Professor Alastair Pennycook
Associate Member, Transforming Cultures
BA (Leeds), MEd (McGill), PhD (UofT)
Alastair Pennycook is Professor of Language Studies at UTS. He has been involved in language education for over 30 years in France, Germany, Japan, China, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. He is well known for his work on the global spread of English, particularly in his classic text The cultural politics of English as an international language, (Longman, 1994). Also well known his is work on critical approaches to language education and applied linguistics, outlined in Critical applied linguistics: A critical introduction (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001).
His most recent (2012) book is Language and mobility: Unexpected places (opens an external site) which looks at the ways languages turn up in unexpected places. This follows on from the arguments in his 2010 book Language as a local practice (Routledge) (opens an external site) that we need to consider very seriously the relations between language, practices and locality.
Other work in the last few years has focused on language, globalization and popular culture, as discussed in Global Englishes and transcultural flows (Routledge, 2007; winner of the British Association of Applied Linguistics Book Award in 2008), the edited book (with Samy Alim and Awad Ibrahim) Global Linguistic Flows: Hip hop cultures, youth identities, and the politics of language (Routledge, 2009) or the Local Noise web site.
He is currently working on two major research projects, one on early literacy in disadvantaged communities and the other on urban linguistic diversity (metrolingualism). This focus on linguistic diversity is an important part of the Research Stream on Language and Change as well as joint work with other members of the Babylon Project on Language and Globalization (opens an external site).
Alastair holds a PADI Master Diver Certificate and is involved in marine ecology and reef preservation projects such as Saving Philippines Reefs (SPR) as part of the Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation (opens an external site). He is also a member of the UTS Diving Organisation, DOUTS (opens an external site). He holds an Australian Yachting federation Coastal Skipper Certificate and can sometimes be found, when time and weather permit, at the helm of the UTS Union yacht, Impulse.
The series encourages monographs directly addressing issues of power (its flows, inequities, distributions, trajectories) in a variety of language and literacy-related realms. We are particularly interested in studies of language and literacy that combine rich description within a strong analytical framework and an understanding of the uneven distribution of local and global resources. Our aim with this new series is twofold: 1) to cultivate scholarship that openly engages with social, political, and historical dimensions in language and literacy studies, and 2) to widen disciplinary horizons by encouraging new work on topics that have received little focus (see below for partial list of subject areas), and that use new theoretical frameworks. We welcome work from authors in parts of the world that are underrepresented in Western scholarship. Books may be single authored, multiple-authored or edited volumes. Please view the series website for further details and how to submit a proposal.
Alastair Pennycook serves on a number of international journal and book series editorial boards, including:
- Applied Linguistics (opens an external site)
- Language and Education (opens an external site)
- Language, Identity and Education (opens an external site)
- Critical Inquiry in Language Studies (opens an external site)
- Australian Review of Applied Linguistics (opens an external site)
- Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics (opens an external site)
- Educational Linguistics (opens an external site)
- Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices (opens an external site)
- Language Policy (opens an external site)
- The Canadian Modern Language Review/ La Revue Canadienne des Langues Vivantes (opens an external site)
- The English Teacher and Malaysia Journal of ELT Research (MELTA) (opens an external site)
Alastair teaches mainly in the postgraduate courses in the area of TESOL and Applied Linguistics. He coordinates and teaches the subject Global Englishes (013095), which looks at the implications of the global spread of English, reasons why English has spread so widely, issues around linguistic imperialism, language rights, linguistic genocide, and the maintenance of global inequality, the emergence of new varieties of English, English as a lingua franca, and global Englishes in the classroom, including questions of standardization and intelligibility, issues around native and nonnative teachers, and questions of appropriate pedagogy and evaluation.
Alastair also coordinates and teaches the subject Language and Power which focuses on broad political and theoretical issues relevant to the concepts of language, power, literacy, and pedagogy. A further aim is to introduce perspectives and techniques for developing critical literacy and discourse analysis skills, and for taking up the pedagogical challenge posed by issues of language and power.
Alastair also supervises a considerable number of doctoral students on a range of topics in the field of language studies, including the interrelationships between English, popular culture and identity in Greece, Brunei and Mongolia; autoethnography of hyphenated lives; English language teaching practices and identity in Japan; the developement of bilingual identities among young Koreans studying in Australia; and switches in the medium of instruction in Hong Kong.
Implications of the global spread of English
Colonialism, language policy, and English language teaching
Critical applied linguistics
Language, popular culture and identity
Metrolingualism and talking in the city
Research supervision: Yes
Selected Peer-Assessed Projects
Otsuji, E. & Pennycook, A.D. 2014, 'Unremarkable Hybridities and Metrolingual Practices' in Rubdy, R. & Alsagoff, L. (eds), The Global_Local Interface and Hybridity, Multilingual Matters, Bristol, pp. 83-99.
