English across borders

A growing amount of attention has been devoted in sociolinguistics to what we may call linguistic border crossings in the last decade or so. With clear references to sociocultural aspects of globalisation, a sizeable body of scholarship has developed specifically examining phenomena such as language hybridity, translanguaging and, in general, language practices in conditions of (super-)diversity. Especially with regard to English applied linguistics and TESOL, this can be seen as being part of a broader process of reconceptualizations of the English language as a trans-national entity which has gone on since at least the mid 1970s.

With this in mind, in my talk I will do two things:

1 trace the history, and provide a critical overview, of the analytical frameworks within which such reconceptualizations have been theorized and discussed, such as World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca;
2 discuss challenges in the ways this scholarship on “English across borders” can (should?) get its message(s) across to audiences beyond the borders of academia: how do we talk about language, nationality, identity, belonging? How do we talk about language change? How do we talk about messy language data?