The babel tower of englishes presentation


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What is Standard English and how does it effect everday TEFL classrooms including an insight to English for Aviation purposes.

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  • The babel tower of englishes presentation

    1. 1. THE BABEL TOWER OF ENGLISHES WHAT IS STANDARD ENGLISH TODAY?Sharon Noseley MA in English Language Treaching Sociolinguistics TEFL5012 Presentation Sharon Noseley
    2. 2. The Babel Tower of Englishes Does a Standard English Exist in the EFL Classroom?
    3. 3. Discussion  How is a Standard Language defined?  The Procedure of Acceptance of a Standard Language.  What is Standard English?  New Englishes and their Status.  Variations in Englishes.  Standard English – beautiful but dangerous!  Plain English – a Standard?  Conclusions  Question Time  Bibliography
    4. 4. How is a Standard Language defined?  “Standard Language is the term used for that variety of a language that is considered to be the norm” (Jenkins 2009, p.33)  It is codified in dictionaries and grammars for different uses, such as education, government and science. (Graddol, 2007)  Haugen‟s 1972 observations of its goals are „minimal variation in form, maximal variation in function‟ (cited in Graddol,2007, p.84)  Hudson (1996) in Jenkins (2009) argues that there is no such thing as a standard language.
    5. 5. The Procedure of Acceptance of a Standard Language Standard Language is accepted by a society through the following four processes:  Selection :the most critical stage. A social or political process.  Codification : dictionaries and grammar books are produced.  Elaboration of Function: capable of performing a wide range of institutional functions. New lexical items or grammatical conventions are added here to fill any gaps.  Acceptance: clearly it has to be accepted by the relevant population. In today‟s global world, this is a challenge from both within and outside the society
    6. 6. What is Standard English? Too many definitions to mention….!  “Sociolinguists tend to use the term to describe the primarily written, especially printed, usage of educated people “ (Graddol,2007 p.83)  “ The dialect normally used in the British Isles for teaching, in schools and universities, and heard on the radio and TV” (Trudgill,1979)  “ We may define the standard English of an English speaking country as a minority variety which carries most prestige and it most widely understood” (Crystal, 2003)
    7. 7. New Englishes and Status. „New Englishes‟ are a variety of English which differ from each other in use and characteristic but fulfil certain criteria. Platt et al(1984) as cited by Jenkins (2009). The five internal factors to decide the status of an innovation in English. 1) Demographic Factor : how many people use it. 2) Geographical Factor : how widely it is used 3) Authoritative Factor : where is it allowed to be used ? 4) Codification : does it appear in reference books/dictionaries/grammar books? 5) Acceptability Factor: attitude of users/non-users.
    8. 8. Jenkins (2009) has cited some variations between Standard and Non Standard/New Englishes.
    9. 9. The new Tower of Babel...reaching for prestige… Will these New Englishes attract the same prestige as their counter parts in the inner circles? Will they encourage change? Should these Englishes have „Standard English‟ as their target language? What are the implications for English teachers?
    10. 10. Can you guess what this is? Wun Ait Too Nin-er Tree Hun-red Fow-er Tousand Fife Six Seven Is this standard or a variation?
    11. 11. Standard English – beautiful but dangerous! A Lingua Franca of the Skies.  The literacy traits for which Standard English is praised, are the exact opposite needs for pilots.  Pilots need standard phraseology Simplified grammar Simple pronunciation  Non ambiguous vocab  No idioms  discou Simple discourse
    12. 12. Plain English – phraseology Kennedy(2008) & Jones (1999)  Absence of tenses  No prepositions  No homonyms E.g. two/too/to  Specific use of plurals E.g. Aircraft approaching could mean 1 or 5  No homographs E.g. close by/close the door  Irregular verbs restricted  How do you read me? = How do you hear me?  Hold = stop  Set down = land an aircraft  Vacate = exit  Globe = object shaped like a ball  Eddy = a current or air moving in a certain way  Outlet = escape route  Sweep = move now! Grammar Vocabulary
    13. 13. Is Plain English a New English or a Standard English?  Remember the standardising process of a language?  Selection: one variety chosen over another/promotes interest or prestige.  Codification: it is „fixed‟ in grammar books or dictionaries, to allow access to all who need it.  Elaboration of Function: fulfils its role and functions and new vocab is added to fill any gaps.  Acceptance: accepted by those who use it, may be with no political or economic status.  Is Plain English a Standard English?  Look at the ICAO rating scale…does the criteria for operational English compare in any way with your standard of English or your students??
    14. 14. Conclusion “ The new language which is rapidly ousting Shakespeare as the world‟s lingua franca is English itself – English in its new global form…this is not an English as we have known it, and have taught it in the past as a foreign language. It is a new phenomenon, and if it represents any kind of triumph it is probably not a cause of celebration by native speakers” Graddol 2006 as cited by Jenkins (2009 p.233) What standard of English should we teach??
    15. 15. Any Questions ?
    16. 16. Bibliography Books Crocker, D. (2012). Dictionary of Aviation. 2nd ed. London: Bloomsbury. Graddol,D. (eds.) (2007) Changing English.Oxon:Routledge. Jenkins,J.( 2009) World Englishes: A Resource Book for Students. 2nd ed. Oxon: Routledge. Kennedy , J. (2008) Aviation English For ICAO Compliance. Oxford: MacMillan. Thomas, L. et al. (2004) Language, Society and Power. 2ND ed. London: Routledge. Tollesfon, J. (1991) Planning Language, Planning Equality: Language Policy in the Community. Essex: Longman Group UK Ltd.
    17. 17. Journals Melnichenko, S. (2013) Target Language Use Analysis in Aviation English Testing. ICAO LPR Technical Seminar, Montreal, Canada. Available from 5%20Target%20Language%20use%20Analysis%20in%20Aviation%20English%20Test ing.pdf Weblogs Jones, K. Aviation English: Improving Pilot Communication [ Online]. Available from: [Accessed 24/10/13]. Images The Tower of Babel Modern tower 190519565 Google images Available from: