English in the Global World

Key information

Module not running
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Linguistics

Module overview

This module is an introduction to World Englishes, and covers the global spread of English. It aims to consider English around the world as an international, intra-national, native, second and foreign language. This module will start with a historical overview of the global expansion of the English language.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Upon successful completion of this course, a student  should:

  • Have acquired a sound knowledge and understanding of key concepts and categories regarding Global Englishes
  • Have a good understanding of the theoretical models designed to describe and discuss World Englishes
  • Be able to critically reflect on the historical, social, and educational implications of the global spread of English
  • Have a sound understanding of the themes, issues and debates regarding English and its global evolution into World Englishes
  • Have acquired a sound understanding of the structural and sociolinguistic characteristics of Global Englishes

The following transferable skills will be acquired:

  • Ability to work independently
  • Management of one’s own learning
  • Independent, analytical and critical thinking
  • Capacity to plan and prioritise work to meet deadlines
  • Production of clear, coherent and well organised pieces of academic writing


Total 22 weeks of teaching with a 2 hour lecture per week and a 1 hour tutorial.

Scope and syllabus

The module will cover the following areas:

  • A historical overview of the global expansion of English
  • English and the British Empire
  • Descriptive and theoretical models of World Englishes
  • Case studies of World Englishes
  • Pidgins and creoles: an introduction
  • Current debates and issues in World Englishes
  • Globalisation and the spread of English

Following the expansion of the British Empire through various parts of the globe, English has developed into a global language (a world language) and has given rise to a diverse range of regional Englishes across the globe. Its spread around the world has seen the language undergo various changes: structural as well as functional. There have been both processes of globalisation and indigenisation. The module will trace these changes. It will also present a number of case studies of different types of Englishes that demonstrate these processes. This will include an introductory coverage of pidgins and creoles linked to English. As part of the case studies, the module will introduce students to the core levels of linguistic analysis such as phonology, morphology, lexicology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Finally the course will explore some of the current debates and issues in World Englishes. The final sessions will present current developments regarding English in the context of foreign language learning and the impact of globalisation on the spread of English.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination (60%) taken in May/June; an essay of 2,500 words to be submitted on day 1, term 2 (20%);  an essay of 2,500 words to be submitted on day 1, term 3 (20%).

Suggested reading

Essential reading:

  • Crystal, D. (2012) English as a Global Language. 2nd edition (Canto Classics). Cambridge: CUP.
  • Jenkins, J.  (2009) World Englishes: A Resource book for Students. 2nd edition. London: Routledge.
  • Wardhaugh, R. (2010) An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 6th edition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Fromkin, V. A, Rodman, R, & Hyams, N. (2010) An Introduction to Language.  9th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. (Note: Any earlier edition should be fine)
  • Kirkpatrick, A. (2007) World Englishes: implications for international communication and English Language Teaching. Cambridge: CUP.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules