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9A.77 World Englishes and Miscommunications, Fall 2005

Professor.    Michiko Nakano
Course Meeting Times
1 sessions / week
1.5 hour / session

Highlights of this Course

This course provides 10 live sessions in the second semester, using multi-point cyber video conferencing system. We have 9 universities in Asia participating in the collaborative cyber sessions. The course also includes extensive on-demand Internet lectures in which Power Point Slides and streaming videos are synchronized. Our mission is given in (pdf).

Course Description

This course explores three broad questions about the roles of English in our contemporary society:
  • Whether basic concepts in World Englishes or Asian Englishes are acceptable and appropriate in view of Standard English. Does our localized variety of English impede our communication with native speakers? Is a localized variety of English use stigmatized?
  • We describe and scrutinize the 8 varieties in Asia in terms of mutual intelligibility, comprehensibility, and interpretability.
    Which do we support, English as an International Language (Smith:1976), or ‘Glocal English’(Pakir:1996)? Is it possible to standardize Englishes spoken in East Asia or more widely in Asia?
  • We approach these questions by examining answers to them provided by fifteen lecturers: Dr Larry E. Smith, Dr Anne Pakir, Dr Tony Hung, Dr Azirah Hashim, Dr Kyung-ja Park, Dr Hikyoung Lee, Dr Danilo Dayag, Dr Tej K. Bhatia, Dr Sudaporn Luksaneeyanawin, Prof Yueping Wang, Dr Kyuntae Jung, Dr Low Ee Ling, Prof Yoji Tanabe, Prof Koichi Ano and Michiko Nakano et al.


2nd Semester ( for English majors and non-English majors who took the 1st semester course)

General Course Guidelines to Participating Universities
  • We offer OIC as self-access individual work done by each student. We give students extensive references to encourage their individual research so that they can prepare for a final report.
  • Project-based group work: the project topic is determined by participants on the basis of BBS discussion (student community).
  • A mentor is assigned to each group and s/he helps and guides students. The four project groups hold cyber discussion respectively four or five times a term.
  • Toward the end of the semester, we have cyber forums to present their semi-final project research.
  • Assessment: Final report and forum presentation. A student’s report is graded by the lecturer whose topic he dealt with in his OIC. Grading criteria should be specified and notified to students in advance.
  • A Faculty Coordinator for this course takes turn each year.
  • Although OIC is essentially an self-assess learning method, both lecturers and mentors must respond to a student’s question posted on BBS.
  • Each lecturer should prepare three writing exercises which can encourage students to develop their ideas and they should be taught how to explore and support their ideas with evidence. During group project works, we should help them to communicate their thought to others in logically structured way. On BBS discussion, students should learn to give peers the kind of thoughtful, intelligent and constructive feedback that they hope to receive from them; disagreeing respectfully with each other. These elements will help us create an intellectual community among the participating students.
  • Each pre-draft assignment must be submitted to both mentor and lecturer who can help the students to revise it. Three pre-draft assignments should be commented to revise systematically so that they can submit a final version in a compelling and fluent argument.

Suggested Topics for Group Projects

  • Phonological Characteristics of Asian Englishes
  • Grammatical Characteristics of Asian Englishes
  • Discourse Characteristics of Asian Englishes
  • Pragmatic Characteristics of Asian Englishes
  • Implications for Bilingual Education in each country

Live Sessions

    9/21 Introduction (in-house activity) to confirm major and sub-major to introduce the topics of group projects
    9/28 Theoretical Background (Live)
    10/5 Singapore English (Live)
    10/12 Indian English (Live)
    10/19 Malay English (Live)
    10/26 Philippine English (Live)
    11/2 Thai English (Live)
    11/9 China English (Live)
    11/16 Hong Kong English (Live)
    11/23 (national holiday)
    11/30 Korean English (Live)
    12/7 Japanese English (Live)
    12/14 Cyber Forum (Group Presentation I) 3 presentations
    12/21 Cyber Forum (Group Presentation II) 3 presentations
    1/11 Group Presentation III 3 presentations
    1/18 Group Presentation IV 3 presentations

Grading at Waseda University

Cyber participation as a coordinator and respondent 40 % Forum Presentation 20% Final report 40%