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‘Curses in TESOL’: Postcolonial Desires for Colonial English

Date November 21, 2017
Time 12:30 - 14:00
Professor Angel Lin
Room 203, Runme Shaw Building, HKU


In this paper, I seek to deconstruct the discourses that naturalise and normalise what I call ‘postcolonial desires for colonial English’, a phenomenon observed in many officially post-colonial or independent societies, as well as in contexts themselves considered imperial powers. I do this first by tracing the historical origins of the gradual inscription of these desires upon the subjectivities and cultural imaginaries of the colonised by analysing the historical processes of imperialism, colonialism and Cold War structures, and the cultural and psychological aftermath of such processes. I conclude by outlining what is needed to interrupt the working of the effects of these processes at the level of subjectivity and cultural imaginary, and propose new ways of reconstituting desires in learning languages in multilingual contexts without subscribing to historical or contemporary hierarchies of languages.

Speaker Bio:

Angel M. Y. Lin is Professor & Head of the English Language Education Division at the Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong. She is well-respected for her interdisciplinary research in classroom discourse analysis, plurilingual education, academic literacies, Content & Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), and language policy and practice in postcolonial contexts. She has published over 90 research articles and 7 research books. Her new book, Language Across the Curriculum & CLIL in English as an Additional Language (EAL) Contexts, was published by Springer in 2016. She is also Director of the Consortium for Research on Language Policy and Practice (CRLPP) set up at the University of Hong Kong in 2016.


All are welcome to this brown bag lunch seminar!

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