English as a World Language – ENGL 664

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 02/05/2020

Course Description

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

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

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.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify in reasonable detail the facts of the story of the English language, and particularly the period of its globalization.
  2. Explain the means by which the English language has become the dominant global language.
  3. Describe the various dimensions of the dominance and global influence of the English language.
  4. Evaluate the consequences of the dominance of the English language.
  5. Evaluate the place, status, and future of English, and in particular, in relationship to other major languages of the world.
  6. Explore the relationship between Christian culture and other primary cultures and the status of the languages of which they are expressions.

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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Each student will write 4 Discussion Board Forum threads of approximately 300–400 words each, which must show evidence of comprehension of the materials in the text readings through argument. Posts (with the exception of Discussion Board Forum 1) must refer specifically through paraphrase, summary, or quotation, to content from the readings and must formulate responses to or analyses of these statements or arguments. Mere agreement or disagreement is not sufficient. Arguments must be presented in answer to the questions posed. Two 150–250-word replies to 2 classmates’ threads are due the following module/week, with the exception of Discussion Board Forum 1 in which the thread and replies are due in the same module/week.

Research Paper I: English Language History and Conquest Project

Based on required reading and additional library research, the student will develop a research paper that presents prevailing scholarship on the origins, development, and “weaponizing” of the English language to the global post-colonial era. The English Language History and Conquest project is divided into 2 parts or drafts to be completed over Weeks 4 and 5

Part I

The student drafts a paper that details the origins of the English language, answering the fundamental questions of where it came from and what human activity gave rise to this tongue among others (min. 1,000 words, exclusive of front matter, bibliography, and any appendices).

Part II (Final Version)

The student expands on the intial draft, further exploring the development and spread of English as sword, detailing the ways in which the British wielded their strange tongue, conquering vast expanses and peoples. The Final Version should be a minimum of 2,000 words, exclusive of front matter, bibliography, and appendices.

Research Paper II: English as a Lingua Franca

Each student will write a course paper on the status of English as a global language and the anticipated evolution of International English(es). The paper must involve two parts or drafts to be completed over Weeks 7 and 8.

Part I:

The student drafts a paper that includes initial research, working bibliography, and development of English as a global and dynamic currency, molded by many forces (min. 1,500 words, exclusive of front matter, bibliography, and any appendices).

Part II: (Final Version)

The student expands on the initial draft, with appropriate citations and bibliography (combines Part I and develops to a min. 3,500 words, exclusive of front matter, bibliography, and any appendices). Note that this Research Paper II should include peer-reviewed scholarly resources from within and beyond the course’s assigned texts.