Exploring Other Worlds
DOI link for Exploring Other Worlds
Exploring Other Worlds book
This chapter argues the importance of developing a more worldly view of English in secondary education. It is motivated by three factors in a changing world:
With an increasingly global role, English is used more as an international language than as a language of any particular ‘English-speaking’ nation. Indeed, English is probably used more by second-language speakers communicating with each other across the world in different ways in a wide range of media, institutional, professional and technical discourses which transcend national boundaries, than by first-language speakers within Britain, North America or Australasia. 1
Ideology and prejudice is deeply embedded in the everyday use of language, supported and legitimised by group, institutional and professional discourses which form the fibre of society.
The forces in (2), operate naturally within a parochial, Anglo-centric English to reduce and degrade the ‘foreign’ other both abroad, and at home, within an increasingly multicultural Britain.Growing up in such a world, it would seem that young people in Britain need an awareness, if not a use, of English that goes beyond the parochial Anglo-centric. I shall begin with a brief exploration of the importance of a more worldly, non-parochial vision of English. Then I shall demonstrate how this vision might be facilitated through a process of making the familiar strange, by looking at a series of instances in which the ‘expected’ construction on ‘us’ and ‘them’ in English texts is changed and thus promotes a critical, non-parochial view.