Disciplinarity and the study of world Englishes

Seargeant, Philip (2012). Disciplinarity and the study of world Englishes. World Englishes, 31(1) pp. 113–129.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-971X.2011.01737.x


This paper examines the ways in which world Englishes studies are developing into a distinct academic discipline, and discusses the consequences of this regimentation of knowledge for teaching and research. By first outlining the various ways in which bodies of knowledge are organised into discrete disciplines, and then surveying the history and current status of world Englishes studies according to these classificatory processes, the paper presents a metadisciplinary inquiry into prevailing approaches to the study of English in the world today. It is hoped that reflexive investigation of this type can contribute to research and education in this area by making explicit the organizational framework – in terms both of the politics and epistemology – which structures present-day investigations into the worldwide use of the English language.

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