English in Asian Universities

Kingsley Bolton, Werner Botha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Perspectives on the spread of English in the Asian region vary greatly, from the
purely descriptive to the ideologically oppositional, from the linguistic to the
political. In an article more than two decades ago on the complexities of the sociolinguistics of Asia, Bolton (1992) suggested that any attempt to characterize all so‐called Asian societies into commonly shared characteristics, however broad, was “not only […] ideologically suspect but would also be essentially erroneous” (p. 18). Nevertheless, the article also suggested that there were three major issues that were similar in many Asian societies, including (i) the importance of language policy issues in many postcolonial Asian contexts; (ii) the shared interests and aims of the ASEAN countries within the region; and (iii) the desire to promote English in virtually all Asian societies, including both Outer Circle and Expanding Circle contexts, in response to the dynamics of higher education, internationalism, and modernity (pp. 23–24).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Asian Englishes
EditorsKingsley Bolton, Werner Botha, Andy Kirkpatrick
Place of PublicationNew Jersey
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic)9781118791790, 9781118791653
ISBN (Print)9781118791806
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


  • English
  • Asian
  • Universities


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