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  • 1. English NextWhy global English may mean the end of‘English as a Foreign Language’David Graddol
  • 2. The moral rights of the author have been asserted.The opinions expressed in this book are not necessarily those ofthe British Council.Designed and produced by The English Company (UK) Ltdwww.english.co.ukCover design by Intro(Last minor revision Jan 2007)© British Council 2006The United Kingdom’s international organisation for educational opportunitiesand cultural relations. We are registered in England as a charity.
  • 3. ForewordThe growth of the use of English as the world’s primarylanguage for international communication has obviouslybeen continuing for several decades. But even as thenumber of English speakers expands further there are signsthat the global predominance of the language may fadewithin the foreseeable future.Complex international, economic, technological andcultural changes could start to diminish the leading positionof English as the language of the world market, and UKinterests which enjoy advantage from the breadth of Englishusage would consequently face new pressures.Those realistic possibilities are highlighted in the studypresented by David Graddol. His analysis should thereforeend any complacency among those who may believe thatthe global position of English is so unassailable that theyoung generations of the United Kingdom do not needadditional language capabilities.
  • 4. David Graddol concludes that monoglot English graduatesface a bleak economic future as qualified multilingualyoungsters from other countries are proving to have acompetitive advantage over their British counterparts inglobal companies and organisations. Alongside that, manycountries are introducing English into the primary curriculumbut – to say the least – British schoolchildren and studentsdo not appear to be gaining greater encouragement toachieve fluency in other languages.If left to themselves, such trends will diminish the relativestrength of the English language in international educa-tion markets as the demand for educational resources inlanguages, such as Spanish, Arabic or Mandarin growsand international business process outsourcing in otherlanguages such as Japanese, French and German, spreads.The changes identified by David Graddol all present clearand major challenges to the UK’s providers of Englishlanguage teaching to people of other countries and tobroader education business sectors. The English languageteaching sector directly earns nearly £1.3 billion for the UKin invisible exports and our other education related exportsearn up to £10 billion a year more. As the internationaleducation market expands, the recent slow down in thenumbers of international students studying in the mainEnglish-speaking countries is likely to continue, especially
  • 5. if there are no effective strategic policies to prevent suchslippage. Clearly, the effect of developments in that directionwould not be limited to the commercial and educationalsectors. Cultural and civil contacts and understanding wouldalso be diluted.The anticipation of possible shifts in demand provided bythis study gives all interests and organisations which seekto nourish the learning and use of English with a basis forplanning to meet the eventualities of what could be a verydifferent operating environment in a decade’s time. That isa necessary and practical approach. In this as in much else,those who wish to influence the future must prepare for it. Rt Hon Lord Neil Kinnock Chair of the British Council
  • 6. ContentsFOREWORDINTRODUCTION 9KEY TRENDS 14PART ONE: A WORLD IN TRANSITION 16 Introduction: From modernity to postmodernity 18 Section 1: Demography 23 The global population 24 Changing age structure 26 People movement 28 Demography trends 30 Section 2: Economy 31 The rise of the BRICs 32 Globalisation, ITO and BPO 34 The knowledge economy 36 The redistribution of poverty 38 Economy trends 40 Section 3: Technology 41 Communications technology 42 Language on the internet 44 News media 46 Technology trends 48 Section 4: Society 49 An urban, middle class future 50 Social cohesion 52 The growing gap 54 Society trends 56 Section 5: Languages 57 The triumph of English 58 The world languages system 60 English challenged 62 Languages trends 64 A transitional stage 65 Part one references 67
  • 7. PART TWO: EDUCATION 68 Introduction: The educational revolution 70 Section 1: Higher Education 73 The globalisation of universities 74 International student mobility 76 Transnational education 78 Higher education trends 80 Section 2: Learning English 81 Which model? 82 Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) 86 English as a lingua franca (ELF) 87 English for young learners (EYL) 88 Overview of models 90 English in Europe 92 English as an Asian language 94 The ‘World English Project’ 96 The rise in demand 98 If the project succeeds. . . 100 Part two references 103PART THREE: CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 104 Introduction: Global English as an innovation 106 Who is a native speaker? 110 Section 1: Policy implications 111 A new hegemony of English 112 The native speaker problem 114 Protecting local languages and identities 116 Beyond English 118 Managing the change 120 The economic advantage ebbs away 122 Part three references 124a note on methodol ogy 125READING LIST 126ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 127FIGURES AND TABLES 128
  • 8. 8 ENGLISH NEXT • INTRODUCTION
  • 9. IntroductionThis book explores some very recent trends in the use of Englishworldwide and its changing relationships with other languages. Itbuilds on the analysis given in a report I wrote for the British Councilin 1997 called The Future of English? The main findings of The Futureof English? were:» that the future development of English as a global language might be less straightforward than had been assumed» that the global spread of English raised not just linguistic, educational and economic issues but also cultural, political and ethical ones» that the key drivers of change were demographic, economic, technological and long-term trends in society» that the relationship between English and globalisation was a complex one: economic globalisation encouraged the spread of English but the spread of English also encouraged globalisation» that the growth of China would have a significant impact on the world in which English was used and learned» that countries like India in which English is spoken extensively as a second language will play a major role in the development of global English.(Left) Nelson’s famous signal ‘England Expects’ flies from Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship HMSVictory in Portsmouth, 21 October 2005, on the 200th anniversary of the British victory againstNapoleon, off Cape Trafalgar, Spain, which prevented Napoleon from invading Britain. There isa danger that the spread of English as a world language is seen by some as a new Trafalgar, afinal triumph in an extraordinary centuries-long ‘love–hate’ relationship between England andFrance which has helped define the national identities of both countries and the role of theirnational languages on the world stage. (AP Photo/Chris Ison) ENGLISH NEXT • INTRODUCTION 9
  • 10. It is difficult to recapture the sense of complacency evident amongst some native English speakers in the mid-1990s for whom even the first of these points provided a challenge. The global ‘triumph’ of English was understood as a done deal. And, given the widespread recent discussion in the west about the global impact of China, it is equally difficult to appreciate the general lack of awareness, little more than five years ago, of the rapid transformation already then taking place in East Asia. But the world has been changing so fast that it scarcely seems to be the same place as that of the 1990s. In 1997 Britain, when The Future of English? was being prepared for publication, Tony Blair and the Labour Party had just won its first term in office in the UK, ending a political era which began when Margaret Thatcher led the Conservative party to victory in the 1979 General Election. In the USA President Clinton was starting his second term of office. In Europe, the euro had not yet been introduced as a common currency. Princess Diana was very much alive. Hong Kong had not yet been handed back to China. Microsoft’s ‘Windows 98’ operating system was not yet in use. Google did not exist. Information technology experts were mesmerised by the looming ‘millennium bug’ of Y2K. The ‘dot com’ bubble did not burst until March 2000. And the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were still four years away. Despite the extraordinary changes of the last few years, one thing appears to remain the same. More people than ever want to learn English. The projections given in this book confirm that English learners are increasing in number and decreasing in age. As a news headline it is not much of a story. We’ve become used to the idea of English growing in popularity across the world. Far from being news, it has become one of the few enduring facts of global modern life – a trend which began in the late 19th10 ENGLISH NEXT • INTRODUCTION
  • 11. century when English was heralded, from Europe to Japan, as the newrising world language.But at what point do we pause, take a fresh look at what is happeningand decide that what is going on now is not just ‘more of the same’. Afterscrutinising current trends, including those which have not yet reachedthe statistical yearbooks, I conclude that there has been a significant– even dramatic – qualitative change: one that may be taking the languagein a very new direction.People have wondered for some years whether English had so much got itsfeet under the global office desk that even the rise of China – and Mandarin– could ever shift it from its position of dominance. The answer is that thereis already a challenger, one which has quietly appeared on the scene whilstmany native speakers of English were looking the other way, celebratingthe rising hegemony of their language. The new language which is rapidlyousting the language of Shakespeare as the world’s lingua franca is Englishitself – English in its new global form. As this book demonstrates, this isnot English as we have known it, and have taught it in the past as a foreignlanguage. It is a new phenomenon, and if it represents any kind of triumphit is probably not a cause of celebration by native speakers.This book attempts to describe this new phenomenon and explain thecontext in which it has emerged. It also identifies some of the challengesthat will be created over the next few years for everyone involved in theglobal education business.The book does not attempt to provide a complete ‘state of the art’account of global English. It serves as an update for The Future of English? ENGLISH NEXT • INTRODUCTION 11
  • 12. by identifying very recent developments which seem to be driving changes to the international and national status of the English language. It has now become much clearer how much is at stake, and how many stakeholders there now are, in the global business of English. The teaching of English has been seen in the past as largely a technical issue about the best methodology, a practical issue of resources in teacher training and text books, or a problem about imperialist propaganda. We can now see that it has become much more than these things, although such issues have not gone away. If the analysis of this book is correct, then English has at last become of age as a global language. It is a phenomenon which lies at the heart of globalisation: English is now redefining national and individual identities worldwide; shifting political fault lines; creating new global patterns of wealth and social exclusion; and suggesting new notions of human rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Anyone who believes that native speakers of English remain in control of these developments will be very troubled. This book suggests that it is native speakers who, perhaps, should be the most concerned. But the fact is, that the future development of English in the world is now a global concern and should be troubling us all. The book sets out some of the facts and an agenda of issues. It focuses particularly on the impact of the rising giant economies of India and China and the impact they might have on the use of global English. No doubt there are more issues, of both a global and local kind, which would need to be added to create a comprehensive account of what is hap- pening to English around the world. But I hope that the book serves as a12 ENGLISH NEXT • INTRODUCTION
  • 13. good starting point: to alert all of us who are affected by recent develop-ments to some of the main issues and facts so we can join together indebating the most appropriate strategies for coping with the interestingtimes ahead.I have suggested in this book that the current enthusiasm for Englishin the world is closely tied to the complex processes of globalisation. IfI am right, then the future of English has become more closely tied tothe future of globalisation itself. Global English is still not a ‘done deal’.It is already possible to see another story unfolding, within the presentcentury, in which present forms of globalisation give way to greaterregionalism and more complex patterns of linguistic, economic andcultural power.Global English may yet prove to be a transitional phenomenon, and that,paradoxically, may be in the long-term interests of native-speakers. Muchwill depend on how the challenges of implementing the ‘World EnglishProject’, as described in this book, are managed.Where a question mark formed a salient part of the title of the originalbook, perhaps this one should have included an exclamation mark. Wehave moved significantly in the last five years from wondering about whatwas to come, to trying to understand, and seeking to respond coherentlyto what is already around us.David GraddolMilton Keynes, January 2006. ENGLISH NEXT • INTRODUCTION 13
  • 14. Key trends » THE RISE AND FALL OF LEARNERS A massive increase in the number of people learning English has already begun, and is likely to reach a peak of around 2 billion in the next 10–15 years. Numbers of learners will then decline. » WIDENING OF STUDENT AGE AND NEED Over the next decade there will be a complex and changing mix of learner ages and levels of proficiency. The situation will be one of many ages and many needs. » RISING COMPETITION Non-native speaker providers of ELT services elsewhere in Europe and Asia will create major competition for the UK. » LOSS OF TRADITIONAL MARKETS Within a decade, the traditional private-sector ‘market’ in teenage and young adult EFL learners will decline substantially. » IRREVERSIBLE TREND IN INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS The recent decline in international students studying in the main English-speaking countries is unlikely to reverse. » IRRELEVANCE OF NATIVE SPEAKERS Native-speaker norms are becoming less relevant as English becomes a component of basic education in many countries. » THE DOOM OF MONOLINGUALISM Monolingual English speakers face a bleak economic future, and the barriers preventing them from learning other languages are rising rapidly. » GROWTH OF LANGUAGES ON THE INTERNET The dominance of English on the internet is declining. Other languages, including lesser-used languages, are now proliferating.14 ENGLISH NEXT • INTRODUCTION
  • 15. Key trends» OTHER LANGUAGES WILL COMPETE FOR RESOURCES Mandarin and Spanish are challenging English in some territories for educational resources and policy attention.» ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF OTHER LANGUAGES The dominance of English in offshore services (BPO) will also decline, though more slowly, as economies in other language areas outsource services. Japanese, Spanish, French and German are already growing.» ASIA MAY DETERMINE THE FUTURE OF GLOBAL ENGLISH Asia, especially India and China, probably now holds the key to the long-term future of English as a global language.» THE ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE IS EBBING AWAY The competitive advantage which English has historically provided its acquirers (personally, organisationally, and nationally) will ebb away as English becomes a near-universal basic skill. The need to maintain the advantage by moving beyond English will be felt more acutely.» RETRAINING NEEDED FOR ENGLISH SPECIALISTS Specialist English teachers will need to acquire additional skills as English is less often taught as a subject on its own.» THE END OF ‘ENGLISH AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE’ Recent developments in English language teaching represent a response to the changing needs of learners and new market conditions, but they mark a ‘paradigm shift’ away from conventional EFL models. ENGLISH NEXT • INTRODUCTION 15 15
  • 16. 16 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 17. PART ONE A worldin transition ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 17
