Teaching English in the Context of World Englishes

There are many varieties of the English language in the world. The term “World Englishes” is a result of the impacts of English as a global language. People from all over the world take the English language and adapts it to many circumstances. We have British, US, Australian, Indian, African, Asian and ELF variations. These variations are influenced by culture.

According to David Crystal’s speech, “if you walk down the Oxford Street in London, you will hear a hundred different accents and dialects.” This is an interesting thing about language because we have the same situation in Brasília, where we can found all the different accents and dialects of Brazil in the same place, but we are still able to understand all of them, and communicate using the vocabulary and grammar used and taught on regular school. This is just the same situation about World English; the student can communicate with the British or American English learned in most of the English schools, but sometimes the comprehension will require the prior knowledge about the differences between the dialects and accents around the world.

When we talk about English teaching, we may encounter teachers questioning what variation of English they should teach. Learning context and the needs of the learners may determine which variety of English should be taught. A teacher must choose one variation to teach. Therefore their learners will have it as their primary model of communication. What a teacher needs to do is to let their students know that these variations of English exist. It is not possible to teach every variation of English, but the teachers can, at least, expose students to the varieties of English, showing differences in pronunciation and grammar, for example. This may be important when we talk about comprehension, because a student may encounter a situation that the English he or she will be in contact with may not be comprehensible.  This is how the English variations affect teaching.

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Este trabalho está licenciado com uma Licença Creative Commons – Atribuição-NãoComercial-CompartilhaIgual 4.0 Internacional.

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