Teach English in Hedi Zhen - Yuncheng Shi

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With the increase of English speakers around the world, and the consequent rise of importance of the English language, comes the expanse of the teaching market. In recent years many people, young and old, have decided to make a career in the field of teaching English, much of the time abroad. This would not be possible if English was not rapidly becoming a global language. While there are both benefits and consequences to this, ultimately the spread of English is creating connections and allowing people to embrace the globalization that will hopefully help mend a broken and violent world. The English language was not chosen at random to be the pioneer language of the global world; it, unsurprisingly, came about through the rise of primarily English-speaking countries. The United States of America and Great Britain are both considered major world powers and they are both inhabited by mainly people who speak, either as a first language or otherwise, English. This means that any transactions including these countries or anything produced in these countries usually require knowledge and natural use of English language skills. Furthermore, any interaction with these and similar countries are usually carried out in English. Because of the influential nature of world powers and the increasingly intertwined connections between these countries and global issues, the use of English has become almost necessary for any global interaction. One of the main reasons that parents want their children to learn English and adults go back to school to learn English is to further their opportunities, particularly in higher education and careers that require higher education. Although there are renowned schools that teach in many languages other than English, a lot of the big-ticket schools—the schools with recognizable and admired names such as Harvard University or the University of Cambridge—are taught, barring language courses, in English. If a child or adult wants to attend one of these universities they must speak English at a level with which they can understand the course material. Not only is knowledge of English important in getting in to and succeeding in many top-notch colleges and universities, it is incredibly important in scientific and medical fields. Much of the language used throughout these fields is in English. Finally, if one wants to start a business and succeed, knowledge of English is important if not entirely necessary. This is because much of the investment scene deals in English. The biggest investing unit in the world, Wall Street, is brokered in English. Knowledge and competent use of English is important if one wants to participate on a global playing field, attend any English-speaking universities or courses, fully embrace the scientific field, and participate in many other career-defining activities. Not only is English vital to increasing career opportunities, but it is also a major part of several other global phenomenons. Setting aside the morality of immigration issues, many times people, refugees or other, want to relocate to a different country for a variety of reasons. While every country’s immigration policies are different, much of the time knowledge of the native language of said country is a requirement. For anyone looking to work in or migrate to any English-speaking country, the English language is a useful tool not only to earn residency but also to operate comfortably within such a country. This leads to many people learning English in their own countries with hopes of using it in a primarily English-speaking country. Learning English helps many people with the global phenomenon of people crossing borders and moving throughout the world because it makes the transitions easier and smoother. Not only is English important in interpersonal interaction but also over the internet. Much of the internet is written in English and knowledge of the language is needed to access this free and virtually unlimited supply of information. Finally, though it should not be seen in this way, speaking and understanding the English language can be seen as a symbol if international status. Though there are many benefits to the globalization of English, some of which were included above, there are also many negative and harmful consequences. First and foremost, the spread of English is contributing to the loss of minority languages. As people choose to learn English over learning these lesser-known languages for convenience’s sake the smaller languages begin to die out. This results in a loss of not only the language but of culture and story. Also learning English can be a time-consuming and expensive pursuit that some cannot afford. As English becomes more global, it excludes more and more people from global interaction, further widening international wealth gaps. Finally, the globalization of English gives those, such as myself, who grow up in an already English-based society a distinct advantage when it comes to global interaction. While the consequences of English globalization are extreme and should be combatted to the best of our ability, English is a part of the global work and I do not see a future in which it will not be. It has grown too much too quickly to be pushed out of the picture. This just means that it is the prerogative of the teachers of English to do their best to not only provide students with knowledge of the English language but recognize, understand, and fight against the negative effects of language globalization. A teacher can provide students with the knowledge they are looking for while still respecting the advantages that one has and using these advantages to prevent such things as the loss of minority languages from happening. The spread of English over the globe is bring people closer together, proving people with the skills necessary to communicate and negotiate with each other, and adapting to the increasingly global world but this does not mean that English should be the only language that is seen as important or valuable.