Most people modify their ways of speaking, writing, texting, and e-mailing, and so on, according to the people with whom they are communicating. This fascinating book asks why we 'accommodate' to others in this way, and explores the various social consequences arising from it.
For believers in the power of English, language as aid can deliver the promise of a brighter future; but in a neocolonial world of international development, a gulf exists between belief and reality. Rich with echoes of an earlier colonial era, this book draws on the candid narratives of white women teachers, and situates classroom practices within a broad reading of the West and the Rest. What happens when white Western men and women come in to rebuild former colonies in Asia? How do English language lessons translate, or disintegrate, in a radically different world? How is English teaching linked to ideas of progress? This book presents the paradoxes of language aid in the twenty-first century in a way that will challenge your views of English and its power to improve the lives of people in the developing world.