LINGUIST List 15.1900

Tue Jun 22 2004

Diss: Applied Ling: Erling: 'Globalization...'

Editor for this issue: Takako Matsui <>


  1. berling, Globalization, English and the German University Classroom

Message 1: Globalization, English and the German University Classroom

Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 13:38:53 -0400 (EDT)
From: berling <>
Subject: Globalization, English and the German University Classroom

Institution: University of Edinburgh
Program: Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2004

Author: Elizabeth J. Erling

Dissertation Title: Globalization, English and the German University
Classroom: A Sociolinguistic Profile of Students of English at the
Freie Universit�t Berlin

Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics

Subject Language: English (code: ENG)

Dissertation Director 1: John E. Joseph
Dissertation Director 2: Miriam Meyerhoff

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis surveys current theories of globalization and then
inspects the effects of this phenomenon on the English language. It
suggests that not only has the English language changed as a result of
globalization, but that discourse about English and the means of
analysis have changed. It then tests the relevance of contemporary
theories of English to find if they match the reality of how English
is being acquired, used and appropriated in the present age.

Since globalization is appropriated differently by the various
societies it affects, it is important to consider each individual
place with its specific history, culture and politics to evaluate
different outcomes. For this reason, this thesis examines the presence
of English in the specific national context of Germany, but focuses on
a group who uses the language regularly for a variety of international
purposes: students of English at the Freie Universit�t Berlin. Methods
used in this analysis include a qualitative analysis of
questionnaires, discourse analysis of ethnographic interviews with
students and grammatical and stylistic analyses of student essays and
assignments. The results of this study shed light on various student
attitudes towards and motivations for learning English as well as
their means of identifying with the language.

With this in mind, this study suggests that several issues in the
field of applied linguistics need to be reappraised, for example types
of English learners, categorizations of English speakers, domains of
language use, and the role of a lingua franca and its ability to
represent identity in L2 language use. Furthermore, this work suggests
important pedagogical implications for English language teaching as a
result of these developments. As English is being increasingly used as
a global language and also being accepted as the common language of
the European Union, there need to be corresponding shifts in ELT
pedagogy. Such changes would include an increased teaching of English
as a global language; an opening up to the teaching of (at least
awareness of) L2 varieties of English; the increasing study of
contexts where English is used; measures to increase students'
perceptive abilities concerning L2 varieties of English; a move away
from teaching based on nationalist approaches to language learning; an
emphasis on communicative expertise in language and not on following
national linguistic norms; and teaching strategies that increase
students' confidence in appropriating English.
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