Drawing on data from two restaurants in Sydney and Tokyo, this paper describes the ways in which linguistic resources, everyday tasks and social space are intertwined in terms of metrolingual multitasking. Rather than the demolinguistic enumeration of mappable multilingualism or the language-to-language or language-to-person focus of translingualism, metrolingualism focuses on everyday language practices and their relations to urban space. In order to capture the dynamism of the urban linguistic landscape, this paper explores this relationship between metrolingual multitasking - the ways in which linguistic resources, activities and urban space are bound together - and spatial repertoires - the linguistic resources available in a particular place - arguing that a focus on resources, repertoires, space, place and activity helps us understand how multilingualism from below operates in complex urban places. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Drawing on data from two restaurants in Sydney and Tokyo, this paper describes the ways in which linguistic resources, everyday tasks and social space are intertwined in terms of metrolingual multitasking. Rather than the demolinguistic enumeration of mappable multilingualism or the language-to-language or language-to-person focus of translingualism, metrolingualism focuses on everyday language practices and their relations to urban space. In order to capture the dynamism of the urban linguistic landscape, this paper explores this relationship between metrolingual multitasking the ways in which linguistic resources, activities and urban space are bound together and spatial repertoires the linguistic resources available in a particular place arguing that a focus on resources, repertoires, space, place and activity helps us understand how multilingualism from below operates in complex urban places.
Sultana, S., Dovchin, S. & Pennycook, A.D. 2014, 'Transglossic language practices of young adults in Bangladesh and Mongolia', International Journal of Multilingualism, vol. Online-1st, no. 3, pp. 1-16.
The paper explores the use of varied semiotic resources in the linguistic, social and cultural practices of young adults in the context of Bangladesh and Mongolia. Based on a translinguistic analysis (including pre-textual history, contextual relations, subtextual meaning, intertextual echoes and post-textual interpretation) of these practices, and linking this to other recent calls to reconceptualise the notions of bilingualism and multilingualism, this paper combines Bakhtins heteroglossic and Pennycooks transgressive approaches to the analysis of language practices through what we call a transglossic framework. The paper examines four sets of on/offline linguistic practices taken from two large ethnographic projects from Bangladesh and Mongolia and unravels the ways young adults recycle linguistic and cultural elements from popular culture and mobilise a range of semiotic resources for their communicative purposes. The paper finally suggests that a sophisticated theoretical construction of language as proposed by Bakhtin and Pennycook needs to be addressed and complemented
Morgan, L. & Pennycook, A.D. 2013, 'Exploring and Supporting Home Language Maintenance among Tongan Families in Sydney, Australia', ECER 2013 - Online Programme, EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATION, Online at http://www.eera-ecer.de/ecer2013/.
This paper draws on four years of fieldwork among Tongan families within the context of an informal supported play-group in inner Sydney, Australia. In Australia, some 40% of children reach school age without attending formal pre-schools. Aboriginal and immigrant groups are greatly over-represented in this statistic. For these children, informal playgroups, funded from a range of government and non-government sources are important sites for learning. For children who speak a language other than English in the home, the playgroups also offer a `safe space and an opportunity to strengthen and support the use of the home literacies and the connection to heritage cultures. They also spaces where situated practices around community language and identity can be observed. The role of such playgroups in improving the transition to school for Pasifika students has been acknowledged by a number of researchers in Australia and New Zealand. A recent literature review on Transition from Early Childhood Education (ECE) to School by Peters (2010) highlights the issues that have a direct relationship to home language maintenance. These include a sense of belonging, recognition and acknowledgement of culture, and dispositions and identity as a learner. In addition, Peters review also highlights the importance of direct communications between teachers in the ECE settings and those in the school. Our main research questions related to identifying the best ways of engaging and supporting relatively disadvantaged families from Pacific communities in developing their childrens early literacy practices in informal settings. We also aimed at obtaining a clearer picture of literacy practices in the home language as a first step to improving the gap between home practices and the first years of school. This study is one of the few with a primary focus on support for the maintenance of home language and culture in the early years Using data from observations of partic
Pennycook, A.D. 2013, 'Language policies, language ideologies and local language practices' in Wee, L., Goh, R.B.H. & Lim, L. (eds), The Politics of English: South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific, John Benjamins Publishing Company, USA, pp. 1-18.
Discussing a number of examples of language practices in different Asian contexts from a job advertisement for English teachers in Vietnam, to injunctions to speak good English in Singapore, from mission statements on a Philippine convent wall, to an article about temple elephants in India this paper argues that it is not so much language as language ideology that is the object of language policy. While ostensibly dealing with the distribution and regulation of languages, language policies are generally about something else entirely, be it educational, ideological or cultural regulation. Local language practices, meanwhile, may appear to be subject to language policies, but since language policies are always about a different understanding of language, it is this understanding rather than the practices themselves, that are at stake. By insisting on the plannability of language, state authorities insist that a sterile and state-serving view of language is the language ideology we should adhere to. State language policies, therefore, have more to do with the regulation of language ideologies than with the regulation of local language practices, which, despite attempts to contain them, always exceed confinement.
Sultana, S., Dovchin, S. & Pennycook, A. 2013, 'Styling the periphery: Linguistic and cultural takeup in Bangladesh and Mongolia', JOURNAL OF SOCIOLINGUISTICS, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 687-710.
Looking at two sets of conversations, among Greek adolescents, and between Japanese and Australian workers, this article shows how a poststructuralist understanding of the ways in which participants use and mix elements of their language repertoires implies a view of language as performative. Although the poststructuralist element of our approach on the one hand foregrounds a questioning of stable categories of language, identity, and assumed modes of mixing, our development of an understanding of performativity allows us to consider seriously the processes by which language and identity are constantly being remade. For the participants themselves, this is not simply a question of fluid language practices, but rather the interplay of fixed and unfixed language elements, cultural identifications, and social relationships. Reinvigorating Butler's account of performativity, our analysis and comparison of these two sets of data shows how a poststructuralist consideration of performativity sheds light on the relationship between the ongoing production of subjectivity and the deployment of fixed, stable, or stereotypical categories of identity. © 2012 Oxford University Press 2012.
