Fifth Annual Language and Society Centre Lecture – 2012

New Definitions of English Proficiency and Changing Pedagogical Priorities

Presenter: Professor Suresh Canagarajah, LASC Distinguished Visiting Professor

Debates about assessment of international English have revolved around two important questions: Whosenorms should we apply? How do we define proficiency in the English language? The answers to these questions have been dominated by positions belonging to two well-entrenched ideological camps that I would label the World Englishes (WE) perspective (see Lowenberg 2002) and the Standard English (SE) perspective (see Davies 2002).