Introducing the Corpus of Dutch English

Published in English Today, Vol. 27, No. 3: pp. 10-14, Printed in the United Kingdom © 2011 Cambridge University Press. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0266078411000319

What it is, and where it does – and doesn’t – belong

Data collection is now underway for a new corpus of ‘Dutch English’ within the broad scope of World Englishes. This news is often met with suspicion from ELT practitioners, SLA researchers and the average person on the street, Dutch and English L1s alike. How could a Dunglish-style interlanguage arising from ‘imperfect learning’ be cast as legitimate regional variation? Yet this has been a fruitful field for many decades across Asia and Africa, and researchers in Europe are starting to follow suit (see e.g. Erling, 2004; Erling & Bartlett, 2006 for the case of Germany). With English being used for intra-national purposes on the continent all the more frequently, especially in higher education, it is not hard to find examples of regionally flavoured English being more appropriate than any native ‘norm’.

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