  • 18. PART ONE INTRODUCTION From modernity to postmodernity From a western point of view, there THE END OF MODERNITY have been three major phases in Many of the extraordinary and rapid human history: premodern, modern, changes we have seen recently in the and postmodern. Each phase (shown world can be understood as the old order, opposite) is associated with different as represented by modernity, being swept forms of social and economic organi- away by a new one – as equally powerful sation, different beliefs, and different as modernity was. The structures, attitudes ideas about expected forms of change. and needs of modernity have been under- The changing relationships between mined by globalisation, new technologies languages now taking place may reflect (especially those related to communica- the decline of modernity in the world. tion), and the changing demographic shape of the world. M odernity spread from Europe across the world. Its roots were in the Renaissance and its development can be This book shows how these develop- ments have come to a head in the last few years – in many cases since the start of the charted through the centuries – the emer- 21st century. It, of course, is in the nature of gence of capitalist economies, colonial things that precursors can always be found. expansion, protestant non-conformism Major trends now were minor trends at some in northern Europe, territorial wars, the earlier stage, though their importance may Enlightenment and the industrial and urban not have been recognised. Some argue, for age of the 19th century. Languages in example, that globalisation started in the Europe during this period became ‘modern’: 15th century with the development of capi- codified, standardised, languages which talist economies, nation states and national symbolised and helped unify national iden- languages. By the 19th century, scholars tity – often at the cost of other language were well aware of the potential impact varieties spoken within national borders. of new technologies, such as the electric The rise of modern languages brought with telegraph, on social, political and economic it modern concepts of the ‘native speaker’ life. Some analysts prefer to talk about ‘late and its counterpart: the notion of a ‘foreign modernity’ rather than ‘postmodernity’ language’. Before the 18th century there – emphasising the continuity with the past was no concept of ‘foreign language’ as we rather than the novelty of the present. But know it today. there comes a moment where one has to18 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 19. Postmodernity is the age of the multilingual speaker Premodern Modern Postmodern » Faith provides security and » Rationalist faith in science, » Tension between secularism authority in an unsafe world. technology, social institutions and fundamentalism. » Change is experienced as and the responsibility of » Acceptance of change in humans to shape their destiny. predictable cycles – what goes terms of flow, complexity and around, comes around. » Change is expected in the form randomness. The new » ‘Foreign’ is the next valley or of ‘progress’ – ever onward, mathematics of chaos theory ever upward, ever outward. and quantum mechanics village. » Nation states provide new replaces Newtonian physics as » Languages are not standard- dominant view of nature. unified basis for identity and ised and codified but vary according to geography. hence a new understanding of » Identity is more complex, fluid, ‘foreign’. contradictory. Difference in social status may be signalled by use of a » National, standardised » Party politics give way to different language rather than languages serve multiple single-issue pressure groups. dialectal difference. communicative functions. » Society and families are more » People learn new languages » Nations strive to become fragmented. through contact and use monolingual: regional » Multilingualism becomes the different languages for languages are marginalised or norm. different purposes. suppressed.pause and conclude that a new framework LINGUISTIC POSTMODERNITYis required to understand the events now Europe, in which modernity was invented,unfolding before us, to comprehend why is now providing a source of new ideasthey are happening, and to speculate on about how to adapt to a globalised world:what might happen next. We need a ‘para- the pooling of sovereignty combined withdigm shift’ – like the scientific revolutions the principle of ‘subsiduarity’ (i.e. localdescribed by Kuhn. In this book I argue that determination); free movement of goodswe have reached such a moment in relation and citizens within well-guarded collectiveto the status of global English: the world has boundaries; standardised approaches tochanged and will never be the same again. the teaching and learning of languages; andAs ever increasing numbers of people learn new forms of multilingualism. The growth ofEnglish around the world, it is not just ‘more multilingualism in Europe represents theof the same’. There is a new model. English unravelling of a key component of modernis no longer being learned as a foreign identity. Monolingualism is also declining inlanguage, in recognition of the hegemonic the USA, where Hispanification is bringingpower of native English speakers. new linguistic realities and expectations. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 19
  • 20. PART ONE INTRODUCTION English is in the thick of all of this. An the urge to complete it is strong: border ‘English factor’ is found in virtually every key disputes, ethnic cleansing, the creation of macro trend: whether it is business process and the rush to protect national languages outsourcing (BPO), the rise of urban middle are all associated more with the ideas of classes around the world, the development the 18th and 19th centuries than the 21st. of new communications technology such In some less-developed regions there is a as the internet, the global redistribution of feeling that a country must be ‘modernised’ poverty, the changing nature and control of as preparation for the global economy news media, or the reform of education in and society – as if modernity is a phase universities and schools. which cannot be missed out in the journey One theme of this book is the extent to towards globalisation. which modernity and postmodernity are in Hence it may seem ironic that many devel- tension with each other, creating paradox oping countries which have found them- and contradiction. One cannot note that the selves at the centre of the new globalised spread of the English language is implicated economy are struggling to achieve a state of in the unravelling of modernity without also modernity. China, for example, seems still in noting that in many countries English still pursuit of the old European ideal of the nation forms a key mechanism for reproducing the state, in securing its territorial boundaries old order of social elites – especially those and implementing a nation-wide standard originally constructed by imperialism. spoken language. At the same time, its eco- Indeed, the postmodern model of English nomic development and increasing global may be seen as a threat to many who have influence depend almost entirely on the invested heavily in its modern form – not processes of globalisation and the enhance- least native speakers whose identity was ment of English language proficiency. China created by modernity and is now under is thus juggling two projects – modernity and challenge. But the new realities also pose postmodernity – at the same time. a challenge for many non-native speakers, India, the world’s other emerging global including members of those existing elites power is, in some respects, experiencing for whom English represents an identity even greater contradictions. On the one marker, and many of those involved in the hand, Hindi may be, at last, gaining ground traditional English teaching business itself. as a national language as infrastructure If some of the trends described in this improvements make movement to the cities book represent postmodernity, then we easier. But, on the other hand, India has must also recognise that in many places been triumphantly playing the English card we can see that the modernity project is in establishing its global leadership of out- incomplete, and even in the 21st century sourcing and BPO. Furthermore, the capital20 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 21. EFFICIENCY Market incentives1.1 Shell International Ltd have used tion Ope isa alscenario planning for several decades as n ust Glob Doorsa means of forecasting future business Trenvironments. They see the period Low2000–25 as shaped by three majorforces: a need for security, a need to SECURITYmaintain social cohesion, and liberalisa- Coercion, SOCIAL COHESIONtion and free market forces. regulation The force of community Flagsof the new economy in India, Bangalore, lies the impact of globalisation of English, andin the south where regional languages are, the role of English in globalisation, is toin linguistic terms, more remote from Hindi recognise the importance of complexity andthan English, and where use of English has contradictory trends. That era of globalisa-long represented a political challenge to tion was ended by World War I, and did notthe linguistic hegemony of the north. start again until after a further world war One of the reasons why such co-exist- and the Cold War which followed. The latterence in ideologies is possible without effectively ended in 1989.excessive conflict is because a postmodern It is tempting to think of postmodernityoutlook is comfortable with the complexity not as a radically new phenomenon butand contradictions which such an overlap simply as a return to more ancient values.creates. This is unlike modernity itself for Modernity, in other words, as seen fromwhich such contradictions always create the long perspective of the developmentproblems. Those hanging on to modernist of human societies, might be a blip invalues may be driven into more fundamen- history – albeit one lasting a few hundredtalist or repressive responses. years. From this point of view, we are now In some ways, one can look back to the end returning to the middle ages, to premodernof the 19th century and see where modern times, as we see the erosion of nationalglobalisation really began. The electric tel- boundaries, greater multilingualism, andegraph had wired the world and there was a fluidity in identity. One of the problems withclear understanding in Europe and beyond this analysis, attractive though it is in somewhere this English-dominated technology respects, is that it fails to acknowledge thewould lead. One of the main deficiencies importance of the two related phenomenaof 19th century ideas about globalisation which most characterise and which haveis that they required simplicities and linear brought about this new age: communica-trends whereas the key to understanding tions technology and globalisation. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 21
  • 22. PART ONE INTRODUCTION Thomas Friedman (2005) in his book the latter seems already to have gone out The World is Flat argues that at the start of of intellectual fashion. During the 1990s, a the present millennium we entered a third deluge of books containing ‘postmodernity’ era of globalisation. I’m not sure that this in their titles was published, compared with is the third such era, but I do concur that hardly a handful since. That in itself is telling we are now experiencing a very significant us something about the stage we have col- transitional moment which has gathered lectively reached. The impact of any innova- momentum only in the last 5 years. tion or event rarely occurs quickly. There is In this book, I argue that the status of a lead time during which intellectuals and English, as the only global language avail- those who are farsighted herald the coming able at such a fateful moment in history, is changes, in which ‘early adopters’ play with also being transformed. Inevitably, at the ideas and gadgets before moving on to same time, the business of teaching and the next new thing. Then, after the hype, learning English is also changing beyond there may be a period of disillusionment, recognition. The relationships between of audience fatigue. It may even appear stakeholders in the global English business that the much heralded change has fizzled – learners, parents, governments, employers, out, failing to live up to its promise. A closer publishers, schools – are also evolving rap- analysis of how innovation changes the idly. The relative certainties which have been world, however, tells a different though less with us since at least the days when Berlitz newsworthy story, as I explore more fully established his first language schools in the later in the book. late 19th century are dissipating. This book So it is with both postmodernity and explores what seems to be replacing them. global English. Interest in both is waning The next stage of global development amongst intellectuals precisely because will be as dramatic as that of the industrial it is now seen as a ‘done deal’. It is here, revolution and the rise of nation states. We not something to come. Both have become are rapidly shifting to a completely new mainstream features of the 21st century social, economic and political order and world. But it is only now that both are seri- with it a new world order in languages. ously transforming the world. This is the English is proving to be a key part of this less exciting ‘implementation’ stage. process. On the one hand, the availability of The key period for this transitional stage English as a global language is accelerating is the next 10–15 years. In fact, we are globalisation. On the other, the globalisation probably already 5 years into a 20-year is accelerating the use of English. period of change. As the decade moves on, One of the problems about using terms the world will look more like the future and such as ‘modern’ and ‘postmodern’ is that less like the past.22 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 23. SECTION 1: DEMOGRAPHYAlthough the world’s population is still increasing fast,different countries – and languages – are affected in verydifferent ways. Some languages are ‘demographicallychallenged’ whilst others are rapidly acquiring new nativespeakers.Demographic change is one of the most important factorsaffecting languages – and to a much greater extent thanother key trends affecting English – they can be predicted.The global population 24Changing age structure 26People movement 28Demography trends 30 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 23
  • 24. DEMOGRAPHY The global population D Much of the rapid change which we have witnessed in recent years – in emography – who lives where – has been, along with scientific and techno- logical progress, the main driver of change economic, political and social spheres – is related to population trends. As the in the world since the 18th century. The developing world becomes more world population then started rising fast. populous whilst developed countries Cities in Europe expanded, sustained first meet the challenges of an ageing by the agrarian revolution, which allowed greater food production with fewer workers, population, the world language system by the industrial revolution, which created has been transformed. new employment opportunities in towns, and by improvements in healthcare. which reduced mortality rates. This trend towards 10.00 population increase, industrialisation and 9 bn 2042 urbanisation is still not completed in much of the world. 8 bn 2027 8.00 By the 1990s, population increase in many developed economies had slowed, 7 bn 2012 but in less developed parts of the world 6 bn 1999 it was still rising fast. The reasons for this 6.00 imbalance lie in a complex mix of material 5 bn 1987 circumstances, life chances and financial needs. In rural areas, children are important 4.00 4 bn 1974 to family economies and as a future support for parents. In urban, middle class families 3 bn 1960 children become more of a financial and 2.00 2 bn 1927 lifestyle liability. This is one reason why populations grow more slowly as a country becomes more urbanised, middle class, and wealthy. 0.00 0 0 0 0 00 50 00 00 50 50 25 50 75 20 22 10 15 17 12 AN UNSTOPPABLE GROWTH? By the 1990s public concern had arisen 1.2 Growth of the world population (billions). in developed countries about what was Numbers started rising fast in the 18th century, but the rate of increase is already slowing and the global perceived as unsustainable population population is expected to stabilise. (Based on the UN growth in the developing countries. In World Population Prospects, 2004 revision) the 21st century, the focus of debate24 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 25. Population growth will soon slow and stabilise at around 10 billionhas shifted to the economic and social THE FUTURE WORLD STATEproblems caused by ageing populations in Conventional wisdom suggests that thedeveloped nations: lack of skilled workers, further ahead we look, the less accuratelyproblems in providing public services for we can predict. But we live in a transitionalthe elderly – especially health – and the age where change is rapid, making it more‘pension crisis’. difficult in some cases to forecast year- However, the world’s population overall to-year change than the general shape ofis still young and numbers are growing. Yet things to come. The future of languages indemographic projections suggest that the the world depends on people (1.3). Whorate of increase in developing countries is lives where? What are their basic needs?also now slowing and that the world popu- What kind of work will they be doing? Inlation will stabilise at between 9–10 billion, order to understand some of the remark-possibly later this century. able events and trends now taking place, we must look beyond the next few yearsPOPULATION GROWTH AS AN ‘S’ CURVE and try to envision the world of the future.If we chart these demographic changes This suggests where destiny lies – even ifwe get an ‘S-shaped’ graph (1.2). The the way there is strewn with surprises.curve starts gradually, rapidly gains speed, In the next few pages, we will explore somethen begins to slow and level out as time of the educational and linguistic aspects ofpasses. Such an S-shaped graph is familiar the world’s demographic destiny.to anyone analysing social change or the Billions 7spread of innovation – whether it be newmobile phone users, the diffusion of a 6sound change through the lexicon in a rural 5English dialect, or the spread of a conta- 4gious disease. 3 Instead of thinking about the ‘population 2 Less developed countriesexplosion’ as a process which is out of con- 1trol, it may be more helpful to think of the 0 More developed countries 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000world system as switching from one state toanother: from a population of around 500 1.3 Recent population growth has been mainly inmillion to a population of 10 billion. We are the less developed countries. The more developednow in the middle of this switch and many of countries are experiencing a shrinking, ageingthe – at times bewildering – changes taking population. This, in turn, is changing the relative sizeplace in the economic, social and political of the world’s languages.world are ultimately attributable to this. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 25
  • 26. DEMOGRAPHY Changing age structure Demographic trends have a profound DEMOGRAPHIC WAVES impact on societies – affecting social It is not unusual to see age peaks and troughs structures, educational systems, and in the age profile of a population as a ‘baby economic futures. boom’ gives rise to a ‘baby boomlet’ a generation later. Such waves make capacity management at different educational levels population size (millions) 125 16 yrs tricky. On the whole, it is easier to increase the participation rate and introduce major curriculum innovations when a demographic cohort is declining in size. In Poland, for 100 example, a demographic wave worked its 0 age way through the educational system in the 1.4 The age structure of the global population in last decade or so, but declining numbers of 2005. Overall, there were many young children, but few elderly people. young people are entering school. 23 yrs 700 O 48 yrs ne consequence of the rapid popula- population size (000s) tion growth in the developing world is 67 yrs that the age structure of countries varies 350 considerably. In 2005, the median age in Italy was over 40 years, and getting higher 0 100 year by year. Italy’s problem is faced, albeit age to a lesser extent, by many other countries 1.6 The age structure of Poland in 2005. in western Europe. In Uganda, on the other hand, the median age was under 15 years. PATTERNS OF MIGRATION In many developing countries, the number Countries like Italy, facing declining num- of children needing primary education is bers of young people in comparison with rising faster than governments can build the numbers of elderly, are likely to receive new schools and train teachers. large numbers of migrant workers to sup- port the economy. This will in turn change population size (000s) 77 yrs the ethnic and linguistic profile of the 775 country. On the other hand, countries which 67 yrs have rising numbers of people of working 400 age, such as Poland, may experience high levels of emigration. Such migrant workers 0 100 age may acquire language skills which they 1.5 The projected age structure of Italy in 2050. bring back to the country at a future date.26 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 27. The age distribution is changing as the global population increases 2050 2040 2030 2010 2005 2000 1990 1980 1970 196019501.7 Global population past and future 1950–2050.MODELLING DEMOGRAPHIES population is increasing and how the ageThis report draws on research data gener- distribution is changing. The slice repre-ated by a computer model of global demo- senting the global population in 2005 isgraphics created by The English Company shown with axes in 1.4. The cascade shows(UK) Ltd. The model allows the visual explo- how the age structure of the world popula-ration of past and future population trends tion is gradually flattening as fewer childrenin different countries. The model also allows are born. These global patterns, of course,the impact to be estimated of educational disguise significant differences betweeninitiatives – such as the lowering of the age national populations.at which the teaching of English is taught. The computer model allows similar pro-1.7 shows a cascade of graphs at 5-year jections to be produced for the populationsintervals starting in 1950 through to 2050. of native speakers of different languages.We can see how the total size of the global Some examples appear later in the book. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 27
