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Research into social-psychology of the English language has been carried out worldwide, as researchers have been interested in knowing what social information do language varieties carry. Research has also uncovered people’s different attitudes toward varieties of English and their speakers, with the more mainstream (native-like) English is perceived, the more favorably the speakers are evaluated. Standard language ideology is thought to play a major role in people’s prejudices against particular varieties of English. This paper adopts Lippi-Green’s (1997) model of language subordination process to discuss how standard language ideology influences evaluations of English language variation in general and how it prevails in English language teaching (ELT) in particular. The paper examines arguments and assumptions made to value the mainstream English varieties and devalue non-mainstream English varieties in the domain of ELT. Reviewing some recent work on bridging the gap between world Englishes theory and practice, this paper suggests that the notion of world Englishes be adopted in English language education in order to raise language learners’ awareness of linguistic diversity.
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