Global languages have been in existence for many years. They have been outweighing each other for top position as lingua francas. Latin and Greek for example, have once had their fair share as lingua francas. Latin, which played a key role in the domination and expansion of the Roman Empire, was spoken far across Europe and Africa when it was at its peak (Duncan and Goddard 16). English has evolved over the years to be one of the most common languages in the world.
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The importance of its knowledge has grown tenfold hence the need for natives and non-natives, to get familiar with the language. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), deals with the teaching of English as a second language to people that English is a foreign language (Fairclough 69). The aim of this paper is to explore the importance of the growth of the English language, its merits, and the demerits.
The importance of English cannot be well underrated. Most people argue that English is important because it links people all over the world. People leave their countries almost everyday to travel to foreign countries for purposes of study, as well as pleasure. Moreover, one of the most commonly used languages in schools is English.
Therefore, it is safe to say that, education has increased the role of English across the world (McCormick 1). Moreover, English has eased communication constraints all over the world due to its widespread. In most developed countries, English is the language spoken to foreigners. Simply speaking, English is not foreign to all parts of the world (Nunan 3). Moreover, owing to many people that understand this language, there are fewer misunderstandings (Gnutzmann 1).
Another important aspect of English’s growth is the economic advantages that come with it. Over the years, a lot of money was being spent by countries all over the world with mixed communities in interpretation of languages for the purposes of reaching its citizens (Boroditsky 470).
However, due the rapid growth of English, this money is being put into good use; for instance, humanitarian aid and community development. Half the budget of an international organization could easily be swallowed up in translation costs if there were a lack of a common language (Crystal 12).
Despite the beneficial aspects of English, which have led to its encroachment, it has contributed to retrogression of some important aspects of life like culture. After the colonial period, most of the colonized countries adapted the language of their colonial masters. An example is West Africa, where a few countries adapted French as their national language and in some cases, the language shift ended in language death (Trudgill 193).
English also proves to be a hindrance to the growth of literature in the sense that, talented and gifted writers who publish their works in minor languages cannot be able to reach a wide audience. Most of their work only reaches people who are conversant with their native language.
Hence, dominance in English translation may cause the world pool of talent to dry up (Prakash Para.4). Many countries, as Zelander points out, find it hard to embrace English as a lingua franca; they fear that it will negatively affect their cultural beliefs and practices (19). In addition, many people still have not received any training in English teaching (Jia-Huey 2).
In conclusion, English has become the lingua franca across the world owing to its extensive study and use. Therefore, it suffices to say that English is a global language even though it has some negative impacts.
Boroditsky, Lera. “How Does Language shape the way we Think?.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 82.4 (2002): 469–73.
Duncan, Russell, and Goddard, Joseph. Contemporary America. , New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
Fairclough, Norman. Language and Globalization. Philadelphia: Taylor & Francis, 2006.
Gnutzmann, Claus. Teaching and Learning English as a Global Language Native and Non-Native Perspectives . Frankfurt: Tübingen: Stauffenburg, 1999.Print
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Jia-Huey, Her. The Globalization of English: The impact of English Language Education in the Tertiary Education Sector in Taiwan. Univerty of Waikato, 2007.
McCormick, John. Contemporary Britain. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003. Print
Nunan, David. “Important Tasks of English Education: Asia-wide and Beyond” . Asian EFL Journal 7.2 (2005): 3-7.
Prakash, David. The Importance Of English, 2009. Web. <http://www.saching.com/>.
Trudgill, Peter. Sociolinguistics, an Introduction to Language and Society. London: Penguin Books, 2000. Print.
Zelander, Emilie. English as a global language, a good or bad thing. Mid Sweden University, 2004.