Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice

Publication Date

Fall 2016


This paper is a sociolinguistic profile of English in Brazil. It explains how English operates in Brazil through a brief discussion of the history of English in Brazil, the Brazilian variety of English, users and uses of English, and attitudes towards English. The history of English is traced from the 16th century to today, highlighting the development of English language teaching throughout the years. The Brazilian variety of English is delineated through a focus on several features of loanwords that are present in the Portuguese language. In addition, a discussion of Brazilian-Portuguese- accented English outlines the phonological, syntactic, morphological, semantic and lexical differences, and pragmatic levels that exist within this language variety. In examining the users and uses of English, emphasis is placed on the symbolic and innovative functions played by English in Brazil as well as how it is presently used in schools. Furthermore, in imparting the attitudes that Brazilians have towards English, two sides are presented; English is rampant and knowing English is critical. Ultimately, this paper seeks to offer categorizations for the roles played by English in Brazil to bring clarity to this reality and to offer a point of comparison for the roles played by English in other countries. It also presents an account of the power roles played by the global status of English and the implications of this presence in Brazil.