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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:
Over one year ago I met my future wife, a brazilian, and began learning Portuguese. Last year I visited her family in brazil for Christmas. I knew that I would be running into McDonald's and Nike, but I never realized how prevalent english was until I actually visited brazil. There were often areas that had menus in Portuguese and english. Many restaurants were named entirely in english just to be elegant and modern. It was also true when I met her friends and family, because many were speaking to me in english! Furthermore, children would be sent to “American”
or “english” schools where the only time that Portuguese is spoken is in Portuguese class. This vast importance on a language that is not even a native language in any country of South America was amazing to see firsthand. During this time, I also attended graduate school for my International MBA degree. My Multinational Finance & Investments course taught me that 89 percent of all foreign exchange goes through US Dollar (Eun & Resinck, 2012). This is even true when financial institutions are converting two currencies not involved with the dollar, thus it uses USD as an intermediary of exchange. Furthermore, english is used as a common language in international business, even when there is an absence of an english speaking country in the transaction. However, I bring up my MBA degree, because of the class trip I took to china
last June. This really blew my mind, because china by far trumped brazil in usage of english. The road signs were the biggest indicator to me, because almost every sign had both chinese and english! This is only the tip of the iceberg, because china was all about catering to english business and tourism. I also met with chinese students working on their MBA degrees in china. There english
was very good and only expressions or slang terms were difficult to them. For instance, in both my graduate and undergraduate studies I had many international students in class. I was impressed that they were learning the same material as me, but in a second language. In undergrad, I had classmates from Kenya, Russia, france, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, china, Mongolia, and Lithuania, just to name a few. In graduate school, there are many chinese students, but I have also met others from places like japan and thailand. The British Council claims that “english is now the international currency of science and technology” (p. 9, 1997). This is a statistic often given for the production of scholarly journals and academia, because english
provides a common language. In my own opinion, many of the best schools, universities, and research centers are found in english speaking countries. Thus, other parts of the world will want to write, read, and study in the language that can be understood by these areas. In the late 1990s, english was the language of 84.3 percent of the world's home pages on the Web (Graddol, 1997). In 2010, english was still the most used language on the internet (Internet World Stats, 2011). However, the same source provided that chinese is quickly approaching in dominance. english users comprised of 26.8 percent of Internet users, whereas chinese comprised of 24.2 percent (Internet World Stats, 2011). Furthermore, Internet growth from 2000 to 2011 increased 300 percent for english,
but a whopping 1,400 percent for chinese! Thus, english as a global language is probably true for the time being, but it could be less true in the future. If china starts consuming and stops exporting, the world will forever change. Not to mention the US and EU governments struggling with debt, currency, and economic issues. Other languages of the world will begin to transform what the “global language” will become, but for now english is a vastly important language to many people around the world. References Eun, C. S. & Resnick, B. G. (2012). International Financial Management (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Graddol, D. (1997). The Future of english: A guide to Forecasting the Popularity of english
Language in the 21st Century. The British Council. Retrieved October 17, 2011 from, http://www.britishcouncil.org/de/learning-elt-future.pdf Internet World Stats. (2011). Internet World Users by Language: Top 10 Languages. Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics. Retrieved October 17th, 2011 from, http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats7.htm
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