Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Varieties of English

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION Learning Objectives

To appreciate the diversity and richness of the different varieties of English


Grimes (1988) classifies the fifteen most populous speech communities. Of these communities English ranks second with 403 million primary speakers and 800 million secondary speakers. Coulmas (1992) contends that the position of English stands out when the secondary speakers are included. The importance of English as an international language cannot be underestimated. Over one hundred nations in the world use English as a native or official language and do so in their own way.
This study-unit will discuss the salient features of the English standard system and then describe the different varieties of English that are spoken in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Malta. Although each variety of English is intelligible to other English speakers, yet there is a rich diversity of vocabulary, pronunciation and usage that serves to distinguish one variety from another.


- Bailey, R.W., & Gorlach M., 1986. English as a World Language. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- Cheshire, J. (ed.), 1991. English Around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Presentation SEM1 Yes 20%
Assignment SEM1 Yes 80%

LECTURER/S Lydia Sciriha

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.