Linguistic imperialism phillipson pdf

 

    PDF | The study of linguistic imperialism entails analyzing the policies by which dominant Robert Phillipson at Copenhagen Business School. Page 1. Phillipson, Robert ()”Linguistic imperialism and linguicism,” Linguistic Imperialism. Oxford: OUP, pp. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Crystal and Phillipson discuss the subject of World English in quite different ways . When first considering the books it seems as if the primary topic is the same.

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    Linguistic Imperialism Phillipson Pdf

    2, Review Essay (Re)experiencing hegemony: the linguistic imperialism of Robert Phillipson MARGIE BERNS,JEANELLE BARRETT, CHAKCHAN. achieve its imperialistic strategies. Phillipson ( 47) holds that the legitimization of. English linguistic expansion has been based on two notions. Abstract: A summary of the book Linguistic Imperialism, by Phillipson ()2 is balsodoctforri.ga

    This arti- cle documents the reactions of seminar participants to how Phillipson presented his argument and their conclusion that the rhetorical choices he made seriously affected their ability to find his story convincing. They also discovered that this book, which they expected to be a narrative of hegemony, was instead an illustration of the use of narrative as a hegemonic tool. In Britain and Europe we are taught that anyone who thinks he has a monopoly of the truth is probably a charlatan, and we will find bits of the truth in different places, and part of our training is to make syntheses which we develop as we go along. Peter Strevens cited in Phillipson, p. World countries have influenced educational development and English learning there through foreign policy. For these reasons, Linguistic Imperialism was on the reading list for a graduate seminar in World Enghshes in which we1 participated during the fall semester of at Purdue University. The Other Tongue Kachru [ed. Spirited, often passionate dialogue was the norm as we argued for or against points he was attempting to make or tried to clarify our own positions on the issues he presented. Our interactions with Phillipson through the text and each other were enriched and vitalized by the diversity of our linguistic, cultural, and educational backgrounds as well as our aspirations and academic interests. We also spent considerable time on the way Phillipson told his story to us, his readers, as we soon became distracted by the narrative structure and rhetorical strategies he employed. After closer scrutiny, we came to realize these aspects were contributing to his failure to completely persuade us of the validity of his claims or his credibility as narrator. We believe it is important to document this experience and present it in a public forum because the author has achieved prominence as an authority on the subject of linguistic imperialism and because the book addresses issues of critical importance to teachers and scholars of English in the global context.

    Namibia or Brazil. We were fortunate that the seminar had representatives from both groups and that those among us from the periphery were willing to share first-hand experiences with and observations of the alleged linguistic hegemony of English in their home countries. We found it enlightening to get views from representatives of the margins, rather than simply have Phillipson tell us about the margins.

    These voices, then, added depth to the arguments Phillipson presented, both those he refuted and promoted. For Phillipson, the situation she describes and represents would be a classic case of hegemony: the colonized, the oppressed - in this case Singaporeans - in accepting the learn- ing and use of English are victims of hegemony from English. This account is excerpted from a reaction paper written mid-way through our reading of Linguistic Imperialism: English in Singapore has fulfilled a number of conflicting roles simultaneously.

    However, given the present status of English as an international language and the privileges that attach to it, I feel that former British colonies are fortunate to a cer- tain extent, for, if it had not been for colonization, they might never have achieved the proficiency and competence in the language they now have.

    The spread of English might not have been so dominant and the development of indigenized varie- ties, such as Singaporean English, might not have come about at all.

    Later, after this Singaporean related her views to the rest of us, a classmate from Hong Kong asked whether Singaporeans feel proud to be proficient in English. Her written response suggested not only a pragmatic approach to the sociolinguistic reality of English in Singapore, but also a perspective on resolv- ing problems associated with the spread of English.

    Although it was definitely unpleasant to be colonized by another country, I have to say that the British in one way or another paved the way for the development of Singapore and have educated us in English and have enabled us to benefit from all its advantages as its standing as a global language.

    The Linguistic Imperialism of Robert Phillips

    However, we have not by any means lost our cultural heritage. Multilingualism is prevalent and we are rich in the use of different languages and dialects, which we speak and use whenever the situa- tion calls for it, depending, for example, upon the listener and context.

    One thing I would like to clarify is that we do not view and value the language in a mercenary sense - we have gone way beyond that. We study and use the language because it has developed into a language of our own that is used comfortably among ourselves - as my family and I do at home - a language we are able to identify and c a l l our own.

    We are definitely not boastful or conceited in our proficiency in English. In fact, being part of a multilingual community, we feel most comfortable code-switching to another language if it makes the person we are speaking with more at ease.

    A means of interpreting this perspective came from another periphery voice. This perspective is important here, we believe, because it represents a different kind of periphery country, one that was not colonized by the British or the United States.

    Thus it is an illustration of why periphery countries cannot be considered in monolithic terms. We live in a world we did not personally choose to be the way it is. Nevertheless, most of us try to make the most of the situations we face in life.

    Something similar can be said about language and the situation created in the former colonies. Even though the introduction of English was not a personal choice of individuals there, it happened. However, repeating and recounting the event and its consequences will not make the problem go away.

    Linguistic Imperialism - Wikipedia

    Nor will criticizing those individuals who choose to incorporate Enghsh into their linguistic repertoire, be it an inner, outer, o r expand- ing circle variety. Might this choice not be a way for them to cope in the best way they can with a situation they did not choose in the first place? For example, one could argue that those learning English or parents who insist upon their children learning English do so as a means of empowering themselves and their children and of widening their range of communication possibilities and thus learning to interact with various networks.

    Are they necessarily denying their own origins and cultures by doing so? Is it possible that they are making their cultures stronger by learning to negotiate in an international language?

    The issue of personal choice can be taken a step further when considering the dichotomy of the dominated and the dominating. Do we have to accept one of these roles? Where do we fit if we, as individuals, prefer to think of ourselves as educators who choose to empower others by helping them further their knowledge, develop their abilities and make their own choices?

    However, he offered no plan of action, an omission which left us unclear about the changes he would advocate. Without such a plan, how could his goal to inspire activism in us be met? For example, he argued that even though ELT is believed to be non-political, it inev- itably lent itself to the achievements of political goals in developing countries. Was he suggesting a total withdrawal from ELT activities in these countries?

    If so, what new model would he propose to take its place? Yet, because he provided no alternatives, we were uncertain just how we were to identify ourselves.

    Even if we agreed with his discussion of hegemony and linguistic imperial- ism, we were still students and teachers of applied linguistics and as such would have welcomed, first, an acknowledgment of the history of the roles of centre and periphery in the production and perpetuation of linguistic imperialism and, second, a directive for making change and progress, a prescription for a solu- tion that would be amenable to both groups.

    This more productive position would have addressed the key question that begged for an answer: how do we - both groups - break free of the hegemony that Phillipson asserts we help to create and further? Or was Phillipson, by not providing a model, implying that we were to wait for a Paulo Freire to speak for the subordinate group and show the way? Sincere change needs to be effected by the group making the policy, but as Freire says, there must first be dialogue between oppressor and oppressed.

    However, we did recognize that, if Phillipson had proposed a solu- tion, he would have written himself out of a job, since with increased indepen- dence and a voice for themselves, periphery countries would no longer need him to speak on their behalf. At the same time, those who claim some membership in the dominant group do not always blindly perpetuate hegemonic practices, as there are hierarchies within the hegemony, and membership in one stratum does not presuppose membership in them all.

    This point was illustrated when one of us, speaking from personal experience, observed how being a wom- an and a Jew in the patriarchal and Christian society of the USA can make one sensitive to inequality and aware that one cannot be allowed to speak for the majority.

    The Linguistic Imperialism of Robert Phillips

    This observation resonated with all of us - whether from the border region of Mexico and Texas or a periphery country, whether male or female, or of middle class urban or working class rural background - and deepened our understanding of the nature of hegemony.

    Our reading of Linguistic Imperialism is such a case.

    While Phillipson was con- cerned with exposing the hegemonic agenda of ELT professionals and represen- tatives of American and other center-country aid agencies, we grew increasingly aware of his hegemonic agenda.

    Phillipson has argued that ELT is political in that it has had an agenda all along. With communicative, cultural, and educational imperialism scientists in their publications cannot avoid the use of the English language.

    Due to the dominant Western position and most notably of anglophone Western scientists, the research community quite naturally communicates through English. Especially since the Information Technology revolution that emerged in the USA other languages had to face their retraction in favor of English. Today, when we come to the medium in which the flows of information on cutting-edge science take place, then English does dominate exclusively and in every sphere.

    The research community has come to inform itself, debate and publish in English, even where the innovation originated in other speech communities. Wright Keeping the interaction between the different components of imperialism in mind, we speakers of English should reflect on our position and contribution to linguistic imperialism.

    This paper is written in English. Being written in English this paper uses English syntax and semantics and therefore employs a Western line of argumentation and Western rhetoric.