Makoni, S. & Pennycook, A.D. 2012, 'Disinventing multilingualism: from monological multilingualism to multilingua francas' in Martin-Jones, M., Blackledge, A. & Creese, A. (eds), The Routlledge Handbook of Multilingualism, Routledge, New York, pp. 439-453.
Assumptions about the existence of languages and, ipso facto, multilingualism, are so deeply embedded in predominant paradigms of language studies that they are rarely questioned. Multilingualism, furthermore, viewed from this perspective, is an indomitably good thing; the task of linguists, sociolinguists, applied linguists and educational linguists is to enhance our understanding of multilingualism, to overcome the monolingual blinkers of Anglo- or Eurocentric thought, to encourage both the understanding of and the practices of multilingualism.
Pennycook, A.D. 2012, 'Could Heracles Have Gone About Things Differently?' in Pauline Bunce (ed), English Language as Hydra, Multilinguage Matters, Vaughan Rapatahana, pp. 255-262.
This book looks at language in unexpected places. Drawing on a diversity of materials and contexts, including farewell addresses to British workers in colonial India, letters written from parents to their children at home, a Cornish anthem sung in South Australia, a country fair in rural Australia, and a cricket match played in the middle of the 19th century in south India, this book explores many current concerns around language, mobility and place, including native speakers, generic forms, and language maintenance. Using a series of narrative accounts from a journey to southern India to eating cheese in China, from playing soccer in Germany to observing a student teacher in Sydney this book asks how it is that language, people and cultures turn up unexpectedly and how our lines of expectation are formed.
Pennycook, A.D. 2012, 'Lingua Francas as Language Ideologies' in Kirkpatrick, A. & Sussex, R. (eds), English as an International Language in Asia: Implications for Language Education, Springer, UK, pp. 137-154.
Common truisms about English as the most widely spoken lingua franca and Chinese as the most widely spoken mother tongue stand on very thin ground. The vast disparity between figures of speakers for both of these languages suggests not only that such figures are hard to produce accurately but also, more importantly, that they rest on highly questionable definitions of languages, second languages, native speakers and lingua francas. When it is claimed that English is the great lingua franca of the world and Chinese the great mother tongue, or when it is conceded that Chinese is the great lingua franca and English only comes second, we are dealing not only with incommensurable objects but also staking out very particular ideological ground. What counts as a language, a mother tongue, or a lingua franca, is a question of language ideology, not countability. If we argue that Chinese exists only as an ideological construct (it is a unifying language only by the will for it to be so, not by actual practice), we need to reflect on the fact that this also applies to English: English or Chinese as a lingua franca are not so much linguistic systems as ideological constructs. It is crucial that we grasp such ideologies in order to engage with common and insidious claims about language, communication and the world.
The notion in popular linguistic discourse that French suffers from a narrow and prescriptive tradition of language policing, with the Académie Française (AF) as the central player, is frequently contrasted with an image of English as a democratic, borrowing language, better suited to its global role. This misrepresents the role of the AF in the regulation of French while overlooking the role of language ideologies, most evident in the two great dictionary projects (OED and DAF). This paper examines the actual role of the AF and other institutions in French language policy. Exploring popular linguistic representations of the AF and reiterated discourses about the relative numbers of words in English and French, we emphasize the dangers for language policy generally of reinforcing triumphalist views about English.
In this paper, we explore the implications of metrolingual language practices for how we understand social inclusion. A vision of social inclusion that includes bi- and multilingual capacities may comprise an appreciation of a diversity of languages other than English, and the skills and capabilities of multilingual language users, yet it is all too often premised on an understanding of language use that cannot escape its origins in statist understandings of language ideologieswhere a particular language is associated with a particular cultural, ethnic or geographical configuration. Recent studies show the creative ways in which language users cross linguistic and cultural boundaries to form new linguistic and cultural possibilities. In this paper, we therefore ask how we can open up an understanding of social inclusion to include not only the recognition of bilingual capacity but also the fluidity and flux of the metrolingual workplace where creative language use beyond static linguistic boundaries are present. Such a move, however, raises important questions for what is included and excluded in any model of social inclusion since it renders the boundaries of difference more fluid than in other approaches to language diversity.We conclude by suggesting to the extent that social inclusion has become the 'new multiculturalism', it can, if broadly conceived and allied to metrolingualism, present a new way forward in understanding language and social disadvantage. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
It is not hard to make a case that English is intimately involved with processes of globalization. From its wide use in many domains across the world, or the massive efforts in both state and private educational sectors to provide access to the language, to its role in global media, international forums, business, finance, politics and diplomacy, it is evident not only that English is widely used across the globe but also that it is part of those processes we call globalization. What this means for English, other languages and cultures, and processes of global change, however, is much harder to determine. Much work over the past 20 years has been done under the label of world Englishes (WE), a tetm that has been employed with various meanings (Bolton, 2004). It may be llsed as an umbrella term to cover all varieties of English across the world (analysed from a diversity of perspectives), to refer more narrowly to new varieties of English that have developed, particularly in former Btitish colonies, or more narrowly again to the particular framework developed by Braj Kachru and his colleagues to analyse such Englishes.
