Interrogating the English of the English Curriculum in Postcolonial Bangladesh
Against the colonial origin and its initial global spread and the neo-colonial hegemony of English, this article calls for interrogating the English of the English curriculum in postcolonial societies, taking Bangladesh as a case study. It is argued that while the English language has been subjected to recurrent theorising in the neighbouring fields of Sociolinguistics and Applied Linguistics, the changing understandings of English seem to have had limited influence on English studies in Bangladesh. To illustrate the point, the author takes an autoethnographic approach and provides an account of his experience of studying English at the University of Dhaka. He also seeks to explain why academics in the fields of English Literature and Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching (ELT) have had limited cross-disciplinary interaction in the greater interest of both fields. The author concludes that the much-desired goal of decolonising policy, curriculum, pedagogy, and knowledge-making may not be achieved without questioning the English language. It is suggested that the way forward may be to consider English as a Southern language which will allow for its localisation and its deployment along the lines of Southern epistemologies and epistemic pluralism.
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