  • 28. DEMOGRAPHY People movement 1.8 African immigrants sit at a police station in the Spanish enclave of Melilla, North Africa, 3 October 2005, after breaching a high security fence, crossing over from Morocco into Spain and raising fears of a wave of immigrants pouring into Spain as a gateway to Europe. (AP Photo/Jasper Juinen) Historically, the movement of people seek a better life in one of the more has been the main reason for language developed countries which encourage the spread. It still has important linguistic immigration of skilled workers to counter- consequences today. balance their ageing workforce. This is changing the social and linguistic mix of M ore people than ever are on the move. Between 1960 and 2000 the total number of international migrants had dou- the destination countries. For example, London is now widely regarded as the most multilingual city in the bled to 175 million, representing nearly 3% world – a study in 2000 found that children in of the world’s population. Many migrants London schools spoke over 300 languages.28 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 29. EUROPEAN MIGRANT WORKERS People on the moveFreedom of labour movement within the EUhas led to the emergence of new linguistic • Migrant workerscommunities in many smaller English towns. • Refugees and asylum seekersAfter the accession of new countries to the • ImmigrantsEuropean Union in 2005, Britain elected • Tourists, visits to friends and familynot to impose restrictions on migrant • Business workersworkers. The result has been an influx ofworkers from eastern Europe, especially • International studentsPoland. In October 2005 the New York • Troop movements, peace-keepingTimes reported: • Emergency aid work, NGOs Despite fears across Europe that low-cost workers would steal jobs, multicultural Britain has TOURISM absorbed these workers with hardly a ripple . . . International tourism is growing, but the Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians and other Easterners proportion of encounters involving a native are arriving at an average rate of 16,000 a English speaker is declining (1.9). There were month . . . Since May 2004, more than 230,000 around 763 million international travellers East Europeans have registered to work in Britain. in 2004, but nearly three-quarters of visitsIn some parts of the UK, this influx has involved visitors from a non-English-speakinggreatly increased demand for ESL classes, country travelling to a non-English-speakingeven in remote areas. destination. This demonstrates the scale of need for face-to-face international communi-RETURNEES cation and a growing role for global English.As the economies of developing countriesgrow, many former economic migrants Non-English speaking to non-English speakingreturn – often with the skills and capital 74%they have acquired overseas. The govern-ments of both China and India encourage‘returnees’ who have become a new socialcategory in these countries, part envied,part resented. Returnees usually face chal- English tolenging issues relating to identity. Some English 4% English to other Other countriesfamily members of returnees may feel they countries 12% to English 10%belong ‘elsewhere’ – children, for example, 1.9 Tourism is growing, but the majority of humanwho have been brought up in the USA with interactions do not involve an English native speaker.English as their first language. (Data derived from World Tourism Organisation) ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 29
  • 30. 74% English Next Demography Trends » Demographic change is one of the most important factors affecting language spread, language shift, and language change. » As populations in the less developed countries rise, the demographic balance between languages is changing. » Languages differ remarkably in the age structure of the population speaking them, which will affect the future destiny of languages in the world but also the nature of educational services. » Despite increasing immigration controls in some of the preferred destination countries, global migration is higher than ever before. » Analysis of international travel movements suggests that three-quarters of all travel is between non-English speaking countries. This suggests a large demand for either foreign language learning or the increasing use of English as a lingua franca.30 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 31. SECTION 2: ECONOMYIf asked why everyone seems interested in learning English,it is tempting to reply that it’s primarily because of theeconomy. This section describes the major trends in theglobal economy now affecting the demand for English andother languages.The rise of the BRICs 32Globalisation, ITO and BPO 34The knowledge economy 36The redistribution of poverty 38Economy trends 40 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 31
  • 32. ECONOMY The rise of the BRICs Before the 19th century, India and China 50,000 were the world’s economic 45,000 superpowers. Thanks to their new 40,000 35,000 economic rise, they will soon regain 30,000 their former status – and our percep- 25,000 tions of the relative importance of world 20,000 languages may also change. 15,000 10,000 E conomic relationships between the developed countries and those of the ‘third world’ are changing. Indian and 5,000 0 a a A ia an zil y ce ly UK ssi an in US Ita Ind Bra n Jap Ch Ru rm Fra Chinese economies, especially, have been Ge growing fast (1.10). According to the OECD, 1.10 How the top ten economies will look in 2050. China could overtake the USA and Germany (Goldman Sachs) to become the largest exporter in the world in the next 5 years. In December 2005, THE BRICS China revised its estimations of economic The world economy is experiencing the growth, showing that it had already over- impact of two new economic superpowers taken Italy in GDP and was likely to become emerging simultaneously. But it is not just the world’s fourth largest, overtaking the China and India whose economies are UK, by the end of 2006. China’s services growing fast. Together with Brazil and sector was particularly underestimated Russia they form a group referred to by and probably already accounts for over economists as BRICs. An analysis in 2003 40% of its GDP. by Goldman Sachs estimated what the Services are of linguistic interest since combined impact would be on the world they often require much higher levels economy of this emergent group: of communication than manufacturing. If things go right, in less than 40 years, the BRICs Exported services – which include receiving economies together could be larger than the G6 international students and tourists – often in US dollar terms. By 2025 they could account for require international communication (1.11). over half the size of the G6. Currently they are worth The trade imbalance in services across all less than 15%. (Wilson & Purushothaman, 2003) developing countries seems to be falling This prediction may even be conservative, (1.12), which reflects the increasingly given the recent revision upwards of China’s two-way direction of economic and com- growth. In January 2006, The Economist municative flows. reported:32 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 33. Merchandise exports as % of imports 80 Services exports as % of imports 70 Services 1980 2002 60 140 140 120 120 50 100 100 80 80 40 Industrial 60 60 30 40 40 20 20 20 0 0 g ed g Agriculture ed in in op 10 op op op el el el el v v v v De De 0 De De 20 40 60 80 90 00 10 40 60 80 18 18 18 18 18 19 19 19 19 19 1.12 Trade in services is becoming more evenly1.11 Changing employment by sector (percentage of distributed as developing countries increase theirworkforce) in the USA. export of services. (UNCTAD, 2004) Since their industrial revolutions in the 19th the trend is welcome or not, a commentary in century, the rich countries of the ‘first world’ the Financial Times by Martin Wolf captures have dominated the global economy. By one the feeling of many economic analysts: measure at least, that era may be over. According The economic rise of Asia’s giants is . . . the most to estimates by The Economist, in 2005 the important story of our age. It heralds the end, combined output of emerging (or developing) in the not too distant future, of as much as five economies rose above half of the global total. centuries of domination by the Europeans and their colonial offshoots.THREAT OR OPPORTUNITY? China may play down any imperial ambitions,In January 2006, the Worldwatch Institute, but it is a country with immense self-con-a US think-tank, warned that India and China fidence and sense of destiny and is able toare ‘planetary powers that are shaping the play a long game. Chinese enterprises areglobal biosphere’ who, if they were to con- quietly acquiring a controlling interest in keysume as much per capita as Japan, would global resources. Its concept of ‘peaceful‘require a full planet Earth to meet their rising’ is the answer to US ‘soft power’ in Latinneeds’ (State of the World, 2006). Many America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Centralare fearful of the political consequences of Asia, weaving together economic, diplomatic,such a global shift of economic power. political and cultural strategies. China’s huge Others welcome the growth of both investment in English, together with its pro-countries and the contribution to the global motion of Mandarin as a foreign language,economy which they will make. But whether must be seen in this global context. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 33
  • 34. ECONOMY Globalisation, ITO and BPO One of the most notable features of data processing, have been subcontracted globalisation has been the outsourcing by companies to specialised bureaux since of services to countries with cheaper the 1960s. What has changed is the huge labour costs. Global English has helped range of services which are now affected, accelerate this phenomenon and give and the fact that cheap communications India a competitive edge. allow many of them to be carried out in distant locations. The trend is now clear: if G lobalisation allows companies to locate each of their activities wherever in the world provides the best cost advantage. there is any fraction of a service which can be separated from a physical location and done more cheaply somewhere else, it will The ideal global business plan is thus one be outsourced (see panel, right). in which products can be manufactured in Call centres, in which service calls from countries where labour is cheap and sold members of the public are picked up into markets where people are rich. During in a distant country such as India, have the 1990s, the manufacture of goods of all attracted much public attention – and kinds, from t-shirts to mobile phones, shifted even led some companies to advertise the to countries with low labour costs. This cre- fact they are relocating call centres ‘back ated a deflationary effect on developed home’. However, call centres account for a economies. small percentage of the BPO market. Many services are now outsourced, in According to the OECD, close to 20% the same way as the manufacture of com- of total employment in the 15 pre-expan- puters or t-shirts. Such business process sion EU countries, America, Canada and outsourcing (BPO) and information tech- Australia, could ‘potentially be affected’ by nology outsourcing (ITO) are not a new the international sourcing of services activi- phenomenon. Many operations such as ties (Economist, 30 June 2005). company payroll or specialist computer Canada 2% 1.13 English is so desirable Other 4% in the outsourcing business India 3% Japan 2% because most of the offshore Switzerland 3% contracts come from English- Netherlands 3% speaking corporations. Chart Norway 3% shows source of contracts based Australia 4% USA on data provided in 2004 by Other Europe 42% Technology Partners Interna- 4% tional (TPI), a US-based sourcing Germany advisory firm. Human resources 13% UK was reported as a leading 17% segment in 2005.34 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 35. Outsourcing is moving to the Philippines, Brazil and Bulgaria Fast food service When customers in some branches of McDonald’s restaurants in the USA place orders for fast food, they speak to a call centre hundreds of miles away, who pass back the order, together with a digital photo of the customer, to the kitchen. This approach is marginally cheaper for the restaurant per transaction but it apparently can make the process 30 seconds faster, allowing more burgers to be sold per hour, with fewer mistakes. (The World is Flat, Friedman, 2005) 1.15 Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, right, Homework tutors in India shakes hands with British Prime Minister Tony Blair Each day at 4.30 am 20 well-educated during a visit in September 2005. Blair defended Indians start work in their call centre in European companies that outsource work to low- Kerala, India. They provide one-to-one wage countries like India, saying it helps the firms tutorial help in subjects such as maths and become more competitive and in the process enriches Europe. (AP Photo) science to Californian schoolchildren. One recent estimate suggests that over 20,000 American schoolchildren now receive 1 India 11 USA e-tutoring support from India, usually 2 China 12 Eqypt through US service providers. (Christian Science Monitor, 23 May 2005) 3 Malaysia 13 Indonesia 40 4 Philippines 14 Jordan 35 5 Singapore 15 Bulgaria 30 6 Thailand 16 Slovakia$Billions 25 20 7 Czech Republic 17 Mexico 15 10 8 Chile 18 Poland 5 9 Canada 19 Hungary 0 -98 -99 -00 -01 -02 -03 -04 -05 -06 -07 -08 -09 10 Brazil 20 UAE 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 201.14 Helping US companies fix the Y2K millennium 1.16 A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Indexbug helped start the export of Indian IT services. This 2005 shows the relative attractiveness of countriesgraph shows how it is growing. (Data from NASSCOM for BPO.and Evalueserve) ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 35
  • 36. ECONOMY The knowledge economy Competitive advantage in the part of their global risk management, they fast-moving BPO market is soon lost, can shift work from one country to another forcing service providers ‘up the very quickly, allowing them to maintain value chain’ towards work that requires competitive advantage themselves. greater skills and knowledge. This has led to an educational ‘arms race’. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT When ABB – a Swiss–Swedish multina- E ach country maintains its competitive advantage as a destination for out- sourcing only for a relatively short time. tional company specialising in power management and automation equipment – announced in September 2005 that it is As investment pours into the country, and setting up a robotics division in Shanghai demand for labour rises, so inevitably and shifting its high-end engineering do wage and property costs. Taiwan, research to Bangalore, it was following a Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong all used now familiar path. As national education to be favourite places for the manufacture systems create suitable employees, tran- of computer parts but much of the business snational corporations (TNCs) are shifting has now shifted to mainland China. their research and development centres The services sector is proving to be even to developing countries. In the 1990s, the more volatile. As wage costs inevitably rise dominant model was for high-value activi- in the main hubs of India, call centres are ties such as design and basic research relocated to smaller cities – with lower to remain in developed countries, whilst costs, poorer communication infrastructure product development and manufacturing and poorer English skills. This allows other was located in lower wage areas. The new countries to compete to become the next model shifts high value as well as manufac- wave of BPO centres: from Bulgaria to turing to countries such as India and China Nicaragua, from Vietnam to Belarus. Some bringing increased levels of foreign direct of the new destinations are actually being investment (FDI). developed by large Indian BPO enterprises: R&D is among the highest value-added activities India, like China, is itself now globalising. undertaken by firms. Its internationalization Some global enterprises run their own affects the allocation of knowledge and human ‘captive’ operations. HSBC, for example, resources across countries and creates links can select whichever of its many out- between domestic actors and the R&D activities sourcing centres at a given time has the of TNCs. It deepens technology transfer– from best mix of skills and costs for a particular simply transferring the results of innovation contract. Because multinationals establish to transferring the innovation process itself. outsourcing centres in several countries as (UNCTAD, 2005, p. 179)36 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 37. ‘hundreds of thousands of jobs will go to China and India’ Every business I visit tells The acronym BPO is passé. It’s me however well Britain does time to move up the value chain now, within a decade hundreds of for the Indian BPO industry to thousands of UK jobs will go to KPO, a niche, high-value knowledge China and India unless we build a process outsourcing business. wholly new platform of economic opportunity in knowledge, skills and science. Economic Times, India, 27 April 2005 Tony Blair, speech at the 2005 Labour Party ConferenceEverywhere, in both developed and devel-oping economies, there is a new urgencyto increase the educational level of theworkforce to maintain a country’s competi- 61.8tive advantage as it loses advantage in less 60skilled areas to countries lower in the devel-opment chain. From Norway to Singapore, 50governments are keen to enhance critical 41.2thinking and creativity in their populations. 40 (Per cent of responses) In January 2006 India confirmed its own 29.4aspirations to become a ‘global knowledge 30hub’. India is rapidly moving beyond call 14.7centres and back offices to provide services 13.2 20 10.3that involve specialised knowledge which 8.8require research skills and the exercise of 5.9 10 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.4 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.9professional judgement. Some analystshave named this development as ‘KPO’ 0 China United States India Japan United Kingdom Russian Federation France Germany The Netherlands Canada Singapore Belgium Italy Malaysia Republic of Korea Thailand Taiwan(knowledge process outsourcing). WhereBPO requires graduates, KPO employsPhDs. The new areas of high-value work inIndia include medical and legal research,nanotechnology and space research,patent applications, pharmaceutical clinical 1.17 The most attractive prospective locations fortrials, medical tourism, film post-production, R & D 2005–09 in an UNCTAD survey of TNCs.and financial and market analysis. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 37
