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ERIC Number: ED554546
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Feb-16
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
English as an International Language (EIL), World Englishes within an International Context, and the Tower of Babel
Smith, Jerry
Online Submission
This paper discusses the similarities between the Bible record of the Tower of Babel and the resulting confusion of languages and how it relates to modern times and the trend we see of English as an International Language (EIL). This paper then briefly examines the trend of being culturally sensitive in EIL by accepting cultural or "world Englishes" as a part of the English as a Second Language (ESL) paradigm. Furthermore, this paper demonstrates that world Englishes applied to EIL on a global scale will limit, not enhance effective communication by showing evidences of potential misunderstandings from the areas of grammar, phonetics, and lexis between EIL speakers. The author uses examples from a Filipino-English perspective but also includes references from other "Englishes." Finally, the point is raised that without a standardized English, where everyone has their own 'version' of the language in an EIL setting, we shall repeat history with a world where everyone speaks a language, but where understanding is limited. Hence, the Tower of Babel all over again. A list of resources is included.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Philippines
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview; International English Language Testing System; Test of English as a Foreign Language; Test of English for International Communication