English as a Global Language
International English is the concept of the English language as a global means of communication in numerous dialects, and also the movement towards an international standard for the language. It is also referred to as Global English, World English, Common English, Continental English, or General English. Sometimes, these terms refer simply to the array of varieties of English spoken throughout the world. Sometimes, "international English" and the related terms above refer to a desired standardisation, i.e. Standard English; however, there is no consensus on the path to this goal. divides the use of English into three concentric circles.
The inner circle is the traditional base of English and includes countries such as the United Kingdom and Ireland and the anglophone populations of the former British colonies of the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, and various islands of the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. In the outer circle are those countries where English has official or historical importance ("special significance"). This includes most of the countries of the Commonwealth of Nations (the former British Empire), including populous countries such as India, Pakistan and Nigeria; and others, such as the Philippines, under the sphere of influence of English-speaking countries. Here English may serve as a useful lingua franca between ethnic and language groups. Higher education, the legislature and judiciary, national commerce, and so on, may all be carried out predominantly in English. The expanding circle refers to those countries where English has no official role, but is nonetheless important for certain functions, notably international business. This use of English as a lingua franca by now includes most of the rest of the world not categorised above. An interesting anecdote is the developing role of English as a lingua franca among speakers of the mutually intelligible Scandinavian languages (Danish, Norwegian and Swedish). Older generations of Scandinavians would use and understand each others' mother tongue without problems. However, today's younger generations lack the same understanding and some have begun using English as the language of choice. Research on English as a lingua franca in the sense of "English in the Expanding Circle" is comparatively recent. Linguists who have been active in this field are Jennifer Jenkins, Barbara Seidlhofer, Christiane Meierkord and Joachim Grzega. ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages), and EFL (English as a foreign language) all refer to the use or study of English by speakers with a different native language. The precise usage, including the different use of the terms ESL and ESOL in different countries, is described below. These terms are most commonly used in relation to teaching and learning English, but they may also be used in relation to demographic information. ELT (English language teaching) is a widely-used teacher-centred term, as in the English language teaching divisions of large publishing houses, ELT training, etc. The abbreviations TESL (teaching English as a second language), TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) and TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) are also used. Other terms used in this field include EAL (English as an additional language), EIL (English as an international language), ELF (English as a lingua franca), ESP (English for special purposes, or English for specific purposes), EAP (English for academic purposes). Some terms that refer to those who are learning English are ELL (English language learner), LEP (limited English proficiency) and CLD (culturally and linguistically diverse). Exams for learners
Learners of English are often keen to get accreditation and a number of exams are known internationally: •
University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations offers a suite of eighteen...
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