  • 38. ECONOMY The redistribution of poverty English is widely regarded as a gateway India Mexico to wealth for national economies, Philippines organisations, and individuals. If that Morocco Egypt is correct, the distribution of poverty Turkey Lebanon in future will be closely linked to the Bangladesh Jordan distributions of English. Dominican Republic El Salvador Colombia Yemen O ne of the legacies of the British Empire Pakistan Brazil is that, in many countries, access to Ecuador Yugoslavia, FR English remains part of an elitest social Thailand process. In the old, modernist model, China Sri Lanka English proficiency acted as a marker of 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 membership of a select, educated, middle class group. In a globalised world, English is Source: World Bank (2003). much more widely distributed, as is access to education generally. The increasingly 1.18 Estimated global remittances (US$ billions) by destination country. In many countries, remittances important role that English is now playing from expat workers make a significant contribution to in economic processes, in providing access the national economy. to the kind of global knowledges available in English and the jobs which involve contact with customers and colleagues for whom Saudi Arabia, nurses and doctors from English is the only shared language, has African countries. This exodus of talent has brought with it the danger that English has raised serious concerns. become one of the main mechanisms for There is, however, another dimension to structuring inequality in developing econo- this. English is a necessary skill for many mies. Lack of English in some countries now of these workers: for example, Malaysia in threatens to exclude a minority rather than 2003 made basic proficiency in English a the majority of a population. requirement for all foreign employees, just as Bangladesh signed an agreement to EXPAT WORKERS send 200,000 workers to Malaysia. The stream of migrant workers flowing to Mexicans working in the USA are esti- richer economies threatens to impoverish mated to send back 18 billion dollars a year the developing economies they come but remittances are known to be drasti- from – Bangladeshi construction workers cally underestimated by official statistics. in South-East Asia, Indian entrepreneurs in Studies in individual countries, such as38 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 39. English has become one of the main mechanisms for structuring inequalityNepal, indicate that the actual flow maybe 10 times or more than that published.In many countries, such as sub-SaharanAfrican countries, there may be no officialstatistics actually collected. In other words,remittance economies are probably of fargreater importance in development thanrecognised in statistics. Migrant workers not only remit money,but also often acquire – or maintain duringperiods of employment difficulty in theirhome country – skills and knowledge whichthey may later repatriate if the economicsituation ‘back home’ improves.INTERNAL MIGRATIONInternal migration to urban areas has a 1.19 Poverty, as well as wealth, is becoming glo-similar impact on rural economies. Workers balised. A man is led away by police who suspect himmay leave their children with grandparents of begging in Oxford Circus, London. Fifteen people were arrested on the first night of a controversialin the country, sending home money which drive to clear beggars off the streets of London’s Westis vital to the support of not only their End in February 2004. (Sunday Express Pool Photos)own families but also the rural economyas a whole. Such internal flows of money A RESERVE ARMY OF LABOUR OFFSHOREare even less well documented than The classic marxist analysis of capitalisminternational flows but there is a language argues that maintaining a surplus labourimplication here also. Many rural migrants capacity prevents labour costs from rising.seek employment in one of the hospitality Offshoring raises fears of increased unem-industries where some level of English is ployment but, to some extent, replaces it asexpected. Because the language of the city a means of controlling labour costs in devel-is often different from that of their home oped economies. This is how countries sucharea, new linguistic skills are acquired, and as India and China have enabled a period ofa linguistic conduit established between low inflation with economic growth in thethe urban and rural varieties. If life in the USA and UK, not just by reducing the costcity goes well, the worker may be joined of goods and services, but also by exertingby the children who will also acquire new downward pressure on wages and reducinglanguages. the power of trade unions. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 39
  • 40. Services Industr English Next Economy Agricultu Trends » The economic dominance of western economies which has existed since the industrial revolution is coming to an end. » The services sector, including BPO, will provide an increasing proportion of national economies. English is of particular value, at present, in this sector, though the value of other languages in outsourcing is growing. » As many countries enter an ‘educational arms race’ in order to maintain international competitiveness, high-value intellectual work – including basic science research – is beginning to move to countries like India and China. » The impact of globalisation on wealth is complex: it seems that inequalities are being magnified within all countries, but the gap between national economies may be narrowing. Access to English may be a contributing factor. » English is at the centre of many globalisation mechanisms. Its future in Asia is likely to be closely associated with future patterns of globalisation.40 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 41. SECTION 3: TECHNOLOGYTechnological development is not just transforming theeconomy, it is also changing society and global politics.This sections explores some key recent developmentswhich are helping to change attitudes towards, and demandfor, languages.Communications technology 42Language on the internet 44News media 46Technology trends 48 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 41
  • 42. TECHNOLOGY Communications technology The ‘communications revolution’ has, in I many ways, just begun. New communi- n 1997, when The Future of English? was published, the cost of international telephone calls was falling fast. By the end cations media are changing the social, economic and political structure of of the 20th century, the cost of a call was societies across the world. determined less by distance and duration and more by the extent to which the tele- coms business in a destination country had been liberalised. Countries such as Vietnam were amongst the most costly to reach from the UK, whereas the English-speaking world had been brought into close proximity, in terms of ‘teledistance’. The world is talking more. In 2004, inter- national calls from fixed lines reached 140 billion minutes. In 2002, mobile phone con- nections overtook fixed lines and passed the 2 billion figure in September 2005. With the development of voice over internet protocol (VOIP), calls can be made over the internet across the world at no mar- ginal cost. Such facilities are not only avail- able to large corporations – making Indian call centres more attractive – but also to ordinary consumers through schemes such as Skype which, by the end of 2005, claimed to have 50 million users. VOIP is replacing landline technology, which is expected to be 1.20 The GIOVE-A, the first satellite in the EU’s obsolete in the UK by 2010. Galileo satellite navigation programme blasts off at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, 28 December 2005. The test satellite, constructed by a British firm for the EU, TEXT MESSAGING partly funded by India and China, and launched from Short text messages (SMS) have become Kazakhstan using a Russian rocket, illustrates how the a major form of communication in Europe world is less dependent on US technology. Galileo and Asia, especially among young people. will provide a civilian global positioning service in competition with the US military-controlled GPS. Such SMS has had several social and political complex international science projects rely on English impacts: in the UK new forms of bullying as a shared language. (AP Photo) have emerged; in Germany, it is used to42 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 43. The idea of charging for calls belongs to the last century. Niklas Zennström, CEO and Co-founder of Skype 160 1.21 International telephone trafficInternational telephone minutes (billions) 140 (in billions of international telephone 120 minutes) has been steadily increasing but may now be levelling off as other 100 channels of communication are used. 80 (Data from International Telecommuni- 60 cations Union) 40 20 0 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 Yearorganise mass parties. In 2001, text mes- allow individuals and small communities tosaging helped bring down the Philippines project and manage their own identities.President, Joseph Estrada; in 2005, it helped The Victorians debated the paradoxmobilise participants in the ‘Orange revolu- brought by new communications tech-tion’ in the Ukraine, and massive anti-Syrian nologies (especially the electric telegraphprotests in Lebanon after the assassination which wired up the world by the end of theof former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. 19th century). On the one hand, it allowed the ‘centre’ to monitor and control theSURVEILLANCE SOCIETY ‘periphery’, whether it be the governmentTechnology is undermining the traditional in London attempting to control the civildistribution of power by redistributing servants in the far reaches of the empire, orknowledge. The state builds databases on its central management controlling staff andcitizens; businesses profile the buying habits rolling stock along the newly built railwayof their customers through loyalty cards; lines. But it also allowed information to besurveillance cameras provide data on civil disseminated quickly and more widely indisturbances, crime, weather and traffic flow; ways that were liberating and empoweringeavesdropping technologies monitor citizens to ordinary people.conversations, email and text messages or This ‘cat and mouse’ game is likely tocomments on websites. continue as technology allows even faster Citizens exploit the same technologies. and more powerful ways of collecting,Internet forums allow shoppers to compare analysing and communicating information.prices and read consumer reviews; volun- Surveillance, censorship and cryptographyteers create databases of the location of are now some of the main drivers of lan-speed cameras for use in car navigation guage technology research.systems; blogs, websites, and webcams ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 43
  • 44. TECHNOLOGY Language on the internet T It is often claimed that English domi- nates computers and the internet, and he proportion of internet users for whom English is a first language has been decreasing fast (see left). But is that that those wishing to use either must first learn English. That may have been also true of web content? In 1998, Geoff true in the early days of the technology, Nunberg and Schulze found that around but lack of English is no longer the bar- 85% of web pages were in English. A study rier it once was. by ExciteHome found that had dropped to 72% in 1999; and a survey by the Catalan ISP VilaWeb in 2000 estimated a further Other 11.3% drop to 68%. It seems that the proportion of Dutch 1.8% Italian 3% English material on the internet is declining, English Korean 3.5% but that there remains more English than 51.3% French 3.9% is proportionate to the first languages of Chinese users. Estimates from the Latin American 5.4% NGO Funredes (1.23) suggest that only Spanish 5.8% 8–15% of web content in English represents German 5.9% lingua franca usage. Although it is difficult Japanese 8.1% 2000 to estimate how much content is in each of the major languages, these figures seem to be roughly correct. Other 20% English 32% This may be simply a time-lag – internet sites in local languages appear only when Dutch 2% there exist users who can understand Portuguese them. Surveys of bilingual internet users in 3% Italian 3% the USA suggest that their use of English Korean 3% sites declines as alternatives in their first French 4% language become available. German 6% Chinese An analysis published in November 2005 13% Spanish 6% Japanese 8% by Byte Level Research concluded: 2005 This data makes clear that the next Internet revolution will not be in English. While English 1.22 The changing demography of internet users by isn’t becoming any less important on the first language. The languages growing most rapidly Internet, other languages, such as Chinese, are Chinese, Portuguese and the lesser-used languag- Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese, are becoming es labelled ‘other’. (2000 data from Global Reach, comparatively more important. 2005 from Miniwatts International Ltd) The dominance of English on the internet44 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 45. English on the internet is declining Use of English on internet as lingua franca Why English is used less . . . 90% • More non-English speakers use the internet 80% • Many more languages and scripts are now 70% 60% supported by computer software % internet users % web pages in English 50% • The internet is used for local information using English as L1 40% • Some major uses, such as eCommerce 30% (Amazon; eBay) are mainly national 20% • Many people use the internet for informal 10% communication with friends and family 0% 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 • The internet links diasporic linguistic 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20 1.23 Declining use of English on the internet, based communities on data from the Latin American NGO Funredes.has probably been overestimated. Whatbegan as an anglophone phenomenon The proportion of English tendshas rapidly become a multilingual affair. to be highest where the local language has a relatively smallSoftware has been made capable of dis- number of speakers and whereplaying many different kinds of script. Many competence in English is high.corporate websites now employ multilin- In Holland and Scandinavia, forgual strategies making choice of language example, English pages run as higha ‘user preference’. Machine translation of as 30% of the total; in France andweb content is only a mouse-click away. And Germany, they account for around 15-20%; and in Latin America, theythere are many reasons why the internet, account for 10% or less.which started as a long-distance, globalcommunications medium, is now servingmuch more local interests (see above). Geoffrey Nunberg ‘Will the Internet AlwaysFurthermore, the internet is proving to be a Speak English?’ The American Prospectvery useful resource to those interested in (2000)learning lesser-used languages. So, a much more important story than formal contexts such as chat rooms thanthe dominance of English lies in the way in corporate emails, and in contexts wherelesser-used languages are now flourishing everyone shares a first language. In otheron the internet and how communication words, the sociolinguistics of the internet isis becoming more multilingual. Local lan- looking more like that of more conventionalguages are more likely to appear in less modes of communication. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 45
  • 46. TECHNOLOGY News media news in English, and the languages in which global news is provided. When Al Jazeera started broadcasting from its base in Qatar at the end of 1996, it triggered a transformation of the inter- national news media. By providing an independent source of news about events in the Middle East, it managed to discom- fort equally both western governments and those in neighbouring Arab states. Arabic suddenly became an important language in which to present world news. A rival news channel, Al Arabiya, began transmitting in 2003 from Dubai, with Saudi backing. In early 2004, Al Hurra, a new Arabic news channel funded by the US 1.24 The Al Jazeera newsdesk in Doha, Qatar. government began transmitting to 22 Arab (AP Photo) countries from its Washington studios. The Two trends are apparent in international BBC, in a major restructuring of its over- news: more global channels in English seas operations in 2005, announced that and new rival channels in other world it would also be starting a new Arabic TV languages. channel in 2007. Latin America launched its own, Spanish language, rival to CNN when, on 31 October I n a globalised world international news plays a crucial role in ensuring that citizens and businesses are kept aware of develop- 2005, Telesur began full broadcasting from Caracas. The network’s Uruguayan director, Aram Aharonian, promised Telesur would ments affecting their lives and decision- ‘see Latin America with Latin American making. For too long, perhaps, international eyes, not foreign eyes’. news has been dominated by English lan- English, however, remains the preferred guage providers such as Associated Press, language for global reach. Al Jazeera plans Reuters, the BBC or CNN; channels which to go global in English, establishing regional have sought to position themselves as the headquarters in London, Washington places to tune to during a major breaking and Kuala Lumpur. By the end of 2005, story. However, recent trends will diversify its English website had become a major both the viewpoints available in international source of news for American internet users46 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 47. By the end of 2005, there were an estimated 20 million active blogs worldwide 1.25 Trend analysis in blogs. Curiously, mentions of ‘Spanish’ and ‘English’ in the global blogosphere seem to decline at weekends, in contrast to those for ‘Chinese’.and its new English language TV channel by the mainstream media. Others haveis expected to start broadcasting in spring acquired large readership for their blogs and2006. Russia’s new government-funded, become influential opinion leaders. BlogsEnglish-language 24-hour TV channel also provide a public record of grassroots‘Russia Today’ began broadcasting in experience – for example, the progress ofDecember 2005, to North America, Europe hurricanes across the USA. Trend analysisand Asia. Even France’s new global channel, shows what people are discussing from daydue by the end of 2006, will broadcast to day (1.25). Sites such as ‘Global Voices’,in both French and English, following the based at Harvard University, aggregate datasuccessful bilingual model of the German from blogs to supply journalists with aninternational channel, Deutsche Welle. And alternative news feed.a new pan-African news channel – using Independent citizen–journalists do notFrench and English – is planned. just break stories, but also act as an army of fact-checkers who will call to account anyINDEPENDENT JOURNALISTS AND BLOGGERS news source who gets their facts wrong.Blogs provide news sites in which an author Technology also allows mainstream media,can present their own view of the world, such as the BBC, to tap in to citizen newshowever local or global that might be. By gatherers. Not only can people around thethe end of 2005, there were an estimated world file their own accounts of breaking20 million active blogs worldwide. Some news stories via the internet, but alsobloggers now act as independent journal- upload photos which they have taken withists, breaking stories which are taken up their camera phones. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 47