    As it will be read only by people who understand English this paper contributes to English-medium scholarly discussion. So far, the main emphasis was on Robert Phillipson a British linguist, currently working in Denmark and the arguments were backed by Sue Wright again, a British linguist. Joseph Bisong, a Nigerian linguist, argues that English is not imposed on African countries such as Nigeria, but that they voluntarily chose English as their national language.

    The Western society could therefore accept the current situation and be indifferent about this particular global issue. However, other African voices have called for further investigation. Long before , accompanying the series of independence movements in Africa in the s, African authors had to make decisions on their use of language and therefore make a decision which language policy to support.

    Two main schools of thought emerged. One was favored by Chinua Achebe who grew up in colonial Nigeria and learned to love colonial education with all its culture, which he later incorporated in his opinion. This school of thought valued English as the unifying global language and vigorously demands an African appropriation of English. What I do see is a new voice coming out of Africa, speaking of African experience in a worldwide language.

    So my answer to the question Can an African ever learn English well enough to be able to use it effectively in creative writing?

    If on the other hand you ask. Can he ever learn to use it like a native speaker? I should say, I hope not. He should aim at fashioning an English which is at once universal and able to carry his peculiar experience. Achebe 29 With growing understanding of dignity and self respect the second school of thought established itself as such. In a globalizing world global communication becomes indispensible, so we have to find an adequate way of interacting.

    This includes the choice of language and the choice seems to be made: English. So the phenomenon of what Ansre named linguistic imperialism causes problems, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, which the examination of the case of Tanzania will approach later. The role of the Western scholar engaged in this debate is ambiguous. It is even more difficult to speculate if the discussion took place in an African language. Thinking in postcolonial terms, however, it would be more appropriate for this whole debate to occur in an African context, because [t]he terms we use, the words we work with and the concepts we apply are never innocent.

    They constitute not just the field under discussion, but determine the approaches taken to this field, the questions raised about it and the insights to be gained.

    If theories generally begin by naming, postcolonial theory begins with the awareness that names are never natural but always imposed, hence that naming is an act of power. The concept of these two English words is meant to advert to the inappropriate English language dominance.

    World Englishes English is the language that currently is most widely spread. ENL means, that the speaker grows up with English as his mother tongue; English is therefore the language that is spoken at his home where he grew up, the language the speaker was mostly exposed to. It is possible to have more than one native language, which is the case for many Mexicans living in the USA and South Africans.

    If English is learned as the second language, the speaker is exposed to English in his own country. However, these speakers of ESL have other languages as their mother tongues. They approximately number to million again Jenkins and live in countries such as India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Singapore mostly Commonwealth Countries. When English is neither an official nor a national language for people who nevertheless learn English, they are said to be speakers of EFL.

    Usually EFL speakers learn English through formal education with the intention of communicating with other English speakers in this globalized world. The number of EFL speakers is difficult to estimate because this depends on setting a standard for the level of competence. The Inner Circle, based on the earlier versions, represents the English as spoken by native speakers. A means of interpreting this perspective came from another periphery voice.

    This perspective is important here, we believe, because it represents a different kind of periphery country, one that was not colonized by the British or the United States. Thus it is an illustration of why periphery countries cannot be considered in monolithic terms.

    We live in a world we did not personally choose to be the way it is. Nevertheless, most of us try to make the most of the situations we face in life. Something similar can be said about language and the situation created in the former colonies. Even though the introduction of English was not a personal choice of individuals there, it happened. However, repeating and recounting the event and its consequences will not make the problem go away. Nor will criticizing those individuals who choose to incorporate Enghsh into their linguistic repertoire, be it an inner, outer, o r expand- ing circle variety.

    Might this choice not be a way for them to cope in the best way they can with a situation they did not choose in the first place? For example, one could argue that those learning English or parents who insist upon their children learning English do so as a means of empowering themselves and their children and of widening their range of communication possibilities and thus learning to interact with various networks.

    Are they necessarily denying their own origins and cultures by doing so? Is it possible that they are making their cultures stronger by learning to negotiate in an international language?

    The issue of personal choice can be taken a step further when considering the dichotomy of the dominated and the dominating. Do we have to accept one of these roles? Where do we fit if we, as individuals, prefer to think of ourselves as educators who choose to empower others by helping them further their knowledge, develop their abilities and make their own choices? And this we believe was a goal of Linguistic lmperialism since Phillipson makes reference to the possibility of change at the end of chapter 3: However, he offered no plan of action, an omission which left us unclear about the changes he would advocate.

