Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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The classification of English as a native (ENL), second (ESL) and foreign (EFL) language is traditionally mapped onto Kachru’s (1985) Inner, Outer and Expanding circles, respectively. This paper addresses the divide upheld between these different varietal types. We explore the preposition into using comparable corpora for all three varietal types: the International Corpus of English (ICE) for Inner and Outer Circle varieties, and a comparable Corpus of Dutch English to represent the Expanding Circle. Our results show that the least institutionalised varieties (Hong Kong and Dutch English) are the most dissimilar to the ENL varieties, and the most institutionalised variety (Singapore English) is the most similar. We also compare our results for the Corpus of Dutch English to the Dutch component of the International Corpus of Learner English. While the latter patterns with other learner varieties, the Dutch English corpus patterns with ESL varieties, suggesting that “Expanding Circle” and “EFL” are not synonymous.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): EFL; ENL; ESL; Expanding Circle; Netherlands; norm orientation; Outer Circle; prepositions
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