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The English Language Colonial and Power by djsgjg0045


									Of course it is right to see English as playing an integral role in the and neo-colonial
enterprise. In this sense, as Akbari says,'... it is not innocent', although it is difficult to
see how else events could have turned out. When the European nations began to
exercise territorial power rather than merely conduct trade overseas, it became
necessary to communicate and establish concepts which often had no obvious
equivalent in the languages of the local people, which too were Replica Tag Heuer
often not written down. (This gulf can be illustrated by present-day bilingual
loudspeaker announcements on railway stations in Wales: the English words 'gap' and
'platform' can be heard in both versions, presumably because no easy alternatives for
these words exist in Welsh.)
  The decision then to enforce use of the colonists' language was a natural step given
nineteenth-century views on education. Compulsory elementary education became the
norm in Europe in the latter part of the century (the Education Acts to this end in
Britain were passed in 1870 and 1880), with the aim of creating a literate population
able to deal with the challenges of the new industrial age. As any perusal of Victorian
literature will reveal, the methods used in these new schools were often crude, and the
policy itself was often resented by working-class communities, whom it was
avowedly designed to benefit. They lost the valuable income of children who had
previously worked and were now confined to the classroom, and found their own
traditions of self-education usurped by intruders espousing different, ostensibly
superior, values (Steinbach 2004:176-7). Many of those who would have felt these
changes most severely were without a vote, since most unskilled working men and, of
course, all women from that class, were excluded from the franchise until 1918. So it
is important to Breitling Replica Watches recognize that colonial policies were not
always peculiar products of their context but reflected more broadly based beliefs
which operated in the home countries too, particularly in the field of education.
  As far as English itself is concerned, it is inevitable that as new societies have
emerged from the colonial structure by which they were shaped, and from those of the
immediate post-colonial period, which often imitated what went before, so there has
been a natural pressure on the language to reflect this change. Gradually different
groups, either those who set local standards in education or those subject to them, are
asserting ownership of the English on their own terms, moulding it in accordance with
their own needs and in symbiosis with their own languages. As Canagarajah says,
'The negotiation of codes in periphery classrooms ... helps in the appropriation of
alien languages by local communities. These are healthy developments that counteract
the colonial and alien associations English holds in many periphery communities'.
This process will probably result in the consolidation of different varieties of English,
though their degree of divergence from what is referred to as Standard English will
tend to depend on the priorities of the elites in the given societies, at all levels. Local
native-speakers (strangely, in E LT literature this term is usually reserved for those
from Anglo-Saxon countries; see, for example Holliday 2006: 385) will here play a
key role in determining this path of linguistic development, and there is likely to be
continuing debate regarding international standards and norms as different regions vie
for influence or strive to establish their autonomy.
  These developments, reflecting in part the natural processes of language change, will
take place despite, not because of CP. With the politics of education being complex,
having to take into account the needs of all sections of society, both the elites and the
people at large, it is doubtful whether what happens in individual classrooms will
make a great deal of difference at the level of language policy. Indeed, educators who
adopt CP might well achieve different results from what they intend. Occupying a
dominant part of the power structure themselves, they may in practice confirm rather
than subvert stereotypes which reinforce unjust situations: in presenting 'themselves
as "liberating" oppressed students through the transmission of power ... to their
up-until-then disempowered students', they are in fact retaining not transferring
initiative, a point which Starfield (2004:140) highlights but then maintains can be
avoided. Furthermore, students' independence might be compromised not
strengthened if subsumed within an 'analytic construct' (Widdowson 2000: 23)
generated by a teacher who is not prepared to tolerate diversity, who is determined to
'challenge ... those aspects of the [students'] voice which negate [the teacher's]
educational/political vision' (Simon 1987: 378), an approach which undervalues the
capacity of learners to determine their own lives on their own terms without any such
  As Ellsworth (1989: 309) recognizes, it is '... the student's own daily life
experiences ... [that] chart her/his path toward self-definition and agency', not the
directing hand of the teacher. Of course, educators and academics in the field of E LT
are keen to maintain their authoritative status, especially at a time when there is a
'persistent and pervasive uncertainty' about the validity and role of applied linguistics
as a separate discipline. Perhaps this is what explains the attraction of CP: whilst
apparently striving to empower the marginalized, it actually enhances the authority of
its proponents.

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