English Linguistic Hegemony: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Language Use of the British Council and the American University of Afghanistan in the Promotion of English

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Post 9/11, Afghanistan emerged as the new context for discourses about modernization and globalization. All of a sudden, English became an important language and a key for Afghanistan’s prosperous future. As a result, English has gained an extraordinary role in less than twenty years. Two main agencies are providing ELT programs in the country. This paper studies the language that the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) and the British Council use in their written publications to promote English Language Teaching (ELT).The purpose of the present study is twofold. On the one hand, it outlines some common discourses of English and on the other hand, it examines, critically, how those discourses have patterns and signs of Linguistic Imperialism. To this end, I apply a combination of two focal approaches towards Critical Discourse analysis, namely the Discourse-Historical Approach and socio-cognitive approach to find out how English is legitimized, glorified, and rationalized in Kabul through discourse. The findings will be interpreted in the light of theories of Linguistic Imperialism developed by Robert Phillipson (1992) and Alastair Pennycook (1998) as well as Van Dijk’s principles for analyzing ideology. By providing evidence from a new context, this study can contribute to debates over the phenomenon of Global English.
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