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Chapter 6 extends the discussion of multilingual development to the so-called New Englishes as symbolic systems that developed in the former colonial territories and continued to develop after the collapse of the British Empire in the newly created independent polities. More precisely, the focus here lies on outer circle Englishes in the sense of Kachru (1985). The New Englishes are analyzed from the perspective of their surrounding multilingual ecologies and not, as is more customary, in terms of hermetically delineated national varieties of English. On that account, the chapter focuses on recent – and also more historical – multilingual outcomes of globalization where English plays a prominent role, has been incorporated into the local ecologies, interacts with many other languages, and shows or is beginning to show traces of localization or nativization. Case studies include Singapore, Hong Kong, and Dubai. The chapter thus brings together the key issues discussed in the preceding chapters – globalization, migration, urban areas, multilingual advantages or effects, cross-linguistic influence, language acquisition and learning, language policies, identities, and attitudes – and pivots them on contexts of particular prominence.
Monolingualism, bilingualism, and multilingualism represent concepts of individual upbringing and social organization of extreme impact and scope. All in all, the book attempted to guide the reader from a multilingualism-as-problem to a multilingualism-as-resource perspective. However, it also argued that multilingualism cannot work wonders and should not be considered a goal in itself. Running a multilingual society can produce many beneficial effects, but maintaining several languages at the same time also incurs costs that a society must be prepared to burden and share. It is crucial to know which boundary conditions tip the balance from burden to benefit, or vice versa. The book further argues for a continuum from monolingualism to multilingualism based on the dimensions of homogeneity and heterogeneity. It further introduces a novel typology of English in multilingual contexts, distinguishing between English in heritage contexts, English in bilingual heritage contexts, English in contexts of balanced bilingualism, English in indigenous multilingual contexts, English in postcolonial multilingual contexts, and English as a lingua franca in modern multilingual immigrant contexts.
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