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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 has become a global language because of its people. Looking into the past, one finds that the British Empire had expanded across the globe into nearly every continent and had helped to expand english via trade. Also helping to motivate non-english speakers to learn english was trade from Britain to their territories during the Industrial Revolution. However, the Industrial Revolution was not confined to just Britain and france, it eventually spread to the US which also started to trade with other countries in order to improve the quality of life for its citizens through providing what are now regarded as basic commodities (sugar, tropical fruit, etc). As mentioned by David Crystal in his book, “english as a Global Language”, a language does not merely spread by
the way of a nation's great books or even because of the language's simplicity to learn. A language spreads through the force of its speakers as noted with British Imperialism and American Cultural and Economic Imperialism. Knowing this, english will only remain a global language so long as the countries in which it is the mother tongue remain economically prosperous and continue to trade with other non-english speaking countries. Thus, while english is the common language for many countries, its use could die out in the future if other countries (notably china) were to exceed and replace the economic superpower whose mother tongue is english (the US) as well as the other economically prosperous native english speaking countries (canada,
the UK, and australia). Because english is currently a global language, the meaning of the words can vary from region to region and amongst different social classes. In going from a “national” language to a “global language,” english has become a shared language. People who use english as a second or third language will often interject their native words, slang, or may create their own idioms using existing english words. Some english speakers will refer to this as abuse. However, this is natural for people who are very close geographically or culturally to two or more languages to infuse one with the other and vice versa. For example, in the U.S., we have many mexican immigrants.
As a result of this, many native english speakers will interject spanish slang in everyday conversation naturally and basic spanish phrases are widely understood by a majority of American youth and young people. Regarding english, it is a continuously evolving language. Because the Anglos and other primary english speakers (Americans) have been successful traders, we have also incorporated words from other languages into our own, most notably greek, Latin (french, spanish, italian), German, and even some japanese.
So now that english is officially a global language, many people young and old are trying to learn it based on their own free will or because they are forced to. While learning english definitely gives one an advantage to communicate with many people “in the outside world,” many institutions requiring students or employees to be highly proficient in english paints a negative image for the language and can be seen as barrier to a life goal rather than an opportunity for those learning the language. Many schools in developing countries will use a certain level of english proficiency as an admission requirement. Regarding students whose chosen field of study and/or career goals do not include interacting with foreigners, these admission requirements force them to learn a language irrelevant to them and serve only as a hindrance in attaining their dream. However, english
is like a social networking platform. It is only useful so long as many people use it. If english is overshadowed by another language, then it will quickly lose its value, and the number of speakers will quickly decrease back to native speakers and speakers who choose it as a second language from an economic standpoint.
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