THE FUTURE OF ENGLISH AS A GLOBALLANGUAGE By dr. Cândida José Arlindo Universidade Pedagógica
OBJECTIVES: To present an account of the status of the English Language in the world and discuss possible future states of the language. To assess the role of the English Language Teaching professionals in the preservation of the English language as an important one in the context of globalization.
CRITICAL QUESTIONS What are the foundations of language change and/or language shift? How did English became a global language? To what extent is the English Language hegemony assured or in danger? What can be a possible future for the English Language in the world? What is the role of ELT professionals?
WHAT IS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE?“A language achieves a genuinely global status when it develops a special role that is recognized in every country.”Crystal (2003:3)
FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE LANGUAGE CHANGE AND/OR LANGUAGE SHIFT Economic developments Technological innovations History Demographic shifts Socio-geographical mobility Material circumstances Identity
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGEThe English language belongs to the Germanic branch of the Indo-European family of languages.„English‟ comes from the Old English word „Englisc‟, derived from „Angles‟, the people from Engle.EVOLUTIONOld English (450 - 1100 AD) Migration of the Saxon, Angles, and Jutes from German and Denmark the British Isles. The mixture of the three dialects originated Old English or Anglo- Saxon.
Middle English (1100 – 1500 AD) French occupation of Britain. English becomes a vulgar language. New French-origin words are added to the English lexicon.Modern English (1500 - present) Age of Shakespeare also labelled the Elizabethan era. Period of the Industrial Revolution, the invention of the press and the first printing of the Bible. The Royal Society is founded. It is a critical period of the spread of the British Empire.
THE SPREAD OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE AROUND THE WORLDGeo-historical factors Spread of the British Empire ( colonial developments in America, Australia, Asia, and Africa) Germany defeat in the World War II The foundation of the League of Nations (now UN)Socio-cultural factors Independence of former British colonies and the adoption, by these, of English as an official language Industrial Revolution (scientific publishing; instructional material for the new inventions; emigration of Britons; immigration of scientists from outside Britain)
Access to Knowledge Popularization of the American culture and its influence in the worldEconomic factors The rise of the US as a world leading economy The creation of the IMF and the World bank with great involvement of the US
DOMAINS OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE TODAY Working language of international organizations and conferences (e.g. Commonwealth, Council of Europe, European Union, NATO) Scientific Publication International banking, economic affairs and trade Advertising of global brands Audio-visual cultural products International tourism International law Relay language in interpretation and translation International communication
CHANGING TRENDS IN THE USE OF ENGLISH AS A WORLD LANGUAGE Although still dominant, English is no longer the sole „language of the internet‟ Versions of main American computer software‟s are available in more languages International media giants (as the case of CNN, CBS, and MTV) and transnational companies are now aiming for localization Emergence of new world economies (e.g. China) „New Englishes‟ Emancipation of national languages in countries around the world
ENGLISH IN THE FUTURE: FAIR PREDICTIONS Regional lingua franca‟s are used in regional economic blocks instead of English Decline of English importance in technology transfer Antagonism towards the English language English does not fit the desires for expression of identity of speakers of other languages English becomes the language of international relations only.
English becomes less attractive, (in a case where the US fall, or the sociolinguistic situation of the country changes. „New Englishes‟ become unintelligible and Standard English dies English becomes the only language in the world. English continues being a global language.
THE ROLE OF ELT PROFESSIONALS Teach English not as a superior language, at the expense of other languages, but as an important language in the present globalised world. Recognise students‟ first language as a symbol of their identity, as a way of avoiding antagonism towards English. Recognize the importance of English as a lingua franca that unites, at least currently, people from different nations.