English in Singapore

Modernity and Management


Edited by Lisa Lim, Anne Pakir, and Lionel Wee

ISBN : 978-988-8028-42-9

Language, Linguistics, Reference Asian Englishes Today

September 2010

328 pages, 6″ x 9″, 4 b&w illus.; 35 tables

Not for sale in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, Vietnam, or the Philippines

  • HK$350.00

Also available in Paperback HK$225.00

English in Singapore provides an up-to-date, detailed and comprehensive investigation into the various issues surrounding the sociolinguistics of English in Singapore. Rather than attempting to cover the usual topics in an overview of a variety of English in a particular country, the essays in this volume are important for identifying some of the most significant issues pertaining to the state and status of English in Singapore in modern times, and for doing so in a treatment that involves a critical evaluation of work in the field and new and thought-provoking angles for reviewing such issues in the context of Singapore in the twenty-first century. The contributions address the historical trajectory of English (past, present and possible future), its position in relation to language policy and multiculturalism, the relationship between the standard and colloquial varieties, and how English can and should be taught. This book is thus essential reading for scholars and students concerned with how the dynamics of the English language are played out and managed in a modern society such as Singapore. It will also interest readers who have a more general interest in Asian studies, the sociology of language, and World Englishes.

Lisa Lim directs the Language and Communication Programme in the School of English at the University of Hong Kong. She teaches in this Programme and the English Studies Programme. Her current research areas include New Englishes, especially Asian, postcolonial varieties, with particular interest in contact dynamics in the ecology metaphor, as well as identity, endangerment, shift and revitalization in multilingual minority communities. She serves on the editorial board of the journal World Englishes. Anne Pakir is an associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore. Her research interests lie in language policy and planning, World Englishes and English in Southeast Asia. Lionel Wee is an associate professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore. He has published extensively on language policy, World Englishes, sociolinguistics and pragmatics. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Sociolinguistics, and sits on the editorial boards of Applied Linguistics and English World-Wide.

“A collection of authoritative and up-to-date essays by internationally renowned scholars on the complex unfolding linguistic ecology that is Singapore today. This book will be of great interest to sociolinguistics generally and world Englishes scholarship in particular.” —Rajend Mesthrie, University of Cape Town; editor, English Today

“Edited by three internationally renowned scholars from Singapore, this splendid volume develops urgently needed reconceptualizations of the forms, usage conditions and sociolinguistic settings of English in Asia’s most strongly anglicized state, highlighting the evolution and ecology of Singaporean English, the interplay between language choice, ethnicity and nation building, the creative impact of hybridity and glocalization contrasted with a conservative language policy, and consequences for language planning and education.” —Edgar W. Schneider, University of Regensburg; editor, English World-Wide