By extending the notion of metroethnicity, this paper proposes the notion of metrolingualism, creative linguistic practices across borders of culture, history and politics. Metrolingualism gives us a way to move beyond current terms such as 'multilingualism' and 'multiculturalism'. It is a product of modern and often urban interaction, describing the ways in which people of different and mixed backgrounds use, play with and negotiate identities through language. The focus is not so much on language systems as on languages as emergent from contexts of interaction. Looking at data from workplaces where metrolingual language use is common, we show how the use of both fixed and fluid linguistic and cultural identities is part of the process of language use. The notion of metrolingualism gives us ways of moving beyond common frameworks of language, providing insights into contemporary, urban language practices, and accommodating both fixity and fluidity in its approach to language use. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Critical directions in applied linguistics can be understood in various ways. The term critical as it has been used in critical applied linguistics, critical discourse analysis, critical literacy and so forth, is now embedded as part of applied linguistic work, adding an overt focus on questions of power and inequality to discourse analysis, literacy or applied linguistics more generally. In this paper I will argue, however, that although critical discourse analysis and critical literacy still make claims to a territory different from their `non-critical counterparts, much of this work has become conventional and moribund. The use of the term `critical (with its problematic claims and divisions) has perhaps reached saturation level. This is not to say, however, that the basic need to bring questions of power, disparity and difference to applied linguistics is any way diminished, but rather that we may need to look in alternative directions for renewal.
Pennycook, A.D. 2010, 'English and globalization' in Maybin, J. & Swann, J. (eds), The Routledge Companion to English Language Studies, Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 113-121.
Language as a Local Practice addresses the questions of language, locality and practice as a way of moving forward in our understanding of how language operates as an integrated social and spatial activity. By taking each of these three elements language, locality and practice and exploring how they relate to each other, Language as a Local Practice opens up new ways of thinking about language. It questions assumptions about languages as systems or as countable entities, and suggests instead that language emerges from the activities it performs. To look at language as a practice is to view language as an activity rather than a structure, as something we do rather than a system we draw on, as a material part of social and cultural life rather than an abstract entity. Language as a Local Practice draws on a variety of contexts of language use, from bank machines to postcards, Indian newspaper articles to fish-naming in the Philippines, urban graffiti to mission statements, suggesting that rather than thinking in terms of language use in context, we need to consider how language, space and place are related, how language creates the contexts where it is used, how languages are the products of socially located activities and how they are part of the action. Language as a Local Practice will be of interest to students on advanced undergraduate and post graduate courses in Applied Linguistics, Language Education, TESOL, Literacy and Cultural Studies.
A central problem for sociolinguistic approaches to language is nationhood. Being the defining framework for much discussion of both language and culture in popular and academic domains, the concept of nation has had a huge influence on the ways in which languages and cultures have been defined. From language policies based around national languages to plans to save endangered languages, the relation between nation, on the one hand, and language and culture, on the other, has remained central to many discussions of these themes. In response to the perceived threat of English in Europe, namely the concern that unless English is opposed, we may, as Phillipson (2003: 192) warns, 'be heading for an American-English only Europe', one strategy is to argue for the need to safeguard diversity through the support of other European languages.
Pennycook, A.D. 2010, 'Popular Cultures, Popular Languages and Global Indentities' in Nikolas Coupland (ed), The Handbook of Language and Globalization, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, pp. 592-607.
Popular culture is both facilitated by and facilitative of the shifting relationships between languages under conditions of globalization. The ease of cultural movement made possible by the transnational role of major languages such as English, French, Chinese, or Arabic, in conjunction with new digital media, allows popular culture to traverse the globe with speed and gregarity. At the same time, the attractions of popular culture draw people to those languages in order to gain better access to such fiims, music, or online environments. While studies of language and globalization often take economic or various utilitarian goals as primary driving forces behind the spread and take-up of different languages, it is also important to understand the roles of pleasure and desire, and the possibilities that popular culture may hold out for new cultural and linguistic relations and for new possible modes of identity.
Pennycook, A.D. 2010, 'Rethinking Origins and Localization in Global Englishes' in Saxena, M. & Omoniyi, T. (eds), COntending with Globalization in World Englishes, Multilingual Matters, UK, pp. 196-210.
Drawing analogies with issues of localization in hip-hop, this chapter argues that processes of localization are more complex than a notion of languages or cultures spreading and taking on local forms; rather, we have to understand ways in which they are already local. Recent debates over the inapplicability of a World Englishes (WE) framework to current conditions of globalization, or concerns that a focus on English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) presents a new form of homogenization, miss the point that what we need to react not only to new conditions of postmodernity but also to the postmodern imperative to rethink language.
For a small subcultural tourist group, graffiti have become an object of their travelling gaze. Jinman (2007), for example, reports that Melbourne's graffiti have achieved international renown to the extent that tourists head straight for some of the best-known alleys. One such is Hosier Lane, just off Federation Square in central Melbourne, where two young Korean women, having seen Melbourne street art on Korean television are now examining and photographing 'a dense, lurid collage that ranges from rudimentary signatures drawn in marker pen to giant dayglo paintings and intricate paper prints pasted on the wall. "Very good," says one, indicating a playful image of a moon-faced Asian child hugging a docile killer whale. "I like it very much'" (p. 11). &lch graffiti tourism can be seen as part of the broader domain of hip-hop tourism (Xie, Osumare and Ibrahim, 2007), which in turn is related to music tourism more generally (Gibson and Connell, 2005). As Xie et al. (2007) explain, 'The ghetto or the hood, which were once a source of sublime terror and fear, have been transformed by Hip-Hop into an enticing landscape for tourism: an image, a sound, graffiti mural waiting at a distance for visual and sensory consumption by those who come from farther afield' (p. 456).
