This textbook is based on a course I have taught for several years at the University of Helsinki. The book is meant to offer students a perspective on some of the sociolinguistic issues inherent to varieties of English, including some of the language attitudes that go along with the major target varieties.
The first chapters of the book offer some sociolinguistic background on English, including the relationship of language and race, social class and gender. The book discusses how the notions of “good” versus “bad” English came about, and some of the consequences of this division. The later chapters offer a linguistic overview of a few varieties of English, demonstrating what they do and do not have in common.
The book’s main target audience is students of English and linguistics in foreign-language settings, but it is also useful for students and readers in places like North America and the UK.