Unequal Englishes: Re-envisioning the teaching of English in linguistically diverse classrooms
Ruanni Tupas & Willy A Renandya
The globalization of English means that it has also been undergoing the process of localization as it is used and taken up by multilingual and multicultural speakers around the world. Thus, in the classroom, despite the explicit agenda of teaching ‘Standard English’ or ‘Global English’, sociolinguistically speaking the very process of teaching and learning English is a process of localization. Teachers and students are by and large bringing along with them unequally valued multiple accents, languages and cultures which shape their teaching and learning of English.
This chapter discusses how to reconceptualize the teaching of English today as it confronts inequalities of linguistic diversity in the classroom. First, we begin with the idea of multilingual English (or Englishes). The character of ‘global’ and ‘standard’ English that we teach and learn today is plural and multilingual.
Second, the teaching of multilingual English, precisely because it represents and is shaped by those who use it, should work towards three interdependent pedagogical aims: attitudinal change, cultural affirmation, and facilitative learning.
Third, the teaching of multilingual English(es) must be viewed as compensatory, redemptive and/or transformative. Such teaching confronts the reality of Unequal Englishes in order to provide learners, whose accents, languages and cultures have traditionally been ignored or devalued in the classroom in the name of ‘standard’ norms and practices, new opportunities to improve their learning of English through the cultural resources they bring along with them in the classroom.