and Globalisation : a slave to the market?
by Marnie Holborow
is a summary of a paper given to the IATEFL conference in Brighton 2003)
needs to reposition itself in a broader political context. More particularly
it needs to take full account of three recent geopolitical developments:
The adoption of the neoliberal agenda and how it has affected institutions
of higher education
The military face of globalisation and the recent war on Iraq
Global opposition to both of these
three have direct bearing on how English is perceived and what and how
Two aspects of these developments are highlighted here:
1) The quest for International Students in Universities and ELT involvement
in this process
2) The effect on language - World English made from above but also from
The Scramble for the International Student
the marketisation of education, like the ideology of the market, itself
is riven with contradictions:
to learning/speaking it restricted
students sought by Universities
students courted as if in a free market
to pay higher fees than national students
supposedly alongside other students
a distinctive track
contradictions reveal the degree to which higher education institutions
are desperate to recruit overseas, non-EU students for the higher fees
that these students bring - sometimes two or three times what a national
or EU student pays.
is by no means only an Irish or a UK phenomenon. It is estimated that
the numbers of enrolled overseas students are 1.47 million across the
OECD countries and will increase by 100,000 a year.
Overseas students in universities are rapidly filling the financial gap
left by decreasing government funds. International students and their
search for English have now become a significant part of the creeping
privatisation of higher education.
lecturers and teachers cannot remain neutral to this process. A number
of issues in this respect should be should be discussed across the profession:
Equality of fees between home and international students
Provision of full overseas student support services
Representation of international students on student bodies
Integration of overseas student programmes with existing programmes
Development of exchange programmes with non-EU universities
English and Globalisation - language from above and below
and globalisation, or Englishisation in Globalisation as one writer refers
to it, raises the question of ideology in language. Language use is part
of broader social activities, processes and conflicts. Recognising this
highlights the value of students being engaged actively in what has been
termed critical language awareness. This process involves
students in exploring the ways in which language can both conceal and
reveal the social and the ideological nature of all texts.
global market, capitalist globalisation and the language of neoliberalism
has penetrated deep into English. Examples of this in the educational
arena are many.
Policy reports on education
The paper examined examples of "neoliberal speak"
in a recent Irish report (The Skilbeck Report) which calls for greater
"student-driven funding" in the educational sector.
In University publications, such as the student handbook
and minutes of academic meetings, the language of the market appears
in domains normally reserved for business. The most striking of these
cluster of words is the increasingly accepted designation of student
global English has not only been determined by what Lakoff calls "ideological
frames", handed down from governments and corporations. It is also
reinvented from below.
the dominant discourse
"McWorld" dominant discourse has been widely
questioned, as a result of global and very sizeable anti-globalisation
and anti-war movements. The Language of War columns in the Guardian,
which ran for the duration of the war, were used as examples of ongoing
ideological questioning of new words such as sensitive site exploitation,
uprise, regime target, liberation bounce.
The spontaneous appearance, during the war, of various
critiques of the military's use of language, showed that dominant ideology
in language, despite its weight in the media, does not go uncontested.
There were many examples of challenging of this "manufactured consent"
to use Chomsky's phrase - on websites on leaflets, in student newspapers
etc. One particularly striking medium of this was slogans on placards
on anti-war demonstrations across the world - examples of which reveal
both the sophistication of awareness about ideology in language and
also the sheer internationalism of English use.
Los Angeles, USA
War is terrorism on a bigger budget
Belfast, Northern Ireland
No war Play rugby
Italy's rugby team banner, Rome, Italy
Excess of peace not excess of
Muscat, Oman first all-women demonstration
We shall overcome
Sang in Brussels, Belgium
No blood for Oil
Bush killer Stop Bush
Bush will yeh ever cop on to yerself?
Protester's placard in Dublin Ireland
We fight bombs with pompoms
Radical Cheerleaders New York, USA
No more blood for oil
( under picture of Blair with Bush's eyes) London, England
Make tea not war
is being remade to express the vantage points of its many new speakers,
who simply refuse to be the passive ventriloquists of Empire, US style.
These point to be another world English in the making.
lecturers in English and Irish studies in the School of Applied Language
and Intercultural Studies< in Dublin City University. Besides teaching
on Exchanges programmes, she also teaches on MA programmes on Irish immigration
policy and World English.
Author of the Politics of English (Sage Publications) her present research
interests are English and Neoliberalism and English in the Irish context.
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