Global Language--English

Topics: English language, Lingua franca, International auxiliary language Pages: 5 (1587 words) Published: March 17, 2013
A Discussion of the Advantages and Disadvantages of English As A Global Language

A widely accepted definition of global English which can be found at "" is "English as a global means of communication in numerous dialects, and also the movements towards an international standard for the language, it is also referred to as world English, common English or general English." In regard to history and why English developed into a global language, Crystal(1977) points out that the current status of English dominance is mainly attributed to two factors: the British colonial expansion in the nineteenth century and the dramatic rise of the American economy in the twentieth century. It also has undergone a period of rapid growth as a result of the development of globalization since the twentieth century. Crystal(2000) has drawn attention to the fact that no language but English possesses such a considerable number of speakers and plays such a vital role in various fields such as economy, science, culture and education. The goal of this work is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of English as a global language. This essay will principally focus on the influences that global English brings, including the negative and positive aspects. In the first place, this essay will examine the merits of English as a global language. Then its drawbacks will be elaborated on. A conclusion will be the last part of the essay. The first main advantage of global English is the significant impact on cultural communication. For thousands of years, culture was only accumulated and inherited within a single race continuously. Interethnic communication of culture rarely happened as a result of the paucity of communication media. With the emergence of global English, it seems that this sort of restriction is likely to be eliminated. As Crystal(2000) observes, all kinds of literature are either written in English or are translated into English, and it is an undeniable fact that the English language is an indispensable part in recording the past. The work of Graddol(1997) shows that the percentage of the global books annually published in English is 28%, which is far more than Chinese(13%). Currently, English as a global language is utilized for expressing personal emotions, ideas and feelings, for affecting individual and social behaviour, for accessing knowledge by more and more members from various races and nations. Apparently, this is the phenomenon by which global English acts as a bridge to link the different cultures. To a large extent, it urges the variety of cultures to communicate with each other directly. Gnutxmann(1999) correctly argues that the guiding concept for the general goal of English education has turned into intercultural communication competence. In addition, humankind never stops the pace in pursuit of progress. In the process, several prominent and compatible cultural features will be absorbed by other nations. Therefore, several combinations between two or more different cultures would be possible, which may turn the single culture into a rich and diversified one. For instance, some of the elements from the Peking opera are being used to insert into the western popular music, and form a new musical style in both China and abroad. Another benefit that global language brings is the development of the economy. As is mentioned in the introduction, the dominant position of global English was largely the result of the USA as the leading economic power in the twentieth century. Similarly, it also had a remarkable effect on the economy. The opinion of Crystal(2000) is that global English as the first ranking language being used in the industries has a significant influence on all aspects of society. Global English devotes itself to eliminating the barriers to linguistic communication, which make the negotiation and cooperation became more simple and frequent in the field of international business. Graddol(2006)...

References: 1. Crystal, D. (1997). English as a global language (the first edition): What are the dangers of a global language? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2. Crystal, D. (2000). English as a global language (the second edition): The cultural foundation and The right place at the right time. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
3. Ellis, S. (2006). Hold your tongue. Press by Guardian.
4. Graddol, D. (1997). The future of English: English in the 20th century. The British Council.
5. Graddol, D. (2006). English next: Introduction. British Council: The economic advantage ebbs away and the world in transition.
6. Gnutzmann, C. (1999). Teaching and Learning English As a Global Language: Implication for the cultural content of teaching and learning. Stauffenburg Verlag.
7. Global English. In Reference. Retrieved February 15, 2012, form
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