World Englishes and intercultural communication

Farzad Sharifian, Marzieh Sadegh Pour

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


This chapter discusses the status of English as a global, pluricentric language and the principal medium for international and intranational communication. Although intercultural communication frequently takes place between individuals who speak different varieties of English, the authors observe that the critical link between studies of World Englishes (WEs) and intercultural communication/competence has largely been ignored. This chapter critiques the Kachruvian paradigm of WEs and examines more recent approaches to their study (e.g., cognitive sociolinguistics and cultural linguistics), as well as their relevance to intercultural communication and intercultural citizenship. Examples from a variety of World Englishes are provided (e.g., Australian, Cameroonian, Persian English). The authors conclude that success in international/intercultural communication is now tied to competencies such as multidialectal competence, intercultural competence, and metacultural competence. They call for more systematic investigations of new varieties of WEs and their associated cultural conceptualisations, arguing that the relevance of WEs to more practical areas such as intercultural communication and ELT cannot be overestimated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication
EditorsJane Jackson
Place of PublicationAbingdon Oxon UK
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781003036210
ISBN (Print)9781138389458
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2019

Cite this