Alastair Pennycook

Image of Alastair Pennycook
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Phone (+61) 2 9514 3067
Room HW 405
Available hours By appointment
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 Henrik Wegelands hus 0313 Oslo
Postal address PO Box 1102 Blindern 0317 Oslo Norway

Academic interests

  • Implications of the global spread of English
  • Colonialism, language policy, and English language teaching
  • Critical applied linguistics
  • Language, popular culture and identity
  • Metrolingualism and talking in the city


Alastair Pennycook is Professor of Language Studies at UTS. He has been involved in language education for over 30 years in France, Germany, Japan, China, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. He is well known for his work on the global spread of English, particularly in his classic text The cultural politics of English as an international language, (Longman, 1994). Also well known his is work on critical approaches to language education and applied linguistics, outlined in Critical applied linguistics: A critical introduction (Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001).

His most recent (2012) book is Language and mobility: Unexpected places (opens an external site) which looks at the ways languages turn up in unexpected places. This follows on from the arguments in his 2010 book Language as a local practice (Routledge) (opens an external site) that we need to consider very seriously the relations between language, practices and locality.

Other work in the last few years has focused on language, globalization and popular culture, as discussed in Global Englishes and transcultural flows (Routledge, 2007; winner of the British Association of Applied Linguistics Book Award in 2008), the edited book (with Samy Alim and Awad Ibrahim) Global Linguistic Flows: Hip hop cultures, youth identities, and the politics of language (Routledge, 2009) or the Local Noise web site.

He is currently working on two major research projects, one on early literacy in disadvantaged communities and the other on urban linguistic diversity (metrolingualism). This focus on linguistic diversity is an important part of the Research Stream on Language and Change as well as joint work with other members of the Babylon Project on Language and Globalization (opens an external site).

Tags: Multilingualism, Sociolinguistics, Applied linguistics, Language Policy and Planning


  • Pennycook, Alastair (2022). Critical applied linguistics in the 2020s. Critical inquiry In Language Studies. ISSN 1542-7587. 19(1). doi: 10.1080/15427587.2022.2030232.
  • Shohamy, Elana & Pennycook, Alastair (2021). Language, Pedagogy, and Active Participant Engagement. Gaze in the Multilingual Landscape. In Blackwood, Robert & Røyneland, Unn (Ed.), Spaces of Multilingualism. Routledge. ISSN 9781003125839. Full text in Research Archive
  • Pennycook, Alastair (2020). Pushing the Ontological Boundaries of English. In Hall, Christopher J. & Wicaksono, Rachel (Ed.), Ontologies of English Conceptualising the Language for Learning, Teaching, and Assessment. Cambridge University Press. ISSN 9781108482530. doi: 10.1017/9781108685153.018.
  • Pennycook, Alastair (2020). Blue-Collar Work and Multilingualism: “C’est Tough”. In Goncalves, Kellie & Kelly-Holmes, Helen (Ed.), Language, Global Mobilities, Blue-collar Workers and Blue-collar Workplaces. Routledge. ISSN 9780367279004. p. 224–236.
  • Pennycook, Alastair & Otsuji, Emi (2019). Lingoing and Everyday Metrolingual Metalanguage. In Jaspers, Jürgen & Madsen, Lian Malai (Ed.), Critical Perspectives on Linguistic Fixity and Fluidity. Languagised Lives. Routledge. ISSN 9780429469312. doi: 10.4324/9780429469312-4.
  • Nguyen, Bao Trang Thi & Pennycook, Alastair (2018). Dancing, Google and fish sauce: Vietnamese students coping with Australian universities. Asia Pacific Journal of Education. ISSN 0218-8791. 38(4), p. 457–472. doi: 10.1080/02188791.2018.1493981.
  • Pennycook, Alastair (2018). Linguistic Landscapes and Semiotic Assemblages. In Pütz, Martin & Mundt, Neele (Ed.), Expanding the Linguistic Landscape. Linguistic Diversity, Multimodality and the Use of Space as a Semiotic Resource. Multilingual Matters. ISSN 9781788922142. p. 75–88. doi: 10.21832/9781788922166-007.
  • Pennycook, Alastair (2018). Repertoires, registers, and linguistic diversity. In Creese, Angela & Blackledge, Adrian (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Language and Superdiversity. Routledge. ISSN 9781138905092. p. 3–15. doi: 10.4324/9781315696010-2.

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  • Pennycook, Alastair & Makoni, Sinfree (2019). Innovations and Challenges in Applied Linguistics from the Global South. Routledge. ISBN 9780429489396. 176 p.

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  • Lane, Pia; Lanza, Elizabeth & Pennycook, Alastair (2019). Family multilingualism: Language practices and ideologies of Brazilian-Norwegian families in Norway. Universitetet i Oslo. Full text in Research Archive

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Published Nov. 8, 2016 2:38 PM - Last modified Aug. 27, 2021 8:38 PM