English language teachers’ perceptions of world Englishes: The elephants in the room

Marzieh Sadeghpour, Farzad Sharifian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored perceptions of English language teachers in Australia regarding the existence and legitimacy of world Englishes (WE). A group of 27 teachers of English language intensive courses for overseas students (ELICOS) from 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region were interviewed. Qualitative analysis of the interview responses indicated that while the majority of teachers acknowledge the existence of some new varieties, not many recognise the legitimacy of the Expanding Circle Englishes. The results suggest that teachers’ perceptions of WE are affected more by their formal education than by exposure to WE. The findings suggest that the ELICOS sector would benefit from professional development that aims at enhancing teachers’ knowledge of WE from all circles. This will pave the ground for the development of WE-informed curriculum and pedagogy for English as an International Language (EIL), which will in turn provide opportunities for learners to develop requisite competencies for intercultural communication.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-258
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Englishes
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Asian Englishes
  • Australia
  • English as an international language
  • English language teaching
  • teacher education
  • World Englishes

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