Standard and Non-Standard English in Bangladesh: A Sociolinguistic Exploration of Linguistic Identity, Post-Colonial Legacy, and the Quest for Global Englishes
Keywords:Standard English, My English, Colonialism, Linguistic Inferiority Complex, non-standard English, Linguistics Human Rights.
The article delves into the ongoing discourse concerning Standard English (SE) and Non-Standard English in Bangladesh. Historically, the trend of learning Standard English in the country traces back to its colonial roots. The British colonization introduced and popularized English learning, imprinting its influence on both the language and its speakers. Such historical ties lead to pertinent questions about the relevance and position of Standard English, especially in the sphere of English Language Teaching. The discussion critiques the idea of Standard English from a post-colonial perspective, particularly drawing connections between Standard English and linguistic dominance. Additionally, the concept of My English (ME) is brought forward as a counter to the hegemony of Standard English. A central theme of the article is the legitimacy of acknowledging local English forms within the umbrella of Global Englishes. It also touches upon socio-political factors that validate the acceptance of these regional English iterations. The research aims to illuminate English's role in Bangladesh’s local linguistic scene, probing its influence across various societal layers. It identifies particular linguistic and extra-linguistic elements affecting the categorization of English versions in the nation. Emphasizing the crucial role of education, wherein English serves as more than just a subject but a medium for functional proficiency, the article stresses the necessity for Bangladesh to define and embrace its distinct English variant in the larger framework of Global Englishes.
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