Pennycook, A.D. 2010, 'Sweating cheese and thinking otherwise' in Nunan, D. & Choi, J. (eds), Language and culture: Reflective narratives and the emergence of identity, Routledge, New York, USA, pp. 194-198.
Pennycook, A.D. 2009, 'Is dialogue possible? Anti-intellectualism, relativism, politics and linguistic ideologies' in Wong, M.S. & Canagarajah, S. (eds), Christian and critical English language educators in dialogue, Routledge, New York, USA, pp. 60-65.
Pennycook, A.D. 2009, 'Plenary: Changing practices in ELT', IATEFL 2008: Exeter Conference Selections, IATEFL, Canterbury, UK, pp. 86-93.
Pennycook, A.D. 2009, 'Plurilithic Englishes: Towards a 3D model' in Murata, K. & Jenkins, J. (eds), Gobal Englishes in Asian Contexts, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, pp. 194-207.
Pennycook, A.D. 2009, 'Refashioning and performing identities in global hip-hop' in Couland, N. & Jaworski, A. (eds), The new sociolinguistics reader, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 326-340.
Pennycook, A.D. & Mitchell, T. 2009, 'Hip Hop as dusty foot philosophy: Engaging locality' in Alim, H.S., Ibrahim, A. & Pennycook, A. (eds), Global Linguistic Flows: Hip Hop cultures, youth identities, and the politics of language, Routledge, New York, USA, pp. 25-42.
When asked what he means by the Dusty Foot Philosopher (the title of his recent CD, which received a 2006 Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year, and was nominated for the inaugural Polaris Music Prize), Somali-Canadian MC K'Naan explains that this is both how he sees himselfand a broader image of global representation. When images of Africa are shown on charity television (the most common means by which people view Africa, he suggests), the camera always kind of pans to the feet, and the feet are always dusty from these kids. What they're trying to portray is a certain bias connected to their own historical reasoning, and what I saw though instead, was that that child with the dusty feet himself is not a beggar, and he's not an undignified struggler, but he's the dusty foot philosopher. He articulates more than the cameraman can imagine, at that point in his life. But he has nothing; he has no way to dream, even. He just is who he is. (K'Naan Interview, April 25, 2004)1
Pennycook, A.D. 2008, 'Critical applied linguistics and language education' in May, S. & Hornberger, N. (eds), Encyclopedia of Language and Education, Springer, New York, USA, pp. 169-182.
The global enterprise of English language teaching (ELT) ought to present the possibility of bringing millions of people into the global traffic of meaning. Yet it does not do so because global ELT is paradoxically viewed as a monolingual enterprise. Both the pedagogy that underpins much of this spread and the ways in which the global spread of English has been described and resisted emphasize English as a language that operates only in its own presence. Overlooked are the ways in which English always needs to be seen in the context of other languages, as a language always in translation. Yet if we wish to take global diversity seriously, we would do well to focus on semiodiversity (the diversity of meanings) as much as glossodiversity (the diversity of languages), and to do so by taking up a project of translingual activism as part of ELT. If students are to enter the global traffic of meaning, translation needs to become central to what we do.
Pennycook, A.D. 2008, 'Language-free Linguistics and Linguistics-free Languages' in Mahboob, A. & Knight, N. (eds), Questioning Linguistics, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, pp. 18-31.
With the growth of Asia's manufacturing and service industries, the prediction that China and India, respectively, will have the first and third largest global economies within 30 years, a population that comprises over 50% of the world's people, and massive English language programs throughout the region, it is no surprise that the role of English in Asia has become a major concern. At a recent (2006) Asia TEFL conference in Japan, the notions of Asian English(es), along with Asian methodologies and Asian knowledge, were topics of considerable discussion. The size and diversity of Asia, however, makes it a very difficult entity to define: The Asia TEFL conference included delegates from Israel and Iran, and two of the books under review here, Braj Kachru's Asian Englishes: Beyond the canon(AEBC) and Yamuna Kachru & Cecil Nelson's World Englishes in Asian contexts(WEAC), include (with identical maps) Australia and New Zealand. In some ways, the idea of Asia is defined by what it is not: Europe and North America. It is also not, of course, South America or Africa, though with WEACcontaining a chapter on African Englishes (as well as African American Vernacular English, or AAVE), it seems as if they might be allowed in. It is clear nevertheless that various notions of Asia ? as an economic zone, as a cultural entity, and as a user of a type or types of English ? are widely used. We need to take the notion of Asia and Asian English(es) seriously, if only to try to understand what is meant by Braj Kachru's explanation that AEBCis ?essentially about the Asianness in Asian Englishes and their gradual, yet marked, distinctiveness?
In their introduction to this special edition of ARAL, Michael Clyne and Farzad Sharifian have laid out a number of the general concerns we need to consider when trying to grapple with the global spread of English. There is much of value in their proposal for a more symmetrical understanding of the pluricentricity of English; for a focus on cross-cultural/ intercultural communication, especially on pragmatic, discourse, and conceptual variation in English language classes; and for language policies that emphasise bilingualism and multilingualism. Their position nevertheless stops short in its exploration of the wider concerns raised by the gobal spread of English: While rightly critiquing the monolingual mindset that is blind to multilingualism and gives support to the use only of English, Clyne and Sharifian nevertheless fail to problematise the assumptions that underlie all these discussions around the global spread of English. It is not enough just to question monolingualism and argue for multilingualism, since both conceptions emerge from the same context of European-based thinking about language. As long as we still operate with the same epistemological framework of languages that emerged from the colonial/modernist context (Errington, 2008; Nakata, 2007), we will not be able to think our way out of the dilemmas posed by language and globalisation
Ramanathan, V. & Pennycook, A.D. 2008, 'Articulating identities: Communities, histories, migrations', TESOL in Context, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 21-40.
