IAWE Day 2, Plenary Lecture: P. Friedrich “Beyond the Local and the Global: Where World Englishes is Going Next”

Please note: This post is a live blog and as such is only lightly edited. Please pardon any errors.

Increasing reliance on digital modes of communication has led to a concommittant increase in the use of multilingual tools and of occurances of intercultural communication.

11:11: An interesting thought, and one that I agree with to a degree. Granted, we must acknowledge the research that shows that some internet users never go beyond their local/national network. This is particularly true of countries that have greater control over their information networks and access to those networks that are outside their sphere of influence, I’m thinking here of places like China with it’s Great Firewall and Great Cannon. We also have to acknolwedge the fact that the internet is not the great democratizer of the 21st century. Rather, we see inequities creeping into the system, with those contributors with greater access to resources being able to appear higher up in search engine results, etc. There’s also the issue of the access to the technology itself that is needed to access the internet. But, we cannot deny that the internet has facilitated intercultural communication and the need for greater abilities to shuttle between varieties as well as the emergence of new varieties as languages come into contact in those border spaces.

We, as linguist, face a certain kind anti-expertism that is tied to a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of science and scientific inquiry.

11:21: The presenter has made reference to the post-truth America that we live in, and the increasing anti-expertism that is infecting current American discourse. I can’t deny that I feel this same frustration. But, it’s the seeming logical end of the discourse of feelings over fact.

Oh, in the home we don’t care what language is used. It’s the public sphere that we should be concerned with and seek to regulate…proceeds to use data about the home to support public regulation

11:27: Here, the presenter showed a Fox News video clip about the English only movement in the United States, in which the above quote summarizes the core argument and rhetorical moves of the Fox News Host and his respondent. You all know about my feelings regarding the English-only movement (strongly against). What was interesting with the clip was how the presenter used it to highlight the lesson that the best way to lie is with statistics, and it’s only with the critical reading of texts–and teaching our students how to apply the lessons from discourse analysis and rhetoric–that we can aid students in becoming critically engaged citizens.


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