English for the 21st century

Just back from visiting the wonderful Mikko Laitinen and colleagues at Linnaeus University, Sweden, where I gave this talk:

English for the 21st century
Putting Continental Europe on the map of World Englishes

Since the latter decades of the 20th century, the field of World Englishes (WEs) has succeeded in drawing attention to the emergence of new varieties of English around the world. The focus is typically on Asian and African Englishes that have arisen in postcolonial societies such as India, Singapore and Kenya. Why has Continental Europe largely been ignored? In view of the vastly increased roles and uses of English in regions such as Scandinavia, I discuss the notion of European Englishes in the WEs paradigm. Drawing on research on the case of the Netherlands, I show how Continental Europeans, too, can be agentive shapers of English who reconstruct the language for their own ends. In addition, I shed light on how new methodological tools can facilitate investigation of such Englishes and thus complement our existing picture of English around the world.

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