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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: June 2012

Appendix 2 - A list of guiding questions on English in any specific region


Let us assume you wish or need to get more specific and to work out more detailed information on English as used Anywhere-in-the-World – perhaps for a paper, a class presentation, or the like. It may be tempting to replicate what you find in any source, but it is more interesting and more challenging to ask a few principled questions and to see whether it is possible to find responses. Here are a few guiding questions which you can ask and apply practically anywhere, and which will help you to structure your work:


When did English arrive in your area, who brought it there, and why?

When and how did it spread and develop? What was the sociolinguistic and cultural background of its early uses and developments? Was it used only by native-speaking in-migrants, or also by the indigenous population (and if so, [since] when, why, by whom)?

Were there later settler groups or immigrant streams or other developments that modified or influenced its character?

Which other languages and cultures did it get into contact with? What were the consequences of such contact?

Current political and sociocultural background; language attitudes; users and usage conditions

Characterize your country with respect to its character, population structure, and political situation (especially insofar as these have consequences for the language situation).

Are there any other languages spoken in your area? If so, which? What is the mutual relationship and role distribution between these languages like?