Analyzing the Effects of the English Language on Our Nation

Topics: English language, Second language, Lingua franca Pages: 5 (1651 words) Published: September 16, 2010
Analyzing the Effects of the English Language on Our Nation
A.Language. We see, hear, and use it every day. Language may vary in form and size. Today, English language is recognized as a world language and commonly used in many cultures. However, hundreds of different languages exist in the world and some issues may arise when English is not the native language of a speaker. The languages differ widely in terms of the number of people who use them. Stereotypes and generalizations are formed on non-native speakers when English proficiency is enforced. Social, cultural, and economic factors have an impact on the manner and extent to which language unifies and divides our nation. B.In society, the media is a language tool commonly used to represent a material and social infrastructure for communication among people. Hjarvard mentions in an article that the media is a characteristic of society and “quite naturally has an imprint on language” (Hjarvard 75). The media has and will continue to serve as a vital necessity for international communication, both formal and informal. Hjarvard continues to state the fact that “language both in political and commercial contexts and intercultural exchanges act as bridges between people who cross cultural frontiers or like to enrich their lives with media products from abroad” (Hjarvard 76). Consumers should consider their personal and social values for themselves rather than society as a whole. The media may influence one's decision to purchase a particular product based on the message communicated to the audience; however, the final decision belongs to the individual themselves.

Along with the idea that many social influences are expressed through the media, the issue of miscommunication or misunderstanding may come up. The use of improper or “broken English” by non-native English speakers may cause native English speakers to generalize the idea that speakers of other languages are uneducated and often discriminated. Amy Tan is particular individual who has shared an experience where non-native speakers of English use the language on a limited level. According to Amy, people made the limited English seem “as if every is limited, including people's perceptions of the limited English speaker” (Tan 122). Instead of jumping into false accusations of non-native English speakers, society should have an open mind that these speakers are capable of communicating their message properly if given the chance to do so. Non-native speakers can improve their knowledge of the proper grammatical usage of the English language in order to add clarity to their speech and interaction between others in any society where English is spoken.

In terms of the economy, opportunities for jobs have become widely available to individuals all around the world. In many nations, the demands for English teachers are high in order to educate the citizens of their cultural society to integrate a global awareness of universal language. Block states in his article that “as a result, there has recently been an altogether more reflective and refined approach to language teaching methods and their transferability around the world as well as to the cultural appropriacy of particular language teaching materials in different parts of the world” (Block 76). However, there is a mutual benefit between native and non-native speakers of English. In fact, Foroudastan states that that the “lack of linguistic unity costs the government money as it spends millions of dollars translating public documents and providing translation services” (Foroudastan 1). People of a different ethnic background who speak their native language may find a stable career in dialectal translation. This way, we have a win-win situation. C.In an increasingly globalized world, the level of agreement with international issues varies from civilization to civilization. Language is a vital tool used to communicate the facts of these issues and may divide...

Bibliography: Block, David. “Globalization and language teaching.” Key Concepts in ELT. 1 Jan. 2004. Web. 17 Apr.
Foroudastan, Cameron. “Language unification adds benefits.” Campus Carrier Guest Writer. 3 Dec. 2009. Web. 17 Apr. 2010.
Hjarvard, Stig. “The Globalization of Language: How the media contribute to the spread of English and the emergence of medialects.” Plenary Session III. 2003. Web. 17 Apr. 2010.
Krauss, Michael. “Language and Culture threatened by Globalization.” Alaska Native Language Center. 2009. Web. 17 Apr. 2010.
Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue.” The New World Reader. Ed. Carrie Brandon. Boston: New York, 2008. 120-125. Print.
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