Book Review: Englishes Today: Multiple Varieties, Multiple Perspectives

That English has a reach that extends further than any other language in human history (Kachru 2011, 156) and that it is no longer possible to speak of one English language, but of Englishes (Kachru 1992, 357) are now commonly accepted propositions. This volume, in line with these ideas and with previous studies is an invaluable source for researchers interested in the expansion of English around the world and in the development of distinctive first, second and foreign varieties.

9781443883863By reflecting topics related to multicultural identities, the promotion of language equity, multilingualism, new sociolinguistic realities, and issues of identity, amongst others, the data made available by the authors in this volume are of great value. Researchers, postgraduate and graduate students and teachers in foreign and second language teaching and in multi-disciplinary courses are certain to benefit from the readings and the ideas provided by them. What is more, those willing to study and/or expand the experiences described in the scholarly articles might also also be motivated to adapt them to their needs.

In impelling interested readers to take action, according to their own sociolinguistic realities, this book goes beyond other literature on the topics discussed. The articles also equip those interested in knowing more about Englishes, with local responses that might be applied to global problems everywhere; this is one of the major strengths of the book, in my view.

There is no doubt that the volume coheres and that the authors succeed in conveying the main ideas and findings of their investigations. Something that deserves appreciation from readers is the fact that the authors themselves comment on the shortcomings of the research they carried out, instead of just pointing out its credits and their merits. But by commenting on the book’s drawbacks like, for instance, the need for larger corpora and further research, the authors encourage the readers to search for new information and shed more light on the issues under discussion.

Each chapter in the book provides thorough analyses of the issues investigated and case studies, which are of the utmost importance for researchers interested in similar approaches. The idea of English as a transnational language motivates new fields of research dealing with different areas of knowledge, methodologies, approaches and perspectives. The fact that the studies presented use a variety of research methodologies, which can be adapted to various situations in the most varied contexts, also provides a stimulus to research in the area as well.

The only suggestion I have is to include a glossary of the terms that are specialized or might be new to novice readers – although its lack does not impair the quality of the volume.

Overall, the book is an invaluable source of empirical studies for researchers, teachers, students and people interested in learning more about Englishes today. Those in search of studies that will inform them about recent literature on the topics and on empirical investigations that might (and should!) be used as a model for future studies are certain to find some of the answers they are looking for in this volume.

Ana Lucia Simoes Borges Fonseca

Universidade Federal de Sergipe

LINGUIST List 28.99

To read the review in full, click here. To find out more about Englishes Today and to purchase a copy, click here.

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