widely known language besides the mother tongue followed by German (12%) and French (11%). Spanish and Russian are spoken as a foreign language by 5% of respondents. But careful with Eurobarometer surveys as they are based on: People reporting on their own performance (i.e. very subjective) It was conducted by the public opinion section of the European Commission taking a random selection from the population or electoral lists (depending on the country). The original purpose of the data obtained from these surveys was probably not to aid academic research What it does tell us, though, is that English is generally considered to be a very important language by a large proportion of Europeans.
  • We get more reliable numbers from Eurydice. Data for The Netherlands weren’t included in the report, but other sources give the percentage for the year 2007 with 92%.
  • Show of hands: Who thinks the persons in these videos speak Euro-English?
  • Modiano 2001:13 Because of the current role of ‘Euro-English’ in the EU, it would be naive, certainly, to assume that legitimatisation, codification, and standardisation processes will not take place.
  • English is widely regarded to be the language that is most likely to act as a bridge between the 23 official languages in Europe.
  • Refer to sound bits we’ve just heard. Mutual intelligibility: People will try to eliminate factors that impede intelligibility. L1 influence – only a few examples. live  leave (vowel length contrast) think  sink, tink, fink (substitution of consonant) Suprasegmental: e.g. ‘flatter’ intonation.
  • Now, I would like to leave the ‘teaching bit’ out for the moment. It is certainly a very important issue but we’ll focus on whether it can be described systematically.
  • using the same form for all present tense verbs, as in ‘you look very happy’ and ‘she look very happy’ (‘3rd person –s’) treating ‘who’ and ‘which’ as interchangeable relative pronouns, as in ‘the picture who’ or ‘a person which’ using ‘isn’t it?’ as a universal tag question (i.e. instead of e.g. ‘haven’t they?’ and ‘shouldn’t he?’), as in ‘You’re very busy today, isn’t it?’ not putting a definite or indefinite article in front of nouns as in ‘our countries have signed agreement about this’
  • Grammar: Use of progressive instead of simple present in ‘Where are you from?’ – ‘I’m coming from Sweden.’ Instead of ‘I come from Sweden’. The progressive indicated that the person has just arrived from Sweden btu doesn’t necessarily mean that this is her/his place of origin.
  • English in Europe and Euro-English

    1. 1. World Englishes English in Europe & “Euro-English” Bettina Beinhoff [email_address]
    2. 2. English in Europe <ul><ul><li>Europe in the English-speaking world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>English in the European Union </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is Euro-English? </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Strevens’s World Map of English
    4. 4. Kachru’s Model
    5. 5. “ Euro-English […] is now an established term, and notably the Euro- element has become shorthand for the European Union rather than for Europe as a whole.” McArthur 2003: 57.
    6. 6. Photo by Lynn Irving: http://jpgmag.com/photos/135742
    7. 7. English in the EU ( Eurobarometer Survey )
    8. 8. English in the EU <ul><li>Percentage of pupils learning English in secondary school (2005/06 data): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lowest in Lithuania and Hungary with 60% and 64% respectively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highest in Denmark & Sweden (100%), closely followed by Finland (99.3%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 90% in 16 out of 28 participating regions. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>( Eurydice : Key data on teaching languages at school in Europe ) </li></ul>
    9. 9. English in the EU Business Science & Academia Technology Media Education (primary, secondary, higher education) Main working language of the EU
    10. 10. What is Euro-English? <ul><li>Is this Euro-English? </li></ul><ul><li>Or this? </li></ul>
    11. 11. “ Because of the current role of ‘Euro-English’ in the EU, it would be naive, certainly, to assume that legitimatisation, codification, and standardisation processes will not take place.” Modiano 2001:13 Or: “ Euro-English […] the Yeti of English varieties: everyone has heard of it, but no one has ever seen it.” Mollin 2006:1
