Raising Students’ Awareness of the Varieties of English

These issues of language variation and style all fall under the area of study known as sociolinguistics, a broadly defined term that also covers topics such as language policy and English as an international  language. Although sociolinguistics is important to language learning, many Japanese students. A result, because standard American English is the only model they are usually exposed to in the classroom in Japan, student risk developing the mistaken impression that everyone in the world speaks that variety or that this one type of English in spoken throughout the United States and in all situation.


The Importance of Sociolinguistics in Language Education

A basic understanding of sociolinguistics is important for English learners who wish to take full advantage of job opportunities in the new global economy, where they will un doubredly encounter different varieties of English. Learning about different varieties of English will help them broaden their knowledge of the language,

and they will be better equipped to deal with those varieties. Another benefit is that once student study to topic, they learn that one variety, and they will develop increased tolerance for speakers of different dialects. Additionally, they will have good understanding about the role of global English and will be aware of important issues such as multilingualism and the function of English as an international language.

Workshop To Increase Students sociolinguistic Awareness


Workshop 1 :

English Around The World

I established this topic to raise students awareness of varieties of native and non-native English that are spoken in countries across the world. I explained to the students that there are in fact three categories, which are based on Kachru’s (1985) three overlapping circles : (1) the inner circle, which consist of countries where English is used as a primary language, such as the united kingdom : (2) the other circle, which consist of countries where English is used as a second or official language such as Nigeria : and (3) the expanding circle which refers to countries where English is studied as a foreign language such as Korea. I then pointed out how these englishes differ from each other.


To reinforce the fact that there are different Englishes around the world, and to provide introductory information about how different English varieties are created, I used a recording from trudgill and Hannah (1994, with cassette), without telling the students that the six speakers are from India, the united kingdom, Australia, Ghana, Jamaica, and the United States.

At the end I assured the students that the objective was to raise their awareness of different varieties of English. More importantly, I emphasized that non native varieties of English should not be regarded as interior because they are as intricate and effective a linguistic system as native varieties (kachru 1985).

Reflections on Workshop 1


Upon reflection, I feel that identifying the nationalities of the six people on the tape was to difficult for students with little background knowledge of the varieties of English. Finally, an case the cassette is not available with trudgill and Hannah (1994) a teacher could develop the material by asking some English speakers from different places to record a passage on a cassette or a CD.


Workshop 2

Variation Within a Language

The topic for this workshop was designed to familiarize students with her types of English language variation that occur within countries. Specifically, I wanted students to understand that in any one country, regional and social factors will affect how English is spoken. I also wanted to indicate some of the grammatical features that made the varieties different. Finally, I wanted to introduce the concept of language style, yet another factor that influences language variety.


I pointed out that, English varies widely according to region in terms of pronunciation, axis and syntax. Next I explained that dialect are also influenced by social factors such as class, age, and gender and further explained that regional and social dialects are closely related to each other  (trudgill 2000).

In this workshop I also introduced the concept of language style, and explained that people can easily switch from an informal to a formal type of speech, depending on the situation.


Finally, I also explain and that institutionalized varieties of English are found in the former British and America colonies, including such languages as Malaysia English, Indian English, and Philippine English, and that these languages also show variation. For example, in Malaysian English these are there varieties : Anglo Malay, Colloquial Malaysia English, and Malay-influenced Malay English (Preshous 2001).

By andhiecka

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