Ramanathan, V. & Pennycook, A.D. 2008, 'Talking across time: Postcolonial challenges to language, history and difference' in Raval, S., Mehta, G.M. & Yashaschandra, S. (eds), Forms of knowledge in India: Critical Revaluations, Pencraft International, New Delhi, India, pp. 272-304.
Thompson, C.H. & Pennycook, A.D. 2008, 'A question of dialogues: Authorship, authority, plagiarism', Education Canada, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 20-23.
Thompson, C.H. & Pennycook, A.D. 2008, 'Intertextuality in the transcultural contact zone' in Howard, R.M. & Robillard, A. (eds), Pluralizing Plagiarism: Identities, contexts, pedagogies, Boynton/Cook, Potsmouth, NH, USA, pp. 124-139.
Alim, H.S. & Pennycook, A.D. 2007, 'Global linguistic flows: Hip-hop culture(s), identities, and the politics of language education', Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 89-100.
People have to understand what you mean when you talk about Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop means the whole culture of the movement. When you talk about rap, you have to understand that rap is part of the Hip-Hop Culture. That means that emceeing is part of the Hip-Hop Culture. The Deejaying is part of the Hip-Hop Culture. The dressing, the languages are all part of Hip-Hop Culture. So is the break dancing, the b-boys and b-girls. How you act, walk, look and talk is all part of Hip Hop Culture. And the music is from whatever music that gives that grunt, that funk, that groove, that beat. That?s all part of Hip Hop. (Afrika Bambaataa, interviewed by Davey D )
Makoni, S. & Pennycook, A.D. 2007, 'Disinventing and reconstituting languages' in Makoni, S. & Pennycook, A. (eds), Disinventing and reconstituting languages, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, UK, pp. 1-41.
This paper explores the implications of looking at creativity in terms of repeated sameness rather than observable difference. Drawing on insights from hip-hop culture that focus on sampling as creativity, and looking in particular at philosophies of difference that make iterability and performativity central, this paper opens up a discussion of repetition, reenactment, and recontextualization as forms of creativity. A common approach to language and creativity draws on a very particular cultural and intellectual history that posits a core of human, cultural, or linguistic similarity, with creativity as marked divergence from the core. The alternative, or at least complementary, understanding discussed in this paper takes flow and difference as the norm, pointing to the need to account for how the previous expression of others is recontextualized, and suggesting that contemporary acts of digital sampling can be seen in relation to a parallel philosophy of creativity. An understanding of this flip-side of creativity, where difference is taken as a given and sameness needs to account for itself, has major implications for some of the ways we think about writing, learning, and language variation in applied linguistics.
Pennycook, A.D. 2007, 'ELT and colonialism' in Cummins, J. & Davison, C. (eds), International Handbook of English Language Teaching, Springer, New York, USA, pp. 13-24.
Pennycook, A.D. 2007, Global Englishes and Transcultural Flows, 1, Routledge, London & New York.
Pennycook, A.D. 2007, 'Language, localization, and the real: Hip-hop and the global spread of authenticity', Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 101-116.
This article addresses the relationship between the call for authenticity, its relocalization in other contexts, and the use of English. Hip-hop forces us to confront some of the conflictual discourses of authenticity and locality, from those that insist that African American hip-hop is the only real variety and that all other forms are inauthentic deviations, to those that insist that to be authentic one needs to stick to one's "own" cultural and linguistic traditions. The global spread of hip-hop authenticity provides an example of the tension between a cultural dictate to keep it real and the processes that make this dependent on local contexts, languages, cultures, and understandings of the real. Looking at various contexts of localization, this article suggests that the horizons of significance that constitute what counts as locally real open up useful perspectives on the local and global use of languages. The multiple realities of global hip-hop challenge ortholinguistic practices and ideologies, relocating language in new ways that both reflect and produce local language practices.
Pennycook, A.D. 2007, 'The myth of English as an international language' in Makoni, S. & Pennycook, A. (eds), Disinventing and reconstituting languages, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, UK, pp. 90-115.
Ramanathan, V. & Pennycook, A.D. 2007, 'Talking across time: Postcolonial challenges to language, history and difference', Journal of Contemporary Thought, vol. 25, no. Summer, pp. 25-53.
Pennycook, A.D. 2006, 'Critical applied linguistics' in Berns, M. (ed), Encyclopedia of language and Linguistics: 2nd Edition, Elsevier, Ansterdam, The Netherlands, pp. 283-290.
Pennycook, A.D. 2006, 'Postmodernism in language policy' in Ricento Thomas (ed), An Introduction to Language Policy, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK, pp. 60-76.
Pennycook, A.D. 2006, 'Uma linguistica aplicada transressiva' in Lopes, L.P.D.M. (ed), Por Uma Linguistica Aplicada Indisciplinar, Parabola Editorial, Sao Paulo, Brazil, pp. 67-84.
Karmani, S. & Pennycook, A.D. 2005, 'Islam, English and 9/11', Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 157-172.