    Without such a plan, how could his goal to inspire activism in us be met? For example, he argued that even though ELT is believed to be non-political, it inev- itably lent itself to the achievements of political goals in developing countries.

    Was he suggesting a total withdrawal from ELT activities in these countries? If so, what new model would he propose to take its place? Yet, because he provided no alternatives, we were uncertain just how we were to identify ourselves. Even if we agreed with his discussion of hegemony and linguistic imperial- ism, we were still students and teachers of applied linguistics and as such would have welcomed, first, an acknowledgment of the history of the roles of centre and periphery in the production and perpetuation of linguistic imperialism and, second, a directive for making change and progress, a prescription for a solu- tion that would be amenable to both groups.

    This more productive position would have addressed the key question that begged for an answer: Or was Phillipson, by not providing a model, implying that we were to wait for a Paulo Freire to speak for the subordinate group and show the way?

    Sincere change needs to be effected by the group making the policy, but as Freire says, there must first be dialogue between oppressor and oppressed. However, we did recognize that, if Phillipson had proposed a solu- tion, he would have written himself out of a job, since with increased indepen- dence and a voice for themselves, periphery countries would no longer need him to speak on their behalf.

    At the same time, those who claim some membership in the dominant group do not always blindly perpetuate hegemonic practices, as there are hierarchies within the hegemony, and membership in one stratum does not presuppose membership in them all.

    This point was illustrated when one of us, speaking from personal experience, observed how being a wom- an and a Jew in the patriarchal and Christian society of the USA can make one sensitive to inequality and aware that one cannot be allowed to speak for the majority.

    This observation resonated with all of us - whether from the border region of Mexico and Texas or a periphery country, whether male or female, or of middle class urban or working class rural background - and deepened our understanding of the nature of hegemony. Our reading of Linguistic Imperialism is such a case. While Phillipson was con- cerned with exposing the hegemonic agenda of ELT professionals and represen- tatives of American and other center-country aid agencies, we grew increasingly aware of his hegemonic agenda.

    Phillipson has argued that ELT is political in that it has had an agenda all along. Not only did his rhetoric parallel this posi- tion, it represented his argument. He wanted us to see several features of ELT: For us, the process of reading his argu- ment resulted in conflict and confusion while we experienced a range of reac- tions from mild amusement to disappointment to extreme offense.

    Then came the last two chapters which struck us as so anticlimactic, as if they were an afterthought, that we were not quite sure how to interpret them and their relation to the previous chapters.

    The outcome was that we resigned ourselves to acceptance of his complacent regard for the English language and where it stands today: Throughout the book we felt that Phillipson was seeking to impose his agen- d a and to dominate us through the imperialism of the printed word.

    By being told what we should believe rather than being allowed the experience of discov- ery and then understanding, we grew to resent his paternalism and as a result felt colonized in a sense by his authorial imperialism. Therein lies the textual analogy that Phillipson either deliberately or inadvertently created to represent linguistic imperialism and its aftermath. We say deliberately because the power structure he outlined followed the narrative structure of Linguistic Imperialism, and inadvertently because it could be pure chance that the struc- ture and rhetorical strategies of the book so intensely gave us the flavor of what a dominated culture might feel when it becomes the victim of oppression.

    We applauded this activist stance and found refresh- ing the idealism and fervor he brought to solving problems of language and iden- tity. We also shared his outrage and sense of injustice at the linguistic conditions that can prevail where English has been imposed by force, and at the oppression and loss of autonomy perpetrated by purveyors of English.

    However, our approval and empathy were significantly tempered by our response to his style, which struck us as inappropriate. We did not seem to be the intended audience; yet we felt strongly that his story and its implications and ramifications were indeed relevant to us - language researchers and teachers from around the world - and that we must indeed be the audience he wanted to reach since we had the most to learn from his story.

    Yet we were not reached. Phillipson intended to write a narrative of hegemony, but he produced a hege- monic narrative instead. As a result, we were not converted, only provoked and not in the way he probably intended , and he lost us as an audience. But this was his loss alone; we only gained from reading this book. And in this process of intellectual exploration and development, we came to val- ue even more the need to hear and consider multiple voices and multiple views.

    Notes 1. Margie Berns led the seminar in which the other authors were enrolled. All authors thank their partners, friends, and each other for feedback, commentary and encour- agement on the concept and content of the project. References Bisong, J. ELT Journal Davies, A. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development

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