English as a Lingua Franca in ASEAN: A Multilingual Model

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Kirkpatrick, Andy
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2010
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Abstract

The lingua franca role of English, coupled with its status as the official language of ASEAN, has important implications for language policy and language education. These include the relationship between English, the respective national languages of ASEAN and thousands of local languages. How can the demand for English be balanced against the need for people to acquire their national language and mother tongue? While many will also need a regional lingua franca, they are learning English as the first foreign language from primary school in all ASEAN countries. Might not this early introduction of English threaten local languages and children's ability to learn? Or can English be introduced and taught in such a way that it can complement local languages rather than replace them? The aim of this book is to explore questions such as these and then make recommendations on language policy and language education for regional policymakers. The book will be important for regional policymakers and language education professionals. It should also benefit language teachers, especially, but by no means exclusively, English language teachers. The book will be of interest to all who are interested in the development of English as an international language and the possible implications of this upon local languages and cultures. Much research has been carried out on varieties of English used in Southeast Asia, but how intelligible these varieties are to others and whether a shift towards an international 'standard' variety occurs in interactions between people from the region, has been much less discussed. This volume, which provides a comprehensive account of the roles and functions of English in ASEAN, and gives a linguistic description of the English spoken in the region, followed by an approach to teaching English called the 'multilingual model', is therefore a welcome contribution to studies on English in Asia.

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English language

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