My personal experiences with english
have lead me to believe that for the time being english
has become a global language by default. I have been to many different parts of the world and everywhere I have visited, I have always been able to find someone who speaks english
. I believe this has some negative and some positive aspects. The term global language can be misleading. english
is not spoken in every country in the world as the primary language, but is more the secondary language of choice or necessity (Sasaki, Suzuki, & Yoneda, 2006). This may have started as a consequence of history and then as a requirement for global communication.
as a Global Language (18)
The British Empire at one time held territories around the world. Many english
-speaking countries today were at one time colonies of the former British Empire: united states
, and New Zealand. Many countries and territories still remain where english
is a recognized language such as the former British colonies of india
, South Africa, and hong kong
. The British colonial period of expansion would help lay the groundwork for english
to begin to dominate. As the of the British Empire started to decline at the end of World War II, the united states
quickly took its place. In this way, english
continued to dominate developing culture, politics, and economics as the influence of the united states
grew (Crystal, 2003).
Many aspects of American popular culture are known around the world and this may help to fuel an interest for learning english
in locations that otherwise have no real use for it. American movies, music, television, and foods can be found all over the world. If while visiting a foreign country you ask someone what the last movie he or she saw was, the answer might be an American film. If you ask them what their favorite music group or singer is, it may also be American. Few people outside the U.S. do not know who Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson was. Several advancements in film and music were developed early on in the united states
. When many of the first films and music traveled internationally, they were in the english
language (Crystal, 2003).
In addition to the influence of American popular culture on young generations around the world, english
is also a mandatory subject in some non-english
speaking countries. china
supports a large population of non-english
speakers. However, english
is compulsory in school as early as third grade and continues into college (“chinese
official,” 2009). Many chinese
students may not be able to earn a college degree
if they are not proficient in english
Science and technology research require much communication between researchers from different countries who do not speak the same language. Not having a common language for communication can make collaboration more difficult. english
has become the language for people in different cultures to communicate as a way to learn new information (Crystal, 2003). If instructions for a piece of equipment or the explanations of a scientific principle are only available in english
, not knowing english
becomes much more of a problem. As a result, learning english
is an important goal for many non-english
speaking countries as a way of improving the lives of their citizens.
Over time, many languages have been displaced by the languages of colonizing cultures and many of these languages may have become lost forever. english
is the widest used language in the world (Crystal, 2003). It is spoken as a second language by more non-native english
speakers than as a first by native speakers (Sasaki, Suzuki, & Yoneda, 2006). english
is used for global communications in its many forms. Perhaps in order for it to be displaced it will require equal or more powerful events to the ones that brought english
to its current state. However, there is no such language currently in a situation to take its place (Sasaki, Suzuki, & Yoneda, 2006).
As a native english
speaker living in a foreign country for many years, I have come to appreciate english
in a way that I did not before moving out of the united states
. The demand for english
in foreign education and the amount of people I have met from different counters whom I could have a conversation with was surprising to me. The displacing of other languages may be a negative thing; however, the ability for people who would not normally be able to communicate to speak to each other is positive regardless of the language being used.
official: Compulsory english
lessons 'necessary'. (2009, August 25).
Retrieved from http://www.china
Sasaki, M., Suzuki, T., & Yoneda, M. (2006). english
as an International Language in
Non-Native Settings in an Era of Globalization. Comparative Sociology, 5. Retrieved from http://www.social-sciences-and-humanities.com/PDF/english
Crystal, D. (2003). english
as a Global Language (2nd ed.). New York
Cambridge University Press.