  • 48. Other 20% Dutch 2% English Next Portuguese 3% Italian 3% Technology Korean 3% Trends » Technology is enabling new patterns of communication in ways which have implications for language patterns. » Anglo-centric technological limitations are largely overcome, allowing practically any language or script to be used on the internet or in computer software. » As English becomes used more widely as a language of international reach, a greater diversity of viewpoints are represented. » Other world languages, such as Spanish, French and Arabic, are also being adopted by the new media. » Lesser-used languages are flourishing on the internet.48 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 49. SECTION 4: SOCIETYThe use of language is inextricable from the socialrelationships and identities of its users. Both are profoundlyaffected by globalisation, and it is not surprising to find thatthe growing use of English as a global language is part of awider sociolinguistic change, as the world becomes moreurban, and some people become more wealthy and middleclass.An urban, middle class future 50Social cohesion 52The growing gap 54Society trends 56 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 49
  • 50. SOCIETY An urban, middle class future >0% >10% >20% >30% >40% >50% >60% >70% >80% >90% 1.26 World urbanisation in 2030. The map shows the proportions of each national population expected to be living in an urban environment in 2030. The world is rapidly becoming more Urbanisation is not the same as population urban and more middle class – both of density – in most countries urbanisation which are encouraging the adoption of leads to depopulation of the countryside English. and changing patterns of land use. English, however, is an increasingly urban language, associated with growing middle A n increasing proportion of the world’s population will be city dwellers (1.26). A developing economy seems to require classes, metropolitan workplaces and city lifestyles. The middle class is not just a con- sequence of a growing economy, but also a urbanisation, and as an economy develops contributory factor. Both Indian and Chinese workers flood in to the cities. The rate of governments see the enlargement of the urbanisation in China, despite the size of middle classes as a means of increasing its rural population, is one of the highest in domestic consumption and so attracting the world, and a further 300 million people inward investment from multinational com- are expected to move to the cities in the panies, whilst providing a stabilising effect coming decade. on society.50 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 51. The Indian middle class has grown to around 220 million people 100 CHINESE MIDDLE CLASS N America The rise of a middle class in China is a 80% urban population Europe fairly recent phenomenon – some say it 60 appeared only in the late 1990s, others Latin America that it will require a level of 50% urbanisa- 40 tion and at least 50% of the economy to India be based on services, before a true middle 20 class can evolve. Using a definition based China 0 on income alone, around 19% of China’s population was considered to be middle 00 20 30 0 0 80 90 70 10 5 6 20 20 20 20 19 19 19 19 19 class in 2003, and this is expected to grow1.27 China was less urbanised than India until the to 40% by 2020.1980s but India’s rural population has been slowerto migrate to the cities. URBAN-RURAL TIESINDIAN MIDDLE CLASS By no means all city-dwellers are middleIn the mid-1980s less than 10% of the class – only about half, in present-day China.Indian population was regarded as middle Mass migration to the cities often gives riseclass, and only half of those were English to slums on their outskirts, constrainingspeakers. The Indian middle class has since further growth. But such communities aregrown dramatically – to around 20% or 220 typically multilingual, drawn from differentmillion people. Lifestyle changes, however, parts of the country or containing largehave evolved even faster, especially in the immigrant populations. And while inequali-main metropolitan cities. ties of wealth may emerge between coun- Urbanisation in India has been slower than tryside and city, many city workers remainin many other parts of Asia (1.27) and hence ambassadors for rural families, acting asthe linguistic impact has been less. Much of a conduit for cultural and economic flowsthe focus of the new economy has been between rural and urban areas.in the south – in cities such as Bangalore The scale of such urban-rural ties in China– which has long embraced English as a was demonstrated during the annual Springdefence against the perceived linguistic Festival at the end of January, 2006. Onehegemony of northern Hindi. However, estimate suggested that ‘up to two billionit appears that recent improvements to journeys’ were made within the country,India’s road network is making it easier including those of over 120 million migrantfor rural population to reach neighbouring workers and students making the oftenlarge towns and this may be consolidating arduous journeys back to their familiesthe position of Hindi. elsewhere in the country. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 51
  • 52. SOCIETY Social cohesion A s many developed countries become the destination for migrants, the ethnic mix is changing and with it fears of the erosion of national identity, as represented in a shared national language and values. Anxiety is growing about what appears to be the increasing separateness of some ethnic communities. In cities in North America and western Europe, it may not be necessary to be fluent in the national language in order to find work or obtain access to key services, including shopping, healthcare and voting. Ethnic communities may be sufficiently large to be self-sustaining and public services increasingly cater for linguistic minorities. A WORLD REDISCOVERING RELATIONSHIPS There is another side to such separate, parallel lives. In premodernity, there was little movement of individuals. Aside from periods 1.28 An anti-riot policeman holds a teargas launcher of mass migration, only particular classes as he patrols with comrades on the streets of Corbeil- Essonnes, a suburb south of Paris, 7 November 2005. travelled: some kinds of trader, explorer, sol- Two weeks of civil disturbance led to concerns about diers, entertainers, scholar-monks. In moder- social exclusion in Arab and other ethnic minorities. nity, travel became easier as technology (AP Photo/Michel Spingler) improved. European empires involved much Easier and cheaper communication is coming and going, and emigration to the new colonies. During wartime, large numbers encouraging the development of a new of people came into contact with new cul- social texture, in which, ironically, small tures and languages. But by and large, once communities – and even individuals individuals and families moved, they also – can become more separated from moved on, leaving behind old relationships their neighbours but better connected and starting a new life and identity. with distant people. We now live in a world in which migrants do not have to break connections with52 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 53. It is possible to retain close contact with the ‘home’ community by email and telephonefriends and family to begin the genera-tions-long process of assimilating to a new We are sleepwalking our way toidentity. Not only is it possible to retain segregation.close contact with the ‘home’ community,on a daily basis via email and telephone, itis also possible for people to read the same Trevor Phillips. Head of the UKnewspapers as those being read in the Commission for Racial Equalitycommunity they have left, watch the sametelevision programmes on satellite televi-sion, or borrow the same films on DVD. nected, helping to create a different texture Furthermore, we can see with the per- to society: one which is more dispersedspective of the 21st century that patterns and diasporic and less dependent on geo-of emigration are now reversable. Chinese graphic proximity for close network ties.or Indian immigrants who intended to makenew lives in America – even adopting citi- DIFFERENT VALUESzenship – may none the less return to their Surveys in the USA have found that Spanish-native countries, bringing with them young dominant Latinos – those who have little orfamilies who did not grow up there. no mastery of English and who primarily Social network ties which were broken in rely on Spanish in their home and work livesmodernity – it was assumed forever – are – have strikingly different opinions abouteverywhere becoming reconnected. The controversial social issues such as abortion,main leisure use of the internet is said to divorce and homosexuality. For example,be family genealogy. Families and com- only 10% of Spanish-dominant Latinos saymunities which were separated generations they find abortion acceptable, comparedago by emigration are finding each other with 36% of English-dominant Hispanics.once again. Third generation immigrants in (Trends 2005, Hispanics: A people in motion,English-speaking countries are often keen Pew Research Center)to learn the heritage languages of their Rapid urbanisation and economic devel-grandparents, creating an important new opment may create similar social fault linesmotivation for foreign language learning to those created by immigration. As oldamongst ethnic minority communities in the values and lifestyles are swept away, someUK and USA. social groups may feel excluded from the Internet sites such as ‘Friends Reunited’ social order which takes their place. In bothallow people who were at school together, kinds of social change, linguistic diversityor who worked together, to make contact may be seen as a threat to the maintenanceagain. Ties of affiliation are being recon- of a ‘harmonious society’. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 53
  • 54. SOCIETY The growing gap 1.29 Children of migrant workers queuing for lunch at school. Families become increasingly divided the country they have settled in. Children, during periods of rapid change. They however, may not share a language in may experience not just increasing common with grandparents. Such experi- generational divide, but even siblings may ence can be stressful for each generation have different language proficiencies. and it can create burdens on young chil- dren who have to act as intermediaries and I n any period of rapid social change, age may become as important an identity- marker as differences between social and interpreters for older family members. This kind of intergenerational language shift is now occurring within countries, as ethnic groups. Any immigrant family, for migration to cities or rapid economic and example, embarks on a process of rapid social development, create a very different identity change. When children go to type of world where children grow up. In school they may acquire friends from a Shanghai, for example, where Putonghua very different kind of background, and they has become the language of education, usually become fluent in a new language. and where English is introduced in primary Typically, an intergenerational gap appears: school at Grade 1, a new generation of at least one parent may speak both the children are growing up who may have dif- language of their own parents and that of ficulty in conversing with grandparents in54 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 55. Cultural differences now emerge between siblings8070 Mandarin60 We used to think in Britain50 of a society divided by class.40 English Increasingly we worry about a30 society divided by conflicts20 of culture and identity. But I10 Dialect believe there is another division, 0 even more significant but much 1980 1990 2000 less remarked upon. We are also1.30 Shifts in the language of the home in Singapore living in a society increasinglyaccording to census information. divided by age.the family’s language of Shanghainese. Thisrepresents an astonishing linguistic attrition David Willetts MP, UK Shadow Secretary– Wu Chinese, of which Shanghainese is the of State for Trade and Industry, Speech tomain urban variety, is one of the largest 10 Policy Exchange, 28 November 2005languages in the world. In several Asian countries we can see is occurring so rapidly that differencesa similar language shift within families. emerge not just between generations butSingapore provides one of the best-docu- between siblings: a 14-year-old girl maymented examples. Gradually, English has find a cultural and linguistic gulf with hershifted from being a second language to 8-year-old brother.become the main language of the home. This is not just an issue for Asia. Within In India, a similar phenomenon has Europe, a new middle class, professionaloccurred in middle class families and the elite is emerging in which families movenumber of such families is rising. English is country every few years. A consequenceoften the language in which young people is that children within the same family mayform relationships in young adulthood. have quite different linguistic allegiancesEnglish may provide an important escape and proficiencies.from traditional values and expected rela- Traditionally, the family has been regardedtionships. Mothers and fathers may have as central to the reproduction of linguisticdifferent linguistic backgrounds, in which and ethnic identity. In times of rapid change,case family communication typically takes international movement, smaller familiesplace in English. and new patterns of childcare, community We are now witnessing a further develop- institutions and resources may be just asment in many societies, however. Change important. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 55
  • 56. Mandarin English English Next Dialect Society 1980 1990 20 Trends » Urbanisation is one of the major contributors to linguistic change. » The rise of the urban middle class in developing countries is creating new constituencies of English users. » Patterns of social cohesion are changing as are patterns of language use in ethnic minority communities. Multilingualism is now easier to sustain. » Rapid social change brings with it language change. Family members no longer necessarily share language repertoires.56 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 57. SECTION 5: LANGUAGESThe familiar ‘story of English’ provides a historical narrativewhich represents the emergence of global English as a‘triumph’ for native speakers. The reality is that there aremuch wider and more complex changes in the worldlanguage system now taking place. English is not the only‘big’ language in the world, and its position as a globallanguage is now in the care of multilingual speakers.The triumph of English 58The world languages system 60English challenged 62Languages trends 64 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 57
  • 58. LANGUAGES The triumph of English The history of English, or rather, the understanding of medieval life has been traditional way the history is told, distorted through a 19th-century lens, so represents an obstacle to a clear view some linguistic historians are now urging a of the future. Global English may reappraisal of the history of English. represent an important discontinuity The traditional history is constructed as with the past, rather than the triumph a grand narrative. It provides a myth of of Modern English on the world stage. national origins as a rags-to-riches folk tale in which our hero, the English language, T he history of English is conventionally divided into three parts: Old English, Middle English, and Modern English. The emerges from humble and obscure origins and flowers in Old English times – both as a literary language and as the foundation of a tripartite structure draws attention to partic- new Anglo-Saxon political awareness (pres- ular events in British history – especially the aging the role of English in establishing a Norman invasion, which heralded the rapid future national identity). ‘frenchification’ of the English language, Now comes the complication in the story; and, later, the constellation of political, reli- the point at which the villain appears and dis- gious, and economic developments which rupts the status quo. In the grand narrative surrounded the emergence of Britain as a of the history of English, it is French which modern nation-state. is positioned as the villain, with whom the Now, we are talking about a fourth period English language does battle – and eventu- in the history of English: after Modern ally triumphs. According to this account, the English comes the period of ‘Global English’. linguistic and cultural integrity of Old English Rhetorically inconvenient though a fourth was all but destroyed after the Norman inva- period would be, it would allow an explora- sion, not least by relexification from French. tion of the new status of English as a global The whole business of recreating a literary lingua franca and the new cultural, linguistic, language and national identity had to begin political and economic issues surrounding anew. Hence the modern era – starting in the English as it is used in a postmodern world. 16th century – represents the final triumph There is, however, a great danger in of English. The language now overcomes its simply adding a new historical period to historic villain and re-emerges as a national cater for global English. The traditional language, with a literature provided by the history of English, as taught in all the main likes of Dryden and Shakespeare; scientific textbooks, was largely created in the 19th writing by Isaac Newton and his contempo- century and reflects 19th-century values raries in the Royal Society (17th century); and world views. Just as archeologists and regulatory apparatus provided by the kind of historians have argued that our modern dictionary first compiled by Samuel Johnson58 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 59. There is a great danger in simply adding a new historical period to cater for global English(18th century) and, most monumentally, by 1.31 From Anglo-Saxon runes to text messaging. The ‘Story of English’ as it is traditionally told is athe Oxford English Dictionary in the late 19th very Anglo-centric one, based on a myth of nationalcentury. origins which shows how the language achieved The values that permeate this conven- greatness against the odds. This narrative wastional story of English are those of the 19th largely constructed in the 19th century, by scholarscentury, including Victorian concepts of who wished to stress the Germanic roots of the language and the continuity of modern English withmodernity. As we have seen, modernity was Anglo-Saxon.a discourse about progress and growth andabout constructing modern nation-stateidentities. Linguistic modernity was not justabout constructing national monuments tothe language such as the Oxford EnglishDictionary, but also embraced the need toshoulder the ‘English speaker’s burden’ oftaking English, as a civilising force, to thefurthest reaches of empire. If you take the view that the traditionalhistory of English reflects a very national,modernist, 19th-century view of the world,then tacking on a new chapter entitled‘Global English’ may be a serious mistake. Itdangerously continues the grand narrativeby adding a coda, suggesting that English,which in modernity triumphed as a nationallanguage, has now triumphed as a globallanguage, overcoming its arch rival yetagain, but this time in the global arena bydisplacing French as the preferred inter-national lingua franca, or as the preferredworking language of Europe. This view of global English is altogethertoo ethnocentric to permit a broader under-standing of the complex ways in which thespread of English is helping to transformthe world and in which English, in turn, istransformed by the world. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 59
