Kachru Three-Circle Model

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1.0 Overview of the Model
Over the years many models were developed to explain the spread of English around the world. The most prominent model that is used to describe the spread of English is Kachru’s Three Circle Model of World Englishes. Kachru divided the World Englishes into three concentric circles, namely, the Inner Circle (IC), the Outer Circle (OC) and the Expanding Circle (EC). These circles signify “the type of spread, the patterns of acquisition and the functional domains in which English is used across cultures and languages” (Kachru, 1985, p.12). Figure 1.0 below shows Kachru’s three-circle model of World Englishes.

Figure 1.0 Kachru’s three-circle model of World Englishes

Kachru has grouped countries that use English as the mother tongue such as UK, United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand in the Inner Circle. In these countries, English is known as a native language (ENL). The Outer Circle consists of countries that were colonized by some the countries in the Inner Circle. Some examples of these countries are India, Singapore, Malaysia, Ghana, Sri Langka and so on. According to Kachru, in these countries, English is used as a second language (ESL) as English is considered important and usually the official language but not the main language of the country. Meanwhile, countries that were never colonized but use English as a foreign language (EFL) such as China, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan were grouped under the Expanding Circle.
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