English as a World Language – ENGL 664

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course analyzes the reasons for the rise of English language to a position of global dominance over other major world languages.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


No language, not Greek or Latin, Sanskrit or Chinese, has ever held a position such as the English language holds today. It is the only language in history to truly span the reaches of the globe. Its dominance extends to every field of human endeavor, whether scholarship, commerce, entertainment, politics, journalism, communication, transportation, or information storage and retrieval. But what does this mean? How are we who possess the language as native speakers, as members of the dominant societies who possess this language, to understand, appreciate, respond to, and in our own ways, manage these facts? These and related questions will be the focus of this course, within the context of how the language came to occupy this singular position.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Politics of Pronouns Assignment

Students will write a short response to address how culture influences our use and understanding of language, particularly pronouns. This assignment should be completed within 400–500 words.

Discussions (3)

Students will complete three Discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 300–400 words and post 2 replies of at least 150–250 words in the following module.

For each thread, students must show evidence of comprehension of the materials in the text readings through argument. Mere agreement or disagreement is not sufficient. Arguments must be presented in answer to the questions posed. In replying, it is expected that you will read the posts of the other members of the class and discuss the issue in more than a single post. Remember, these questions are for discussion precisely because there may be no clear-cut, correct answers.

English Language Assignments (2)

This paper will be completed in two parts focusing first on the history of the English language and second on the spread of the English language. When put together, you will have completed a research project on the history and rise of the English language to the post-colonial era.

English Language: History is the research and drafting stage, focusing your initial emphasis on the history of English. This paper will be must be at least 1,000 words.

English Language: History & Conquest will start by revising the English Language: History paper and add to it a more in depth analysis on the spread of English as sword, detailing the ways in which the British wielded their strange tongue, conquering vast expanses and peoples. The submission for the English Language: History & Conquest paper will include a revised version of the English Language: History paper, and must be at least 2,000 words, exclusive of front matter, bibliography, and any appendices.

English as a Lingua Franca Assignments (2)

This paper will be written in two parts. The first part will include a thesis, an outline, and a working bibliography.  The second part will be a final draft that will incorporate all of the research, writing, and editing the student produces after the course instructor approves the first part. Questions to guide the research inquiry are provided in the course. 

English as a Lingua Franca: Thesis, Outline, and Working Bibliography must be a thesis statement of 1–3 full sentences, an outline of main and secondary points supporting the thesis claim, and a working bibliography with at least 6 scholarly, peer-review sources.

English as a Lingua Franca: Final Draft must be an argumentation research paper of at least 3,000 words, exclusive of front matter, bibliography, and any appendices.