CANCELLED: Guest lecture: Suresh Canagarajah

Canagarajah will hold the lecture "English as a Creole Language". The lecture is open to the public. 

Photo of Suresh Canagarajah

Suresh Canagarajah (photo: Penn State). 

Traditional linguistic orientations adopt the view that native speakers own a purportedly pure and standardized national language. This view has led to the global multilingual speakers of English denigrated as incompetent, and their creative uses of English defined as “broken English.” However, all languages constitute fluid and repurposed semiotic resources.

English is one of the glaring examples of a language that has borrowed from diverse communities and cultures throughout history. We might consider English a “creole” language, adopting a term traditionally used for contact languages of less developed communities.

I show examples of how English is creatively used by multilingual artistes, youth, and professionals in contexts such as social media, linguistic landscapes, and academic texts to argue that these practices call for a different understanding of language competence and proficiency. I review various theories of global English to offer a more inclusive model that goes beyond language ownership and nativity, and validate the meaningful and creative uses worldwide.

Suresh Canagarajah

Professor Suresh Canagarajah is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Applied Linguistics, and Asian Studies, and Director of the Migration Studies Project at Pennsylvania State University. He teaches courses in World Englishes, Multilingual Writing, Language Socialization, Rhetoric/Composition, and Postcolonial Studies in the departments of English and Applied Linguistics. Suresh comes from the Tamil-speaking northern region of Sri Lanka. He taught earlier at the University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka, and the City University of New York. He was formerly the editor of the TESOL Quarterly and President of the American Association of Applied Linguistics.

Tags: Suresh Canagarajah, linguistics
Published Nov. 29, 2019 10:02 AM - Last modified Mar. 18, 2020 8:25 AM