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There are a number of problems associated with the rise of English as a world language - Essay Example

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The question what makes a language a world language is one that cannot be answered satisfactorily. However certain languages have acquired distinct position among the variety of languages world wide. …
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There are a number of problems associated with the rise of English as a world language
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Download file to see previous pages Different factors work together in attaining such a privileged position. Research personals have pointed out various reasons that help to attain the position. In this regard David Crystal has the opinion that the military power is crucial. He rightly comments: “a language becomes an international language for one chief reason: the political power of its people- especially their military power” (Burns & Coffin 2001, p. 30).
The international economy plays a vital role in determining the future of the English language. Due to globalization the patterns of trade is undergoing drastic changes and new working practices emerge powerfully. For example screen based labour is getting wider acceptance nowadays and it affects the use of the English language in composite ways. At present one can observe a perceptible increase in the number of persons learning and using the English language but a close examination will prove that the long term growth of English is comparatively lesser than its former status. The 20th century witnessed many scientific, economic, and cultural developments and in fact it boosted the relevance of English as well. But it cannot be expected that it will last long as there is a trend of wider mixed language use in the recent years. Mainly four sectors can be identified where English may loose its dominance. Say for the audio- visual market, computer based communication, the associated processes in economic globalization and foreign language training in developing countries where the regional trade may use other language of economic importance. For hundreds of years the English language has been dominated over the mono lingual speakers but now it is expected to have a bilingual future. Language professionals have the opinion that an increasing proportion of the world’s population will be fluent speakers of more than one language in the coming years. It really will affect the dominance of English over the world population. Social value shifts also affect the language of English in a negative way. The actions of governments, institutions and individuals have helped the promotion of English in the recent years. But it was guided by the logic of economic rationalism. Now there is a great change in the public opinion that quality of life is as important as the income. These type values shifts will question the ethical issues associated with the dominance of a world language like English and cause a reassessment of its impact on other cultures (Graddol 1997). The advantages of a world language like English are several. For example in business it can be very important as a medium as the business personals working together may vary of their nationalities. There a common language has got such a great relevance and it decides the effects of their dealings. But at the same time it has got certain demerits or disadvantages as well. First of all the existence of a global language will make an elite monolingual linguistic class and they will have a dismissive and complacent attitude towards other languages. Moreover the accessibility of a common language will make the people lazy of learning other languages. They will be reluctant to utilize such an opportunity though they get a chance. Some times the global language can cause the disappearance for a minority language and it may belittle the necessity of such languages. Above all the practice of a single language can be a threat to social harmony and mutual understanding. This has got historical evidence. The American civil war, the Spanish civil war, Vietnam War former Yugoslavia and contemporary Northern Ireland are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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