Current perspectives on sociolinguistics and English language education
The position and significance of sociolinguistics in foreign language education is examined along three dimensions: attitudes towards learning a foreign language, inclusion of culture in foreign language lessons, and the contribution of planning to foreign language education. Planning at the highest level must be based on data derived from research and must be conducted by foreign language educators. Curriculum and instruction can be arranged to promote positive attitudes toward the foreign language to be learned and nationalities associated with the language. Inclusion of cultural elements in the foreign language curriculum helps learners to understand new language concepts and provides a context for their use. The status of English as an international language is examined and Kachru’s (1985) three-circle model of English speaking countries is reviewed. In the world today, no country and no culture can claim sole ownership of the English language.
sociolinguistics; foreign language planning; language and culture; English as an International Language