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EIL, ELF, Global English: Teaching and Learning Issues

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Cesare Gagliardi and Alan Maley

How can you teach the English language to global English speakers? Can English be taught as an international language? Is it worth teaching? Isn’t it more proper and profitable to learn a standard variety of English? How realistic and useful is the identification of an EIL/ELF variety? Can an EIL/ELF standard be identified? These are some of the questions the present volume has addressed with the contribution of some of the most qualified scholars in the field of English linguistics. The book is divided into four sections. The first part deals with the definition of English as an international language and English as a lingua franca. Section two takes six different teaching issues into consideration. The third section examines some learning issues and the last part of the volume debates the relationship between teacher and student in an English as a lingua franca environment.

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RAFAEL MONROY-CASAS The Teachability-intelligibility Issue: Vowel Lengthin Glob English 229

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229 RAFAEL MONROY-CASAS The Teachability-intelligibility Issue: Vowel Length in GlobEnglish It is an indisputable fact that English has become not just a global language but the global language. There are other languages that can claim this prerogative (Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Italian, etc. – see Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 26, 2006), but none of these can question the privileged position English occupies as a world lan- guage. The ‘English factor’ in Graddol’s words (2007) is everywhere, and yet, despite this gratifying thought to both native and non-native speakers for what it means in terms of greater easiness of communi- cation, there are a number of elements that can challenge the idea of a unified world system (Monroy, 2007). There is on the one hand, an increasing internal centrifugal movement, which, although observable in other linguistic systems, is particularly evident in the case of Eng- lish, as titles like World Englishes (Kachru, 1985), The English Lan- guages (Tom McCarthur, 1998), Englishes (Görlach,1991), More Englishes (Görlach, 1995), Still more Englishes (Görlach, 2002), World Englishes (Jenkins, 2003), World Englishes (Melchers & Shaw, 2003) show; on the other, emerging pronunciation standards in nations like India, Singapore, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc., “each as ‘correct’ as any other” (Quirk, 1985: 2–3), are superseding normative models such as RP or GA as better options in a world where NNs (non-native speak- ers) with different linguistic backgrounds outnumber Ns (native speak- ers) (Graddol, 1997; 2006). No wonder that experts fear that frag- mentation could be a...

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