  • 60. LANGUAGES The world languages system Increasing use of English must be 16000 Number of languages in world 14000 seen in a much wider context in which 12000 the entire world language system is 10000 restructuring. 8000 6000 T he number of languages in the world has been falling throughout modernity, and may be accelerating. The spread of 4000 2000 0 global English is not the direct cause of lan- 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 2000 2100 2200 guage endangerment. The downward trend 1.33 The number of languages in the world has been in language diversity began before the rise falling throughout modernity. (Various sources) of English as a global lingua franca. English ties of speakers, most of the top languages, has greatest impact on national languages, including Chinese, English and the large higher up the linguistic ‘food chain’. European languages, are spoken as first The Ethnologue, which provides one of languages by a declining proportion of the the world’s most comprehensive gazetteer world population. (1.32) of languages, currently lists almost 7,000. In terms of native-speaker rankings, English However, these are extremely unevenly is falling in the world league tables. Only 50 distributed amongst the global population, years ago it was clearly in second place, after with the top 12 languages accounting for Mandarin. Estimating the number of speakers 50% of the global population. for the very large languages is surprisingly dif- Whilst the majority of the world’s lan- ficult, but it seems probable that both Spanish, guages are spoken by very small communi- Hindi-Urdu and English all have broadly 25% similar numbers of first-language speakers. Some commentators have suggested that 20% English has slipped to fourth place, where its Chinese position will become challenged by Arabic in 15% the middle of the present century. 10% The figures opposite show the demo- English Spanish graphic profiles of Chinese, Spanish and 5% Hindi/Urdu Arabic over the century 1950–2050. (Refer Arabic 0 to the section on demography for a further explanation on age profiles.) For a variety 50 75 00 25 50 19 19 20 20 20 1.32 Trends in native-speaker numbers for the of reasons, Hindi-Urdu does not appear to world’s largest languages, expressed as the propor- be challenging the status of the other big tion of the global population who speak them. languages.60 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 61. CHINESE Chinese may have more native speakers than any other language but, of all the world languages, it has the greatest irregularities in its age profile. There is also significant language shift taking place within China, from the main dialects towards Putonghua (Mandarin). Mandarin is now enjoying popu- larity as a foreign language, and several1.34 Chinese will remain the largest language in countries in South-East Asia are re-estab-terms of native speakers in the world for the foresee- lishing their Chinese-speaking credentials.able future. Its transnational use will grow. SPANISH Spanish has grown to be roughly the same size as English in terms of its native-speaker base, and may overtake it. Spanish is chal- lenging English in some parts of the USA, where a number of towns have predomi- nantly Spanish-speaking populations. The language is growing in economic impor- tance in both Latin America and the USA. Spain is active in promoting itself as the1.35 Spanish has rapidly grown in recent years and global centre of authority for the language.is developing a balanced age structure. ARABIC Arabic is growing, demographically, faster than any other world language. Even by 2050, however, it will have a very young age profile. The generation of Arabic speakers now growing up will determine its future as a world language. Spoken Arabic is likely to acquire a more transnational standard form as Al Jazeera and similar international agencies provide a model equivalent to1.36 Arabic, demographically speaking, is the fastest ‘BBC English’.growing of the world languages. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 61
  • 62. LANGUAGES English challenged English is no longer the ‘only show in Other, 14.1% town’. Other languages now challenge Indonesian, 1.1% the dominance of English in some re- Korean, 1.4% Hindi, 2.1% gions. Mandarin and Spanish, especially, Arabic, 2% English, 28.2% Russian, 2.1% have become sufficiently important to Italian, 2.9% be influencing national policy priorities Portuguese, in some countries. 3.4% French, 4.2% Chinese, 22.8% N ative-speaker numbers may matter less than they used to in providing a world language status. The number of second German, 4.9% Spanish, 5.2% Japanese, 5.6% language speakers are of growing impor- 1.38 The estimated percentage of the global tance. Table 1.37 is based on data provided economy (GDP) accounted for by each language in by Ethnologue but demonstrates some of 2010 according to Davis, 2003. the problems in trying to understand cur- rent trends. Estimates for second language LANGUAGES OF BUSINESS users of English are far greater than shown English is by no means the only language in in this table and may now be approaching global business. Davis (2003) observes: the figure shown for Mandarin. While English is a major language, it only accounts for around 30% of the world Gross Domestic 1 Mandarin 1,052 Product (GDP), and is likely to account for less 2 English 508 in the future. Neglecting other languages means 3 Hindi 487 ignoring quite significant potential markets. Davis analyses the linguistic impact of the 4 Spanish 417 economic growth of the BRICs as reported 5 Russian 277 by Goldman Sachs (see p. 32) by calcu- 6 Bengali 211 lating the proportion of world GDP that each language will account for. Such cal- 7 Portuguese 191 culations raise many methodological ques- 8= German 128 tions, but some basic underlying trends 8= French 128 are worth noting, in particular, the steady rise of Chinese and slow relative decline of 10 Japanese 126 Japanese and most European languages: 1.37 The estimated ranking of languages when . . . Russian, Portuguese, and Indic would all second language use is taken into account. (Based increase as well, but most significantly after 2010. on Ostler, 2005) (Davis, 2003)62 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 63. Demand for language courses in Indian universities is risingMANDARIN AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE 40000In many Asian countries, in Europe and the 35000USA, Mandarin has emerged as the new 30000must-have language. The rush towards 25000learning Mandarin in South Korea, for 20000example, is reminiscent of the enthusiasm 15000for English only a few years ago. The 10000Chinese government now actively supports 5000the growing interest worldwide in learning 0 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05Chinese as a foreign or second language 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 19 20 20 20 20 20 20through a worldwide network of ‘Confucius 1.39 The number of overseas candidates taking theInstitutes’, the first of which was set up in Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK). The exam is China‘s national standardised test designed and developedNovember 2004 in Seoul, South Korea. by the HSK Centre of Beijing Language and CultureOthers are now open in Stockholm, Perth, University to assess the Chinese language proficiencyNairobi, and Washington. An estimated of non-native speakers (including foreigners, overseas30 million people are already studying Chinese and students from Chinese national minori- ties). The exam was launched for overseas candidatesMandarin worldwide and the Chinese gov- in 1991: interest by overseas candidates has grownernment expects this to rise to around 100 rapidly since 2000.million in the next few years. In several countries, the first wave of courses, allowing students to choose itMandarin learners comes from local ethnic as an alternative to English. A shortage isChinese communities, whose heritage expected in both teachers and textbookslanguage is often one of the other Chinese as Spanish is offered to over 9 millionlanguages, such as Cantonese. Brazilian secondary students. In many Asian countries, there is a sense The growing importance of Spanish isof urgency about the need to acquire apparent in other parts of South America.Mandarin because of the rapidly growing Trinidad and Tobago declared in 2005 thateconomic importance of China. South it aspired to become a Spanish-speakingKorea, for example, now trades more with country by 2020, setting a target of havingChina than with the USA. at least 30% of public employees to be pro- ficient within 5 years. Ironically, Trinidad andTHE RISE OF SPANISH Tobago has been a popular study destina-Brazil, one of the most important new tion for Venezuelans learning English, buteconomies outside India and China, passed the language trade may now reverse witha law in July 2005 requiring all secondary a shortage of qualified Spanish teachers onschools in the country to offer Spanish the islands. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 63
  • 64. Indonesian, 1.1% Korean, 1.4% Hindi, 2.1% Arabic, 2% Russian, 2.1% En English Next Italian, 2.9% Languages Portuguese, 3.4% Trends » The world language system is being transformed, as the relationship between ‘big’ languages change and many smaller languages are disappearing. » English is not the main reason for global language loss. The impact of English is mainly on the status of other national languages. » The attractiveness of Mandarin to learners across the world is growing, and language schools in many countries are expanding their provision to include it. Unlike the enthusiasm for learning Japanese which was prompted by the economic rise of Japan, there are reasons why interest in Mandarin may remain a long-term trend. » Where the global importance of languages used to depend on the number and wealth of native speakers, now the number of people who use it as a second language is becoming a more significant factor.64 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 65. A transitional stageI n Part one of this book I have emphasised that the world is in a state of transition.This is a very different concept from the relative size of all national economies. Within the global economy, a flatter world allows computers, which are sold in richmodernist notion of ‘progress’ as a state of western countries, to be manufacturedconstant change, as societies and econo- in China; for many service jobs to bemies become more ‘advanced’ by becoming ‘exported’ from the UK and USA to India. Butmore powerful, richer, and bigger. I have what will happen when China and India losesuggested that, in at least some respects, their competitive advantage? This may onlywhat we are now experiencing is a once- take a decade or so. Is the value-chain end-only global shift – one which began in the lessly long? In other words, will there always19th century with the industrial revolution be activities which require yet more skills,and which is still working through the world creativity and innovation, and which createsystem. I have used the terms ‘modern’ and ever-more valuable intellectual property?‘postmodern’ to distinguish the old and the And if so, will this allow developed countriesnew, though some analysts might prefer to to stay richer than anyone else? Already thisinclude the whole transitional process as an seems unlikely. Low-cost Indian or Chineseintrinsic part of ‘late-modernity’. workers may get replaced by cheaper ones The key point about such a transition is that in other countries, but logic suggests thatalthough the changes which currently envelop all economies will eventually converge inthe world may be rapid, destabilising and at terms of labour costs, wealth and intellec-times bewildering, many of them involve some tual creativity – barring poor governance,kind of predictable end point or destiny. war, or natural disaster. Population growth, for example, will Hence, it will be difficult, if not impossible,stabilise, creating flatter age structures in to maintain the current huge differencenational populations and a foreseeable new between parts of the world in wealth, costrelationship between the world’s languages. of living and quality of life. Such differenceWe can see a shift from rural to urban life: is what fuels the transitional dynamic.but that transition will slow when most coun- Inequalities will not disappear from thetries – like Israel and Uruguay now – exceed world, but they could become a feature of90% urbanisation. We are seeing a major societies in all countries.shift from manufacturing to services, but In a world where labour is expensiveall economies are likely to settle eventually, everywhere, in which cost of production iswith services accounting for the majority of determined by the use of clever technology,wealth creation. We are seeing the rapid rise rather than location, and in which concernof the BRICs economies, but economists can about the environment makes local produc-already forecast approximately the eventual tion more desirable, the economic and ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 65
  • 66. political dynamic of globalisation may well of global service-based economies. It take a very different form. facilitates transnational encounters and John Ralston Saul (2005) in his book The allows nations, institutions, and individuals Collapse of Globalism, argues that the recent in any part of the world, to communicate era of globalisation may already have come their world view and identities. Yet it is also to an end; that it has created global political the national language of some of the most and social confusion, and has already been free-market economies driving economic replaced by a dangerous vacuum in which globalisation, and is often seen as repre- nationalism in various forms – both positive senting particular cultural, economic, and and negative – has reasserted itself. It is even religious values. difficult not to see uncomfortable parallels In this book, I suggest that we can expect with the last great era of free trade and a confusing time for another 10–15 years, globalisation, that of the late 19th century, characterised by 4 rather different kinds of which culminated in World War I. change (see below). Gradually, the business, The English language finds itself at the political and social environment in which centre of the paradoxes which arise from English is learned and used will reflect the globalisation. It provides the lingua franca realities and dynamics of the emerging new essential to the deepening integration world order. Four kinds of development 1 Ephemeral 2 Transitional 3 The declining old 4 The rising new Those which are part of Those which reflect or paradigm paradigm the inevitable froth and define the transitional Those which reflect Those which represent confusion which inevitably moment, such as the values, policies and the attitudes, values, and occurs during a period of strategies for managing actions of the continuing, ambitions of the newly rapid change, but which change or preparing for but gradually decaying emerging system. The do not in themselves the new economic and influence of the old declining reverence of represent any significant social order. For example, system. I argue that the ‘native speakers’ as the long-term trend. The retraining large numbers ideas and practices gold standard for English global anxiety about the of teachers to teach associated with teaching may prove to be one of influence of text mes- English to young learners. ‘English as a Foreign these. saging on the language of These are one-off Language’ will remain young people may prove changes. significant factors for to be one of these. some time to come.66 ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION
  • 67. Part one referencesDavis, M. (2004) GDP by Language. Unicode Saul, J. R. (2005) The Collapse of Globalism Technical Note #13. (http://www. and the Reinvention of the World. unicode.org/notes/tn13/tn13-1.html) London: Atlantic books.Friedman, T. L. (2005) The World is Flat: a Shell International (2005) The Shell Global brief history of the twenty-first century. Business Scenarios to 2025. London: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The Institute for International Economics.Kachru, B. (2004) Asian Englishes: beyond UNCTAD (2004) Development and the canon. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Globalization: facts and figures 2004. University Press. New York and Geneva: United Nations.Marginson, S. (2004) Don’t leave me hanging UNCTAD (2005) World Investment Report. on the Anglophone: the potential for Transnational Corporations and the online distance higher education in the Internationalization of R & D. New York Asia-Pacific Region. Higher Education and Geneva. United Nations. Quarterly 58: 74–113. UNESCO (2005) Measuring LinguisticNunberg, G. (2000) Will the internet always Diversity on the Internet. Paris: UNESCO. speak English? The American Prospect Wilson, D. and Purushothaman, R. (2003) 11(10). Dreaming with BRICs: the path to 2050.Ostler, N. (2005) Empires of the Word: a Goldman Sachs. Global Economics language history of the world. London: Paper 99. HarperCollins. World Bank (2003) Global EconomicPaolillo, J. C. (2006) ‘Conversational’ code Prospects 2004. Washington: The World switching on Usenet and Internet Bank. Relay Chat. To appear in S. Herring (ed.) Computer-Mediated Conversation. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. ENGLISH NEXT • PART ONE • A WORLD IN TRANSITION 67