    12. 12. What makes a World English? Structure Social impact <ul><li>Phonology/phonetic structure </li></ul><ul><li>Morphology </li></ul><ul><li>Syntax </li></ul><ul><li>Lexicon/Idioms </li></ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Actual use of English within a given society: </li></ul><ul><li>How widely is it used & for what purpose(s)? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it establish local identity and culture? </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance? </li></ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul>
    13. 13. <ul><li>The label European English identifies those uses of English that are </li></ul><ul><li>not British, American, Canadian, Australian or any other native variety, </li></ul><ul><li>but are distinctly European and distinguish European English speakers from speakers of other varieties. (cf. Berns 1995: 7) </li></ul>Euro-English: The social dimension
    14. 14. Euro-English = Unifying or dividing? <ul><li>English = a bridge between the 23 official languages in Europe. </li></ul><ul><li>Divide between countries with high overall English usage and proficiency among population (e.g. The Netherlands and Sweden) and those with lower overall English usage and proficiency . </li></ul>Figure taken from Berns (1995: 9)
    15. 15. <ul><li>“ Given that ‘Euro-English’ is in its infancy, it is not yet possible to describe its accents with confidence. Nevertheless, there are certain indications as to the direction in which ‘Euro-English’ accents are evolving.” Jenkins 2001: 16 </li></ul>
    16. 16. Euro-English accents <ul><li>Mutual intelligibility is the main factor determining pronunciation. </li></ul><ul><li>Influence of the first language: </li></ul><ul><li>Segmental: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ live’ pronounced as ‘leave’ (loss of contrast) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ these’  ‘dese’ or ‘zese’ or ‘vese’ (substitution of consonants) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Suprasegmental: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. intonation, stress. </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>“ If ‘Euro-English’ is indeed an emerging variety as a European lingua franca, then it should be possible to describe it systematically, and eventually also to provide a codification […].” Seidlhofer 2001: 14 </li></ul>
    18. 18. Lexicogrammar of Euro-English <ul><li>Universal features? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Using the same form for all present tense verbs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ who’ and ‘which’ can be interchangeable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of one universal tag question ‘isn’t it?’. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Omission of definite or indefinite article before nouns. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Seidlhofer 2001: 16) </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Lexicogrammar of Euro-English <ul><li>Evidence from ‘Swedish English’ (Modiano 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of progressive instead of simple present in ‘Where are you from?’ – ‘I’m coming from Sweden.’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary and idiom: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of Swedish idioms, e.g. ‘he is blue eyed’ from Swedish ‘han har bl å ögon’ meaning ‘he is naïve’. </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Lexicogrammar of Euro-English <ul><li>Evidence from ‘Dutch English’ (Edwards 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>Grammar: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mass nouns as countable (‘advices’, ‘informations’) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjectives instead of adverbs (‘the meeting went good’) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vocabulary and idiom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ actual’ to mean ‘topical’ or ‘current’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ cucumber time’ to mean ‘off-season’ </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Euro-English a World English? ?
    22. 22. Euro-English: One or many? And how many?
