Globalization of English, a Bane or a Boon?

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Globalization of English, a Bane or a Boon?

By | September 2013
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Globalization of English, a Bane or a Boon?
A Discussion on its Effect on Language Diversity and Cultural Identity In a globalized world, English, as a lingua franca, has spread and used widely across the globe. The worldwide spread of English is considered as a great threat to language diversity and cultural identity, and also as a bane of language death. I agree that the globalization of English affects adversely on language diversity, and that English hegemony brings some adverse impacts on cultural identity. However, to some extent, English also provides convenience or brings a boon to the development of international cultural exchange as a tool or media of communication. Nevertheless, the linguistic imperialism and attendant cultural penetration should not be overlooked.

The spread of English, in a global context, has an adverse impact on language diversity. It would be too arbitrary to attribute the loss of language diversity to the worldwide spread of English,but it is definitely one of the major factors. Nowadays,English has been doubtlessly the most popular and influential language of the world. It can be found ranging from a bag of potato chips to a speech before the General Assembly of United Nations. English, a minor language four centuries ago, has become the dominant language of international communication in the world today. This remarkable development is ultimately because of British successes in capitalism, colonization and trade, but it reaches its peak with the advent of the United States as the dominant military and economic power, also technological leader since World War II (Troike 1977:2). There is also a trend towards that other international languages have been marginalized due to the global spread of English in recent centuries with the expansion of Anglo-American power. In the other words, English, as the leading language has limited the development of other international languages such as Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, French, German,...
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