In this paper we argue that although the problematic nature of language construction has been acknowledged by a number of skeptical authors, including the recent claim in this journal (Reagan, 2004) that there is no such thing as English or any other language, this critical approach to language still needs to develop a broader understanding of the processes of invention. A central part of our argument, therefore, is that it is not enough to acknowledge that languages have been invented, nor that linguistic metalanguage constructs the world in particular ways; rather, we need to understand the interrelationships among metadiscursive regimes, language inventions, colonial history, language effects, alternative ways of understanding language, and strategies of disinvention and reconstitution. Any critical (applied) linguistic project that aims to deal with language in the contemporary world, however estimable its political intent may be, must also have ways of understanding the detrimental language effects it may engender unless it confronts the need for linguistic disinvention and reconstitution.
Pennycook, A.D. 2005, 'Performing the personal', Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 297-304.
In this paper I suggest that as educators we need to understand that the spaces and cultures our students inhabit are to be found not so much in predefinitions of cultural background or in studies of classrooms as cultural spaces as in the transcultural flows with which our students engage. Thus, my argument is not only that, as Singh and Doherty (2004) suggest, the flow of ?international? students turns many classrooms into ?global education contact zones? (p. 11), but also that the global flows of English and popular culture turn classrooms in many parts of the world into spaces of transcultural contact. Students can no longer be understood as located in a bounded time and space in and around their classrooms but rather are participants in a much broader set of transcultural practices. Taking the global culture of hip-hop as an example, with a particular focus on hip-hop in parts of East and Southeast Asia, I argue that with English increasingly becoming the medium of global transcultural exchange, we need to understand the relations between English, popular culture, education and identity, or the ways in which global Englishes become a shifting means of transcultural identity formation. What I want to suggest here, then, is that in order to be attentive to the politics of location in the global context, we need a pedagogy of flow.
Pennycook, A.D. 2005, 'The perils of language ecology', LED2003: Refereed Conference Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Language, Education and Diversity, University of Waikato, Hamilton, NZ, pp. 1-17.
We live, it would seem, in ecological times. Ecology has become the metaphor of choice for many working in the social sciences, and particularly in areas such as language planning, sociolinguistics, and even language acquisition. As Leather and Van Dam explain, "an ecological approach to the study of language acquisition sees the individual's cognitive processes as inextricably interwoven with their experiences in the physical and social world .... " and "aims to avoid unjustifiable appeals to normativity - in both research designs and the interpretation of data" (2003, p. 13). According to Fettes (2003), "ecological explanations offer a more promising foundation for critical reasoning than any of the alternatives (Marxism, postsructuralism, gender theory and the rest) ... " (p. 45). Thus, an ecological perspective is currently held up as the new paradigm for our times, able to deliver where many previous frameworks have failed I wish to present a slightly more sceptical account in this paper.
Christian missionaries have played a crucial role not only in assisting past and current forms of colonialism and neocolonialism, not only in attacking and destroying other ways of being, but also in terms of the language effects their projects have engendered. The choices missionaries have made to use local or European languages have been far more than a mere choice of medium. On the one hand, missionary language projects continue to use and promote European languages, and particularly English, for Christian purposes. The use of English language teaching as a means to convert the unsuspecting English language learner raise profound moral and political questions about what is going on in English classrooms around the world. On the other hand, missionary linguists have played a particular role in the construction and invention of languages around the world. Of particular concern here are the ways in which language use, and understandings of language use, have been-and still are-profoundly affected by missionary projects. Bilingualism between indigenous languages and a metropolitan language, for example, was part of a conservative missionary agenda in which converting to Christianity was the inevitable process of being bilingual. The ongoing legacy of the language effects of Christianity is something that needs urgent attention.
Pennycook, A.D. 2004, 'Beyond plagiarism: transgressive and nontransgressive intertextuality', Journal of Language, Identity and Education, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 171-193.
Pennycook, A.D. 2004, 'Critical applied linguistics' in Savies, A. & Elder, C. (eds), The Handbook of Applied Linguistics, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK, pp. 784-807.
Pennycook, A.D. 2004, 'Critical moments in a TESOL praxicum' in Critical Pedagogies and Language Learning, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 327-345.
Pennycook, A.D. 2004, 'Language policy and the ecological turn', Language Policy, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 213-239.
Pennycook, A.D. 2004, 'Os limites da linguistica' in Silva, F.L.D. & Rajagopalan, K. (eds), A linguistica que nos faz FALHAR, Parabola Editorial, Sao Paula spain, pp. 39-47.
Drawing analogies with the crisis in understandings of culture that led to the development of cultural studies, I suggest in this article that a similar crisis in the understanding of language may give an important impetus to the development of language studies. Arguing for the need to rethink the notion of language as commonly formulated in linguistics and applied linguistics, I take up the notion of performativity as a way of thinking about language use and identity that avoids foundationalist categories, suggesting that identities are formed in the linguistic performance rather than pregiven. Such a view of language identity also helps us to see how subjectivities are called into being and sedimented over time through regulated language acts. This further provides the ground for considering languages themselves from an anti-foundationalist perspective, whereby language use is an act of identity that calls that language into being. And performativity, particularly in its relationship to notions of performance, opens up ways to understand how languages, identities and futures are refashioned.
Pennycook, A.D. 2004, 'Peripheral visions and invisible englishes', The Periphery: Viewing the World, Parousia Publications 60, Athens, Greece, pp. 83-99.
Pennycook, A.D. 2004, 'The myth of English as an international language', English in Australia, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 26-32.
