From Expensive English to Minimal English

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Minimal English is a useful tool for improving communication between monolingual English speakers and multilingual Tok Pisin and English speakers in PNG. This chapter reports on the use of Minimal English in an agricultural development project in PNG, arguing that it can help to go 'under' the language barriers created by Expensive English, that is, English that is not easily understood by the majority of people in PNG. The chapter demonstrates two ways in which Minimal English can be useful in this multilingual context: (1) semantic explications in Minimal English can distinguish different senses of the same word used by agricultural training facilitators and participants, and (2) words that are important in the local context can be chosen to replace Expensive English words that are less familiar to participants. The chapter argues that Minimal English is a valuable tool in agricultural development training and can be used to improve communication in a multilingual context where English is the language of instruction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics and Intercultural Communication
Subtitle of host publicationMinimal English (and Beyond)
EditorsLauren Sadow, Bert Peeters, Kerry Mullan
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789813299795
ISBN (Print)9789813299788
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Ethnopragmatics, Cultural Semantics, and Intercultural Communication


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