TEFL Athens Maine

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

english as a Global Language (18) I have used ‘The Practice of english Language Teaching' by Jeremy Harmer (Harmer, 2007) as my main reference. I am often amazed at the spread of english as a global language when you consider the size of england. Of course, colonisation by the British in past centuries was the original source of the spread of english. The Pilgrim Fathers landed on the Massachusetts coast in 1620 and brought with them a new religion, a pioneering spirit and their language. Similarly, the language spread to australia and india with colonisation. In the modern world, economic powers ensure the survival and growth of english globally. It is one of the main mediating languages of international businesses and as such the phenomenon of ‘globalisation' has occurred throughout the world with english becoming the common language. english is very much in evidence in airports around the world with many international airports providing signage in english as well as the native language of the particular country. english is the preferred language of air traffic control and is also the main language used in sea travel communication. In the western world, english dominates in popular culture. Pop music, TV shows and films expose non english speakers throughout the world to english. This results in many non english speakers being able to sing words from songs in english and gain an understanding of Basic english simply from being constantly exposed to the language via the media. The spread of english is not universally applauded. There are some people who worry about the impact on other cultures and languages. There is a concern that of the approximate 6000 languages in the world, half may be lost within the next one hundred years. I am aware that in australia at least, many of the indigenous people have lost their language, culture and identification as a result of British colonisation and the enforced use of english as their preferred language. This is a cultural tragedy not only being played out in australia, but in many other countries as well. Once language is lost it cannot be resurrected and the loss takes with it culture and customs. David Crystal warns that if, in 500 years english is the only language left to be learnt, ‘it will have been the greatest intellectual disaster that the planet has ever known'. (Crystal 2003a: 191) However it is not only english that is having a negative impact on other languages; spanish, french, Mandarin and Arabic speakers are all impacting on other languages worldwide. In 1997, David Graddol pointed out that the fastest growing language in the usa was Hispanic and it is not inconceivable that in the future that the entire American continent will become an englishspanish bilingual zone. He believes that it is doubtful that more than 40% of the global population would become functional users of english. (Graddol 2006: 107) The use of english has grown considerably, but it is well to remember that while english is spoken by at least a quarter of the world's population, three quarters of the world population are not speaking english. At the time of publication native speakers of english were estimated to be 329 million compared to 1.5 billion speakers of english worldwide with native speakers becoming an ever decreasing minority. (Crystal 2003a: 69). Will this mean that one day less educated native speakers will be at a disadvantage compared with well educated, skilled second-language english users? So the question remains. Will english continue to spread and ultimately be the most popular language in the modern world? Or will there gradually be a change with spanish, Mandarin, Hindu and Arabic gaining in status as their population, geopolitical and economic powers continue to increase? Works Cited Harmer, J. (2007). The Practice of english Language Teaching Fourth Edition. Pearson Education Limited. Crystal, D. (2003). english as a Global Language Second Edition. Cambridge University Press. Graddol, D. (2006). english Next. The British Council.