This textbook discusses the characteristic features of the English language as it is spoken in countries where English is primarily used by native speakers. Accordingly, it deals with national varieties of English used in Britain, the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, but does not consider countries in which English is employed as a second language (for example, in Nigeria) or as a foreign language (for example, in Egypt). The term International English (or International Varieties of English) is ambivalent. On the one hand, it may be defined as the English language, usually in its standard form, either when used, taught, and studied as a lingua franca throughout the world, or when taken as a whole and used in contrast with American English, British English, South African English, etc. (McArthur 1992: 523). But it is more commonly employed as an umbrella term for the forms of English used in the major English-speaking countries. A straightforward procedure would be to deal with the individual varieties separately and describe their characteristic features. This is the approach adopted, for instance, in Trudgill/Hannah (2002), the standard textbook on the subject.