English is all pervasive as 'the de facto language or the lingua franca today' . The huge amount of production of books and magazines from both english speaking countries and elsewhere in English, with the local-language coming a close second in terms of production makes English a sort of lingua-franca today. So not only has English cornered the English Language world, but we see the impact of English in the world of TV, cinema, music, comics and TV also in the non English speaking world.
From time immemorial the concept of one lingua franca, uniting people has been around. Literature has had works abounding in Latin for centuries. And the sheer amount of works in Latin indicate that mankind has for long felt the need for a common language for communication , be what so ever one's own mother tongue. Almost 50% of the world's student population choose English as their choosen language of study today because they feel that this would be the most useful for them in business and commerce.
EFL, is the study of English as a Foreign language, and EFL as a foreign language is part of the school curriculum in countries where English has no special status. The EFL Journal in China and in Iran are example of English language learning in countries where English is a foreign language. But in former British colonies English is an official language even if not spoken as a mother tongue. The teaching of English is as a second language referred to in the terminology "TESL" or rather more generally as 'ESL'in countries such as US, Canada and Australia. In UK, Ireland and New Zealand, this very term ESL has been replaced by the term ESOL.
Whatever might be the term ESL or ESOL or ESD(English as a secondary dialect) used in various countries , English is taught primarily for a person to hold down a job and to perform the daily necessities of life. But students learning EFL in HongKong will learn most likely the 'British English' and the students in Philipines will learn the 'American English' version. For this reason the emphasis is now on EIL (English as an International Language) also known as ELF(English as the lingua franca). There are communities of English speakers in countries all over the world where english is spoken , but with noticeable differences in pronounciations, vocabulary and grammar in different countries.
The term sociolinguistic is the study of the effects of society, cultures, norms and expectation on language useage. Ethnicity, religion, gender, level of education, a person's age makes the speaking and writing of language different from place to place depending on the social class which uses it and it is this sociolects that sociolinguists study( lect being language or dialect).
As always, there has been a distinction which exists in the English language between the high and elevated literary language and the colloquial language. After the defeat of England by the Normans , Latin and French replaced English as the official and literay language and the English we know today emerged only after the Middle Ages . It is no longer possible to differentiate between english in the literary sense and english as a colloquial language today. English has been used as a literary language of expression since time memorial in many