    23. 23. Thank you! Any questions? This presentation is available online: http://www.slideshare.net/Beinhoff Bettina Beinhoff [email_address]
    24. 24. Bibliography <ul><li>Berns, M. (1995) ‘English in the European Union’. English Today 11.2, 3-13. </li></ul><ul><li>Berns, M. (2009) ‘English as a lingua franca and English in Europe’. World Englishes 28/2, 192-199. </li></ul><ul><li>Berns, M./Claes, M.-T./de Bot, K./Evers, R./Hasebrink, U./Huibregtse, I./Truchot, C./van der Wijst, P. (2007) ‘English in Europe’. In: Berns, M./de Bot, K./Hasebrink, U. (eds) In the Presence of English: Media and European Youth . New York: Springer, 15-42. </li></ul><ul><li>Bhatt, R.M. (2001) ‘World Englishes’. Annual Review of Anthropology 30, 527-550. </li></ul><ul><li>Brutt-Griffler, J. (2002) World English: A Study of its Development . Clevendon: Multilingual Matters. </li></ul><ul><li>Crystal, D. (2003). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Davies, A. (2003). The Native Speaker: Myth and Reality . Clevendon: Multilingual Matters. </li></ul><ul><li>Edwards, A. (2010) ‘Dutch English: tolerable, taboo, or about time too?’ English Today 101/26.1, 19-25. </li></ul><ul><li>Erling, E. (2005) ‘Who is the ‘Global English’ speaker? A profile of students of English at the Freie Universität Berlin’. In: Gnutzmann, C./Intemann, F. (eds), The Globalisation of English and the English Language Classroom . Tübingen: Narr, 215-230. </li></ul><ul><li>European Commission (2006) Eurobarometer – Europeans and Languages . Available online: http://ec.europa.eu/education/languages/languages-of-europe/doc137_en.htm </li></ul>
    25. 25. Bibliography <ul><li>European Commission/Eurydice Network (2008) Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe. Eurydice: Brussels. Available online: http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/key_data_series/095EN.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Goethals, M. (1997) ‘English in Flanders (Belgium)’. World Englishes 16/1, 105-114. </li></ul><ul><li>Hoffmann, T./Siebers, L. (eds) (2009) World Englishes – Problems, Properties and Prospects . Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Jenkins, J. (2000). The Phonology of English as an International Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Jenkins, J. (2009) World Englishes . London: Routledge. </li></ul><ul><li>Jenkins, J./Modiano, M./Seidlhofer, B. (2001) ‘Euro-English’. English Today 68/17.4, 13-19. </li></ul><ul><li>Kachru, B.B. (1985) ‘Standards, codification and sociolinguistic realism: the English language in the Outer Circle’. In: Quirk, R./Widdowson, H.G. (eds), English in the World: Teaching and Learning the Language and Literatures . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 11-30. </li></ul><ul><li>Kachru, B.B./Kachru, Y./Nelson, C.L. (eds) (2006) The Handbook of World Englishes . Malden: Blackwell. </li></ul><ul><li>Kirkpatrick, A. (2007) World Englishes – Implications for International Communication and English Language Teaching . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>MacKenzie, I. (2003) ‘English as a lingua franca and European universities’. The European English Messenger 12, 59-62. </li></ul>
    26. 26. Bibliography <ul><li>McArthur T. (2003) ‘World English, Euro-English, Nordic English?’ English Today 73/19.1, 54-58. </li></ul><ul><li>McArthur, T. (2002) The Oxford Guide to World English . Oxford: Oxford University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Mesthrie, R./Bhatt, R.M. (2008) World Englishes – The Study of New Linguistic Varieties . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Modiano, M. (2003) ‘Euro-English: A Swedish perspective’. English Today 74/19.2, 35-41. </li></ul><ul><li>Modiano, M. (2009) ‘Inclusive/exclusive? English as a lingua franca in the European Union’. World Englishes 28/2, 208-223. </li></ul><ul><li>Mollin, S. (2006) Euro-English. Assessing Variety Status . Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. </li></ul><ul><li>Munro, M.J./Derwing, T.M./Morton, S.L. (2006) ‘The mutual intelligibility of L2 speech’. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 28/1, 111-131. </li></ul><ul><li>Prodromou, L. (2007) ‘Is ELF a variety of English’. English Today 90/23.2, 47-53. </li></ul><ul><li>Seidlhofer, B./Breiteneder, A./Pitzl, M.-L. (2006) ‘English as a lingua franca in Europe: Challenges for applied linguistics’. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26, 3-34. </li></ul><ul><li>Taavitsainen, I./Pahta, P. (2003) ‘English in Finland: globalisation, language awareness and questions of identity’. English Today 76/19.4, 3-15. </li></ul><ul><li>van Essen, A. (1997) ‘English in mainland Europe – a Dutch perspective’. World Englishes 16/1, 95-103. </li></ul>