Future of English

Topics: English language, Language, Teaching English as a foreign language Pages: 8 (2306 words) Published: August 10, 2011
Future of English as a global language

“A language achieves a genuinely global status when it develops a special role that is recognized in every country” (Crystal 1997).

In the 21st century, English is increasingly becoming the dominant language in global communication. However, the question of where the future of English lies remains unclear. Will English in the future increase in popularity or should we adopt a better alternative? English is undoubtedly one of the most influential languages in the world as more and more people use English as their official or second language. It has been given a variety of labels to represent its popularity. However, social inequalities and injustices have also emerged in the same process, revealing the controversial role English has had internationally. In order to critically examine the future of English as a global language this essay will discuss the following topics in this literature review. 1. Rise of English World-wide

2. English as the language of Science and Technology
3. English language teaching world-wide

The number of English speakers in the world has increased at an astonishing rate throughout the last few centuries. According to Crystal he states that by 1983, the number of people speaking English as an official language was over 1,400 million world wide. Moreover in India and its subcontinent, the English language has an official standing. In the late 1990’s the number of English speaking citizens in China was approximately 220 million. The Olympics provided the motivation for an increase to double these numbers.

English has brought benefits, social inequalities and injustices. It remains questionable as to whether or not English would remain a global standard language. Tsuda discuss how the political and cultural neutrality of the common language used internationally is extremely important and is required within the English language. By incorporating English into any society, countries are able to have some share of the globalization benefits but this necessitates the force of implementing English. If this way is adopted, the independence and uniqueness of other cultures will diminish because of one language dominating other ways worldwide and homogenize them into a Western and more particularly an American way of life.

Esperanto has been suggested by Tsuda is a language that could be used for the purpose of an equal communication. The Esperanto movement has its philosophy as peace. The author questions whether English has a similar philosophy.

English has undoubtedly dominated other languages in the past 20 years. How it came to be so is another story altogether, although some stress it on historical or political spurs while others believe that modern-day socio-economic and scientific motivations led to its popularity. However in my opinion and with some research it is believed that the popularity of English began by the end of World War II. The only major industrialized country unaffected by war was the United States.

The United States rapidly began working on scientific discoveries, such as the computer, this led to an increase in exchange of information globally, by design English became the source language for storage of information and its retrieval.

The United States spent 40 years, after the war, working on setting up research universities, research and development departments, economic stability and computer networking. Hence becoming the supreme user of information technology as well as its biggest contributor. When you contribute towards something you eventually become its manager, similarly the United States began managing information such as its categorization, storage as well as operating languages and computer system designs. And the only medium it knew best to manage was in the programmer’s natural language i.e. English.

So now English not only became the global language of...
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