  • 68. PART TWOEducation68 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 69. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 69
  • 70. PART TWO INTRODUCTION The educational revolution The trends described in Part one of the achieving well-established goals, it is now book have triggered a global revolu- about institutionalising flexibility, creativity tion in education. In many countries, and innovation and the management skills extensive curriculum reforms are taking required to generate and cope with con- place as economies build the capacity stant change. required to operate in a globalised world. EDUCATION IN MODERNITY Improving national proficiency in English The very function of education in society now forms a key part of the educational is changing. An important component in strategy in most countries. the modernity project was the provision A lmost everywhere, education sys- tems are in a state of rapid change. Globalisation has led to a desperate race in of universal education. In the 19th century there were many critics who feared that allowing working-class children to acquire many countries to upgrade the skills of their literacy would give them ambitions above workforce faster than their economies are their social station and might even give being forced up the value chain. Building them access to knowledge which might human capacity has become a process of subvert the social order. On the other hand, chasing an ever-moving target. Rather than literacy had become a key requirement for 2.1 Literacy in the national language and, perhaps the mother tongue where that is different, remains a basic skill for people in many countries around the world.70 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 71. 2.2 Tunisia: Learning how to manage computer data is now a skill required of students worldwide. And learningEnglish has become just as important in basic education as learning how to use applications such as wordprocessors, spreadsheets and internet browsers. (Photo: Chris Tribble)an industrialising, urbanising economy. EDUCATION IN A GLOBALISED WORLD The nature of citizenship and the implied In a globalised, postmodern world a ratherrelationship between state and individuals different model of education has emerged.was changing. Citizens could not be gov- An individual, to participate fully in theerned by the complex and ever-changing new economy – as worker, consumer andlegislation which accompanies a modern responsible citizen – needs to be evensociety unless they could read and take better informed (and about global as wellresponsibility for their behaviour. Individuals as local issues) and needs higher-order andcould not exercise the kind of choices more flexible skills. But the age-old tensionexpected of citizens in a consumer society in the relationship between state and citizen,unless they could understand advertise- between rights and responsibilities, remains.ments, instruction manuals, signs and the The state desires to maintain social order,petty rules of new institutions such as post to act as guardian of national identity, whilstoffices. With modernity the days quickly dis- improving the quality of life for citizensappeared when the upper classes in Britain and increasing national wealth. Creating awere taught ‘French and dancing’, and workforce with knowledge, creativity andthe working classes were taught nothing. critical thinking skills, might be good forBut the display of foreign language skills the economy, but might also threaten socialremained a marker of social class. cohesion and political stability. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 71
  • 72. PART TWO INTRODUCTION Once seen as something which largely THE NATURE OF KNOWLEDGE HAS CHANGED happened to children, as a preparation Generic learning skills equip a student for adulthood and before their working to ‘retool’ their minds as the need arises. careers began, education is now seen as But the change of focus has also led to something which will occur throughout a more ‘can do’, ‘just in time’, ‘no more someone’s life. In a changing world, the than is needed’ approach to learning. nature of work and the skills and knowl- The wider frameworks and disciplinary edge required are constantly shifting. knowledges are being swept aside in The same applies to modern forms of favour of more pragmatic and fragmen- leisure activity and consumer life. Each tary approaches to knowledge. The new technological innovation, whether in knowledges are not seen as bodies of mobile phones or video blogging, brings enduring facts whose shared nature with it a need to master both the tech- helps construct identity and community, nology and the new cultural codes which but as transitory – even fleeting – affairs it engenders. distributed unevenly in society. ENGLISH AS A BASIC SKILL END OF LOCK STEP EDUCATION The role of education in school is now seen One feature of education in the post- as to provide the generic skills needed to modern world is the fragmented nature, acquire new knowledge and specialist not just of knowledge, but also the skills in the future: learning how to learn. community of learners in the classroom. Literacy in the national language and, Where students used to come from similar perhaps the mother tongue where that social and ethnic backgrounds and have is different, remains a basic skill, as does similar world experience and ambitions, numeracy. But information technology classrooms are becoming increasingly – how to use computers and applications diverse. In relation to language learning, such as word processors, spreadsheets the expectation that all learners in a class and internet browsers – has become just will be at the same level of proficiency as important in basic education. In glo- – or even be studying the same foreign balised economies, English seems to have language – is giving way to approaches joined this list of basic skills. Quite simply, which allow more personalised learning. its function and place in the curriculum is Such trends stress further the need no longer that of ‘foreign language’ and for learner autonomy and diversity of this is bringing about profound changes in learning materials. who is learning English, their motives for learning it and their needs as learners.72 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 73. SECTION 1: HIGHER EDUCATIONHigher education is becoming globalised alongside theeconomy, and English is proving to be a key ingredient– partly because universities in the English-speaking worlddominate the global league tables, and partly becauseEnglish is proving popular as a means of internationalisingboth the student community and teaching staff.The globalisation of universities 74International student mobility 76Transnational education 78Higher education trends 80 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 73
  • 74. HIGHER EDUCATION The globalisation of universities One of the most important drivers of of global universities was spearheaded by the global English has been the globalisa- Americans; now everybody else is trying to get in tion of higher education. Universities on the act. (The Economist, 8 September 2005) have been traditionally national institu- A recent study of academic mobility to tions – even local ones. Now universities and from the UK found that ‘the very great compete at a global level. The changing majority of movement takes place amongst nature and role of higher education junior postdoctoral staff, and this is entirely positive for this country’ (Sastry, 2005). is putting pressure on the rest of the Academics, like many other professionals, education system. desire to gain international experience T he ranking of the world’s universities provided each year by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Institute has become a early in their careers. English as the global academic language facilitates the interna- tional mobility of young researchers. standard international reference: one glance shows a domination by American and other THE BOLOGNA PROCESS English-speaking universities (2.3). In fact, The ‘Bologna Process’ was an agreement around two-thirds of the world’s top 100 uni- signed originally in 1999, now involving 45 versities are in English-speaking countries. countries, aimed at harmonising university This is one reason why English is used education within Europe along the lines increasingly as the medium of education in of the British model, using a common universities across the world. If an institu- approach to levels and length of courses. tion wishes to become a centre of interna- The standardisation of higher education is tional excellence, it needs both to attract intended both to facilitate greater move- teachers and researchers from around ment of students within Europe and to the world, and to encourage international make European higher education more students to enrol on its courses, enriching attractive to students from other countries. the university’s prestige, revenue, and intel- Although the use of English in teaching is lectual climate. A recent commentary in by no means a requirement of the Bologna The Economist observed: Process, its use has been encouraged The top universities are citizens of an as it makes it easier for non-language international academic marketplace with one specialists to carry out all or part of their global academic currency, one global labour undergraduate or postgraduate study in force and, increasingly, one global language, another country. In 2003–04 an estimated English. They are also increasingly citizens of a 1500 Master’s programmes were offered global economy, sending their best graduates to in English in countries where English is not work for multinational companies. The creation the first language.74 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 75. Most of the world’s universities ‘could do better’THE WRONG KIND OF GRADUATESUniversities play a key role in developing Global university rankings 2005knowledge economies; international surveys SJT THES/QSof the attractiveness of a country as anoutsourcing destination routinely assess the 1 Harvard USA Harvard USAquality and number of local graduates. For 2 Cambridge UK MIT USAexample, a report by the international consul- 3 Stanford USA Cambridge UKtancy McKinsey, in December 2005, indicated 4 UC Berkeley USA Oxford UKthat although India produces 2.5 million 5 MIT USA Stanford USAuniversity graduates each year, only a quarter 6 Cal. Inst Tech USA UC Berkeley USAare ‘suitable’ for employment by multinationals 7 Columbia USA Yale USAor their Indian outsourcing partners. Within 5 8 Princeton USA Cal. Inst. USAyears, India may find itself short of 150,000 IT Tech.engineers and 350,000 BPO workers – such 9 Chicago USA Princeton USAas the kind needed for call-centres. 10 Oxford UK Ecole Poly- FRANCE The chief handicaps are weak spoken-English technique skills, especially among graduates of non-elite 11 Yale USA Duke USA schools, and the uneven quality of college 12 Cornell USA LSE UK curricula and faculty. (reported in Business Week 13 UC San USA Imperial UK December 16, 2005) Diego CollegeSuch shortages lead to high staff turnover, 14 UC Los USA Cornell USA Angelesand escalating wage costs, which erode 15 Pennsylvania USA Beijing CHINAIndia’s competitive advantage. 16 Wisconsin USA Tokyo JAPAN It is not only India which is concerned – Madisonabout maintaining the supply of well-trained 17 Washington, USA UC San USAgraduates. In October 2005 McKinsey Seattle Franciscoissued an even more dire warning for China. 18 UC San USA Chicago USADespite producing an estimated 3.1 million Franciscograduates from its colleges this year, 19 John USA Melbourne AUS Hopkins less than 10 percent of Chinese job candidates, on average, would be suitable for work in a for- 20 Tokyo JAPAN Columbia USA University eign company in the nine occupations we studied . . . The chief handicaps are weak spoken-English 2.3 Top 20 world universities according to Shanghai skills, especially among graduates of non-elite Jiao Tong University (SJT) and the QS Quacquarelli schools, and the uneven quality of college Symonds survey for the UK’s Times Higher Education curricula and faculty. (Farrell & Grant, 2005) Supplement. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 75
  • 76. HIGHER EDUCATION International student mobility The number of international students T coming to English-speaking countries here is no complete source of com- parable data on international student mobility, but the trends are clear. Between seemed to be ever-rising. But is the recent slowing of student numbers a 2 and 3 million students each year travel temporary setback or signs of a long- to another country to study, mostly to term change? only a few destinations. The USA and the UK together account for over a third of all USA international students in the world (2.4). UK Germany The ‘major English-speaking destination France Australia countries’ (MESDCs) together account for China around 46%. Japan Russia MESDCs attract so many students because Canada Spain their universities dominate the international New Zealand Singapore league tables; English-speaking countries Belgium have the most entrepreneurial universities, Italy Switzerland who seek income by marketing their courses Sweden Austria to overseas students; and English itself is Malaysia Netherlands seen as a key educational investment. Other Forecasts for global international student 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 Number of international students (thousands) numbers published by the British Council in 2004, however, suggest MESDCs will 2.4 The top destination countries for international receive a declining proportion of the world’s students. (Estimated numbers in thousands. Data from various sources, using latest year available) students in the next 15 years (2.6). In 2005, 4 out of 5 UK universities reported a drop Other in international student numbers. Some 16% Russian 3% Japanese 3% Other 13% English New Zealand 4% USA Chinese Canada 4% 43% 53% Australia 11% 5% UK 25% German 9% French 11% Over half the world’s international students are taught in English. More countries are establishing English-medium 2.5 The languages of international education. courses and the role of Chinese is likely to grow.76 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 77. The global total of international students is growing more slowly than expectedreported that the number of Chinese stu- 7000 2.6 Projecteddents – the largest single source – was down 6000 Global numbersby 50%. Similar patterns have been seen in 5000 for inter-Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand. 4000 nationalMany reasons have been put forward for this 3000 students MESDCsdownturn – such as the visa regime imposed (thousands) 2000 from theafter the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the USA, 1000 UK Britishincreased tuition fees, or health fears arising 0 Council 2005 2010 2015 2020from the outbreak of SARS in Asia. However, (2004).it may be that there are deeper, structural 140reasons for believing that the global total of 120 100international students may be growing more 80slowly than expected and competition for 60 40those students is increasing faster. 20 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2.7 The number of Chinese students studyingNEW COMPETITORS overseas (thousands).The MESDCs face three new kinds of com-petition. First, in some key source countries, 25,000there has been rapid expansion of univer- 20,000 Incomingsities, coupled with educational reform, 15,000 Outgoingwhich has improved quality. The numbers of 10,000students wishing to study abroad thus slow, 5,000 0or decrease (2.8), even whilst participation 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 Yearrates increase. Second, as such countries 2.8 UK incoming and outgoing students (1997–2002)improve their education systems and econ- on Socrates-Erasmus programmes. (Source: UKomies, they reposition themselves as net Socrates-Erasmus Council)exporters of higher education, poachinginternational students from neighbouring Third, more countries, both in Europe andcountries who might otherwise have trav- Asia, are attracting international studentselled to MESDCs. China is likely to become by offering courses taught through thea net exporter of higher education in 2006, medium of English. Singapore and Malaysiareceiving many students from Korea and are establishing themselves as ‘educationJapan, and now marketing itself to Thailand hubs’ whilst a survey of Chinese studentsand India. Such trends are likely to increase by consultants i-graduate discovered thatthe number of international students they were increasingly attracted to coursesstudying in languages other than English. offered by EU countries such as Germany. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 77
