chapter  5
18 Pages

Models and Ideologies of World Englishes

Braj Kachru’s Three Circles model of World Englishes (Kachru 1985, 1986; Kachru and Nelson 1996) has provided a valuable counterpoint to Quirk’s ‘defi cit linguistics’ by calling for a ‘liberation linguistics’ (Kachru 1991; see also Quirk 1990) that aims to highlight the changing distribution and functions of the English language as it spreads across the globe. The model does this by distinguishing between Inner, Outer, and Expanding Circles of countries. Countries within a given circle represent specifi c ‘types of spread, patterns of acquisition and the functional domains in which English is used across cultures and languages’ (Kachru 1985: 12). Thus, the Inner Circle countries (such as the US, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada) are primarily places where the traditional monolingual native speakers of English are located. The Outer Circle, in contrast, comprises countries with a history of colonialism by English-speaking countries (e.g., Singapore, Malaysia, India), and where even after decolonization, the language has been retained to serve various institutionalized functions. English in the Outer Circle, then, typically has an offi cial status, and is the mother tongue of many speakers, though the variety spoken often shows varying degrees of infl uence from contact with local languages. Finally, the Expanding Circle countries (South Korea, Japan, China) are ones where English has no or restricted offi cial status and is used mainly for international communication instead of having major domestic functions.