Matsuda, A., and P.K. Matsuda. “World Englishes and the Teaching of Writing.” TESOL Quarterly 44.2 (2010): 369-74. Print.

  • WE:  the catchall that includes Standard English but also all its varieties – linguistic and functional (370).  In fact, the majority of English speakers in the world today actually acquired English as a second or nonnative language (Graddol 1997).
  • Goal of article:  “we explore implications of WE for the teaching of writing, especially with an eye toward expanding circle contexts, where English is neither dominant nor institutionalized.  We then discuss some principles that may help teachers consider how and to what extent they can incorporate insights from WE research into their own teaching contexts” (370).
  • Matsuda note that anticipating the contexts, expanding circles of contexts, and future use of English is difficult.  As such, it is possible that the teaching of English for intelligibility (word or utterance recognition) and comprehensibility (word or utterance understanding) might be a laudable goal . . . especially in the teaching of spoken English.
  • Principles to guide teachers who want to negotiate the terrain between standardization and diversification in written English:
    • Teach the dominant forms and functions:  teachers have an obligation to teach the standard because it is the lingua franca and, as such, the language of Empire and capital.  To not do so would do a “disservice to students, leading to their economic and social marginalization” (372).
    • Teach the nondominant forms and functions:  teach deviation as it is a very useful way to create social meaning through modification of SE.  Teaching deviation also highlights the contingency of language and meaning and places it in a temporal continuum rather than a static present.
    • Teach the boundary between what works and what doesn’t:  introduce deviation but then discuss how it works and does not work (error).  This could be done via introductions to style or specific contexts where deviation is valued.
    • Teach the principles and strategies of discourse negotiation:  teach the rhetorical situation and audience awareness in order to enhance speaker credibility.  Finally, teach deviation as pattern or intentionality (the repeated/purposeful use of deviation).
    • Teach the risks involved in using deviational features:  emphasize the role of power in disciplining deviant discourse.  Let them know that writing has consequences and that make them aware of the risks that are involved in challenging the status quo.

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