Hazelrigg, A., Sayers, J. & Pennycook, A.D. 2003, 'Dialogues around "The concept of Method, Interested Knowledge, and the Politics of Language Teaching"' in Sharkey, J. & Johnson, K.E. (eds), The TESOL Quarterly Dialogues, TESOL, Virginia, USA, pp. 19-34.
Layzer, C. & Pennycook, A.D. 2003, 'Dialogues around:Borrowing Others' woeds: Text, Ownership, Memory, and Plagiarism"' in Sharkey, J. & Johnson, K.E. (eds), The TESOL Quarterly Dialogues, TESOL, Virginia, USA, pp. 75-86.
Pennycook, A.D. 2003, 'Beyond Homogeny and Heterogeny' in Christian Mair (ed), The Politics of English as a World Language, Rodopi, Amsterdam, pp. 3-17.
Pennycook, A.D. 2003, 'Global Englishes, rip slyme, and performativity', Journal Of Sociolinguistics, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 513-533.
Pennycook, A.D. 2003, 'Global noise and global englishes', Cultural Studies Review, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 192-200.
Pennycook, A.D. 2003, 'Linguistica Aplicada pos-Ocidental' in Jose, M., coracini, R.F. & Bertoldo, E.S. (eds), O Desejo Da Teoria E A Contingencia Da Pratica, Mercado de Letras, Brasil, pp. 21-59.
Pennycook, A.D. & Coutand-Marin, S. 2003, 'Teaching English as a missionary language', Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 337-354.
This article highlights several issues of concern for language-in- development programs through an examination of different aspects of such programs in three contexts: (a) the needs of Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) as it seeks greater integration with Southeast Asia and the global economy; (b) the struggles over language policy and education in East Timor, with its new mixture of economic and political dependence and independence; and (c) the relationship between local and external participants in a development project in Cambodia. We argue that whereas countries such as Lao PDR seem to have little choice in engaging in widespread English education, several concerns emerge from East Timor and Cambodia: The discursive context of development disallows participation both in the classroom and in program development. By viewing their central concern as language development rather than language in development, such programs have frequently failed to confront the contexts in which they operate. Together, these three contexts suggest that language development can become language in development only when it faces up to these broad political and discursive concerns.
Pennycook, A.D. 2002, 'Language and linguistics/siscourse and disciplinarity' in BarronB, Bruce, N. & Nunan, D. (eds), Knowledge and discourse: Towards an ecology of language, Longman/Pearson, Harlow, UK, pp. 13-27.
Pennycook, A.D. 2002, 'Language policy and docile bodies: Hong Kong and governmentality' in Tollefson, J.W. (ed), Language Policies in Education: Critical Issues Language Policies in Education: Critical Issues Language Policies in Education: Critical Issues Language Policies in Education: Critical Issues Language Policies in Education: Critical Issues, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, USA, pp. 91-110.
Pennycook, A.D. 2002, 'Mother tongues, governmentality and protectionism', International Journal of the Sociology of Language, vol. 154, no. 1, pp. 11-28.
Pennycook, A.D. 2002, 'Turning English inside out', Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 25-43.
Estival, D. & Pennycook, A.D. 2001, 'LâAcadeÂ´mie francÂ¸aise and Anglophone language ideologies', Language Policy, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. 325-341.
Pennycook, A.D. 2001, Critical applied linguistics: a critical introduction, 1, Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, USA.
Pennycook, A.D. 2001, 'Lessons from colonial language policies' in Gonzalez, R.D. (ed), Language Ideologies, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, USA, pp. 195-220.
Pennycook, A.D. 2001, 'Towards a postcultural curriculum' in Renandya, W.A. & Sunga, N.R. (eds), Language curriculum and instruction in multicultural societies, SEAMEO, Singapore, pp. 80-96.
Pennycook, A.D. 2000, 'Development, culture & language: ethical concern in a postcolonial world', Partnership & Interaction: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Language & Development, Asian Institute of technology, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 0-0.
Pennycook, A.D. 2000, 'English,politics,ideology:from colonial celebration to postcolonial peerformativity' in Ricento, T. (ed), Ideology, Politics & Language Policies, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, Netherlands, pp. 107-120.
Pennycook, A.D. 2000, 'Language, ideology & hindsight: lessons from colonial language policies' in Ricento, T. (ed), Ideology, Politics & Language Policies, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, Netherlands, pp. 49-66.
Pennycook, A.D. 2000, 'The social politics & the cultural politics of language classrooms' in Kelly Hall, J. & Eggington, W. (eds), The Sociopolitics of Language Teaching, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, UK, pp. 89-103.
This introductory article aims to pull together the unifying concerns in the varied articles, reports, and discussions in this special issue. I focus on three main themes that may be said to constitute critical approaches to TESOL: (a) the domain or area
Pennycook, A.D. 1998, English and the Discourses of Colonialism, 1, Routledge, New York.
Pennycook, A.D. 1998, English and the discourses of colonialism, 1, Routledge, London.
In this article, I attempt to deal with some of the complexities of text, ownership, memorization, and plagiarism. Arguing that plagiarism cannot be cast as a simple black-and-white issue, the prevention of which can be achieved via threats, warnings, an
This paper is an attempt to come to terms with different understandings of the term discourse. By comparing the common use of discourse analysis in applied linguistics with its use both in critical discourse analysis and in a Foucauldian use of the term,
Pennycook, A.D. 1994, The Cultural Politics of English as in International Language, 1, Longman, London, New York.
Pennycook, A.D. 1994, The cutural politics of English as an international language, 1, Longman, Harlow.