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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


The English Language and Linguistic Imperialism: The Trojan Horse?

Lesley Ljungdahl.

The spread of English may marginalise other languages since English can be a gatekeeper to education, employment, business opportunities and popular culture. Pennycook (1995) is suspicious that 'the spread of English is natural, neutral, or beneficial'. Cooke (1988) uses the metaphor of the Trojan horse to describe the way that English may be initially welcomed in a country but then cause concern as it dominates the native language(s) and culture. Issues of resistance and appropriation are reflected in the rise of World Englishes. The pedagogic implications are important as different varieties of English become the norm for communication.


Lesley Ljungdahl  (Australia)
Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Education
University of Technology Sydney

Dr Lesley Ljungdahl is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at the University of Technology Sydney. She works in the fields of language and literacy studies with a particular interest in ESL education. Her most recent publication is Literacy: Reading, Writing, and Children's Literature with Winch et al. (Oxford University Press, 2001.

  • World Englishes
  • Language learning
  • Second language acquisition

(30 min Conference Paper, English)