  • 78. HIGHER EDUCATION Transnational education In the 1990s, technology was THE GREAT ELEARNING FIASCO expected to solve the world’s educa- These ventures failed mainly because they tion problems and allow English-speak- were established by people who did not ing universities to extend their influ- properly understand the business. There ence throughout the world. The reality may have been ‘unmet demand’ for higher turned out to be rather different. education from Asia, but it was not for a ‘no frills’ service. Those seeking an international A t the end of the 1990s, there was huge optimism in how the internet could trans- form education. There was also an apprecia- education want a prestigious source which will serve them well in the job market. And although there are many very successful tion of the way higher education was rapidly examples of international distance educa- globalising and how English-speaking uni- tion – not least the UK Open University – at versities dominated the new global league the time there was a profound scepticism tables. Virtual universities became the about its role in higher education in key flavour of the day. Many ambitious projects Asian markets, such as China. Promoters of were established involving prestigious the new initiatives were widely optimistic brands on both the commercial and aca- about the numbers of students who would demic sides: Pearson; Thomson Learning; sign up and how fast numbers would grow, McGraw Hill; Harcourt; News Corporation; but their business plans required huge Disney; Dow Jones; Financial Times; London initial investment and would work only on School of Economics; the British Library; the a massive scale. Even more crucially, they Smithsonian Institution; New York University; overestimated the economies of scale they Columbia University; and Carnegie Mellon. In would achieve through eLearning, failing to the UK, many universities joined in an exciting listen to experienced voices that warned initiative: the UK eUniversity, for example, that good-quality online distance education conceived as a marketplace and technology may be actually more expensive than face- platform for online degrees accredited by to-face education. individual institutions. Most global virtual university projects Within only 4 years, the global adventure imploded shortly after the ‘dot com’ bubble was over. Nearly all the ventures collapsed burst. However, as is so often the case or were folded quietly back into parent with technology-driven innovations which organisations. The UK eUniversity was appear to fail to deliver on early promise, closed in 2004 after over £60 million had many of the key ideas have been progres- been spent. It was only one of several such sively adopted. As broadband infrastruc- investments and failures in English-speaking ture in many Asian countries improves; countries. as conventional institutions learn how to78 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 79. eLearning is providing a significant strand in world education The dream that must be 900 abandoned is the gleam in the eyes 800 of Wall Street brokers of 1999: 700 UK transnational students the vision of an Anglo-American 600 curriculum beaming in Star Trek 500 fashion to every corner of China, 400 with prestigious professors on the UK based students 300 website and the minimum of inter- 200 active servicing, colonising tens 100 of millions of Sinophone minds and 0 taking in a tidy unit profit. 2005 2010 2015 2020 2.9 In the UK, transnational student numbers are ‘Don’t leave me hanging on the expected to overtake those of international students Anglophone’, Simon Marginson (2004) studying in Britain.benefit from eLearning by extending their Australian and British universities nowface-to-face provision; as eLearning ven- compete for international students in theirtures learn how to grow and specialise; so home countries. The UK’s University ofeLearning is providing a significant strand Nottingham, for example, opened two Asianin world education at all levels. But it turns campuses in September 2005: Nottinghamout that the success of eLearning depends Malaysia and Nottingham Ningbo inless on gee-whizz technology and more on China (a joint venture with Zhejiang Wanlihow human relationships are managed; less University). By such ventures, numberson marketing hype, and more on learning of transnational students studying for UKhow traditional pedagogical values can be degrees are expected to overtake interna-adapted in the new context. tional students coming to Britain for study (2.9). The new overseas campuses areFOREIGN CAMPUSES AND JOINT VENTURES likely to attract students from elsewhereVirtual transnational universities may not in the region, thus helping to provide anhave worked, but English-speaking uni- international intellectual environment.versities had a ‘plan B’, which would allow Although such transnational enterprisesthem to reach out to international students. look as if they will be successful in educa-A bewildering assortment of joint ventures tional terms, it is still difficult to understandand overseas branch campuses have to whether they are, on balance, in thesome extent replaced the growth in tra- long-term strategic interests of the English-ditional ‘onshore’ provision as American, speaking countries. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 79
  • 80. UK transnational students UK based students English Next Higher education Trends » Higher education has rapidly globalised, creating a divide between global elite institutions and those which mainly serve local students. » Global institutions in non-English-speaking countries are using English medium courses to attract international students and teachers. However, there may also be a trend (for example in Germany) to restrict this to lower levels and to require international students to ‘come up to speed’ in the national language. » The growth in international student mobility is likely to be slower than anticipated, with MESDCs receiving a declining market share. As countries improve tertiary provision, local and regional options are becoming available, which may be cheaper and culturally more attractive. » Attempts to create global eUniversities have largely failed, though eLearning is proving to be a successful component in ‘blended learning’ offered by traditional institutions as well as in secondary education. » The fastest growth for UK universities now appears to be in transnational students studying for a UK degree in branch campuses or joint ventures established in Asian countries. The long-term strategic and economic benefits of this for the UK are still unknown. » Countries which have, in the past, provided major sources of international students, such as Malaysia and China, are sending fewer students over- seas and repositioning themselves as net exporters of higher education.80 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 81. SECTION 2: LEARNING ENGLISHThis section brings together the discussion of trends inprevious sections and shows how they have been affectingthe teaching and learning of English. Pedagogic practices,curriculums and business models are already responding tothe new economic and political realities.Which model? 82Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) 86English as a lingua franca (ELF) 87English for young learners (EYL) 88Overview of models 90English in Europe 92English as an Asian language 94The ‘World English Project’ 96The rise in demand 98If the project succeeds . . . 100 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 81
  • 82. LEARNING ENGLISH Which model? There is an extraordinary diversity in or for survival communication with native the ways in which English is taught and speakers, perhaps whilst on holiday in the learned around the world, but some UK or some other English-speaking country. clear orthodoxies have arisen. ‘English This is why I have identified broad models as a Foreign Language’ has been a which can be thought of as configurations dominant one in the second half of the of the factors listed in the box. 20th century, but it seems to be giving There are many stakeholders involved in the teaching and learning process, each of way to a new orthodoxy, more suited to whom may have a different view. Learners, the realities of global English. their families, teachers, governments, T here is no single way of teaching English, no single way of learning it, no single motive for doing so, no single syllabus employers, textbook publishers, examina- tion providers – all now possess an interest in the English language business. or textbook, no single way of assessing There is, of course, a great deal of debate, proficiency and, indeed, no single variety often lively, about the best methods and of English which provides the target of approaches for teaching English. But learning. It is tempting, but unhelpful, to say much of this debate is cast within only two there are as many combinations of these models: the teaching of English as a foreign as there are learners and teachers. The language (EFL) and the teaching of English proliferation of acronyms in ELT reflects this as a second language (ESL). diversity of models. By a ‘model’ I do not mean a particular THE EFL TRADITION variety of English – such as US or British EFL, as we know it today, is a largely 19th- – though selection of a particular variety century creation, though drawing on cen- may play a role. By a ‘model’ of English I turies of experience in teaching the clas- mean a complex framework, which includes sical languages. EFL tends to highlight the issues of methodology and variety, but goes importance of learning about the culture beyond these to include other dimensions and society of native speakers; it stresses of the context and practice of learning the centrality of methodology in discus- English (see box, right). sions of effective learning; and emphasises It is becoming clear that these issues the importance of emulating native speaker are not easily separable. The appropri- language behaviour. ateness of content clearly depends on EFL approaches, like all foreign languages such things as the age of the learner and teaching, positions the learner as an out- whether English is to be used primarily as sider, as a foreigner; one who struggles to a language of international communication attain acceptance by the target community.82 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 83. EFL approaches, like all foreign languages curriculums, position the learner as an outsiderThe target language is always someoneelse’s mother tongue. The learner is con- What makes a model of ELT?structed as a linguistic tourist – allowed to Each model may vary in terms of:visit, but without rights of residence andrequired always to respect the superior • What variety of English is regarded asauthority of native speakers. authoritative? • Which language skills are most importantDESIGNED TO PRODUCE FAILURE (Reading? Speaking? Interpreting?)Modern foreign languages, English amongst • What is regarded as a suitable level ofthem, have traditionally belonged to the proficiency?secondary school curriculum, with learners • How and where will the language be used?rarely starting study before the age of 11 • Is the motive for learning largelyor 12. They have focused on the language ‘instrumental’ or also ‘integrational’?as a timetabled subject, with stress on such • At what age should learning begin?things as grammatical accuracy, native- • What is the learning environment (Classroomspeaker-like pronunciation, and literature. only? Family? Media? Community?) When measured against the standard of • What are the appropriate content anda native speaker, few EFL learners will be materials for the learner?perfect. Within traditional EFL methodology • What will be the assessment criteria? Whatthere is an inbuilt ideological positioning of kind of exams?the student as outsider and failure – how-ever proficient they become. Although EFL has become technologised,and has been transformed over the yearsby communicative methods, these have ledonly to a modest improvement in attain-ment by learners. The model, in the totality of its pedagogicpractices, may even have historicallyevolved to produce perceived failure.Foreign languages, in many countries, werelargely learned to display social position 2.10 Students in Senegal. It is in Africa that the mostand to indicate that your family was wealthy heated debates about the place of English-medium education are now arising. English competes as a me-enough to have travelled to other countries. dium of education with other post-colonial languagesEven if you do not accept the argument that such as French and Portuguese, as well as with localthe tradition is ideologically designed as a mother tongues. (Photo: Chris Tribble) ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 83
  • 84. LEARNING ENGLISH gatekeeping device which will help the for- needs of the British Empire to teach local mation of elites, it is nevertheless true that people sufficient English to allow the the practice of EFL can and does tolerate administration of large areas of the world high levels of failure. In those countries with a relatively small number of British civil where passing English exams has been servants and troops. The imperial strategy made a condition of promotion or gradua- typically involved the identification of an tion, it has often led to considerable stress existing social elite who would be offered and resentment by learners, rather than sig- a curriculum designed to cultivate not just nificantly enhanced levels of proficiency. language skills but also a taste for British In recent years, several developments in – and more generally western – culture and the practice of ELT have started to take ELT values. Literature became an important in new directions. The European ‘language strand in such a curriculum and a literary portfolio’, for example, attempts to record canon was created which taught Christian a learner’s experience and achievement in values through English poetry and prose. non-traditional ways. The Common European Such an approach to ESL helped widen Framework of Reference for languages existing divisions within colonial society (CEFR) which attempts to provide a uniform through the means of English. In postcolo- approach to attainment levels across all nial contexts today, the use of English is still languages, employs the concept of ‘can do’ often surrounded by complex cultural poli- statements rather than focusing on aspects tics and it is proving surprisingly difficult to of failure. Such developments illustrate the broaden the social base of English speaking way that ELT practices are evolving to meet even where English is used as the language new social, political and economic expecta- of the educated middle classes. For many tions and I believe significantly depart from decades, no more than 5% of Indians, for the traditional EFL model, even where that example, were estimated to speak English, term is still employed. even though it plays an important role in Indian society. ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE In colonial times there was no strong need In contrast to EFL, one of the defining to impose a metropolitan spoken standard features of teaching English as a second and many local varieties of English emerged language is that it recognises the role of – the so-called ‘New Englishes’ – from English in the society in which it is taught. contact with local languages. Many new Historically, there have been two major Englishes have since flourished, and have strands of development in ESL, both dating developed literatures and even grammar from the 19th century. books and dictionaries. The first kind of ESL arose from the In ESL countries, children usually learn84 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 85. Some learners will not be quite as immersed in an English-speaking world as might be imaginedsome English informally before they enter of English which learners need to command.school, so that the role of the classroom Often, there exist local as well as ethnic vari-is often to extend their knowledge of the eties of English – such as Indian or Jamaicanlanguage. Where there exists a local, ver- English in London. In such communities, thenacular variety of English, a major role of communicative competence required bythe classroom is teaching learners a more an ESL learner includes a knowledge of theformal and standard variety. community norms of code-switching. The ecology of English in such countries The learning of English for ESL students isis a multilingual one where English is asso- often a family matter, with different genera-ciated with particular domains, functions tions speaking with different levels of com-and social elites. A related characteristic of petence – even different varieties of EnglishESL societies is code-switching: speakers – and acting as interpreters as necessary forwill often switch between English and other less-skilled family and community members.languages, even within a single sentence. Translation and interpreting are importantKnowledge of code-switching norms is an skills for ESL users, though not always wellessential part of communicative compe- recognised by education providers.tence in such societies. Where ESL is taught to immigrants A quite different approach to ESL arose entering English-speaking countries it is notin the USA and, later, in countries such as surprising that a key component in the cur-Canada, Australia and New Zealand where riculum is often ‘citizenship’: ensuring thatgenerations of immigrants had to be assimi- learners are aware of the rights and obliga-lated and equipped with a new national tions as permanent residents in English-identity. In the UK, ESL did not become fully speaking countries. Citizenship rarelyinstitutionalised until the 1960s. ESL is often figured in the traditional EFL curriculum.nowadays referred to as ESOL (English forSpeakers of Other Languages). GLOBAL ENGLISH BRINGS NEW APPROACHES ESL in such contexts must also address EFL and ESL represent the twin traditionsissues of identity and bilingualism. Some in ELT, both with roots in the 19th century.learners – even in the USA and the UK – will It seems to me that in the last few yearsnot be quite as immersed in an English- pedagogic practices have rapidly evolvedspeaking world as might be imagined. to meet the needs of the rather differentMany live in ethnic communities in which world in which global English is learnedmany of the necessities of daily life can be and used. In the next few pages, I discussconducted within the community language. three new models of English which I believeFurthermore, in most such communities represent significant departures from bothstandard English is only one of the varieties traditional EFL and ESL. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 85
  • 86. LEARNING ENGLISH Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) Content and language integrated learn- the medium of English means that teachers ing (CLIL) has emerged as a significant must convey not only the subject content curriculum trend in Europe. Similar ap- and disciplinary language but also the prac- proaches are now used, under different tical problem-solving, negotiations, discus- names, in many other countries. sions and classroom management in ways that characterise disciplinary pedagogic C LIL is an approach to bilingual educa- tion in which both curriculum content – such as Science or Geography – and practices. In that sense it differs from ESP. In most cases, CLIL is used in secondary schools and relies on basic skills in English English are taught together. It differs from being already taught at primary level. simple English-medium education in that the CLIL changes the working relationships learner is not necessarily expected to have within schools, and requires a cultural the English proficiency required to cope with change of a kind which is often difficult to the subject before beginning study. Hence, it bring about within educational institutions. is a means of teaching curriculum subjects English teachers have to work closely with through the medium of a language still being subject teachers to ensure that language learned, providing the necessary language development is appropriately catered for support alongside the subject specialism. and this implies making sufficient non-con- CLIL can also be regarded the other way tact time available for planning and review. around – as a means of teaching English English teachers may largely lose their ‘sub- through study of a specialist content. ject’ as a timetabled space and may take on CLIL arose from curriculum innovations a wider support and remedial role. in Finland, in the mid 1990s, and it has For these reasons, although CLIL seems been adopted in many European countries, now to be growing quite fast in some coun- mostly in connection with English. There is tries, it is doing so organically rather than no orthodoxy as to how, exactly, CLIL should within ‘top-down’ reform programmes. CLIL be implemented and diverse practices have is difficult to implement unless the subject evolved. CLIL is compatible with the idea of teachers are themselves bilingual. JIT education (‘just in time’ learning) and is When English is developed within a regarded by some of its practitioners as the CLIL programme, assessment of English ultimate communicative methodology. proficiency is made partly through subject Teaching curriculum subjects through assessment.86 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 87. English as a lingua franca(ELF)Teaching and learning English as a Within ELF, intelligibility is of primarylingua franca (ELF) is probably the most importance, rather than native-like accuracy.radical and controversial Teaching certain pronunciation features, suchapproach to emerge in recent years. It as the articulation of ‘th’ as an interdental fric-squarely addresses some of the issues ative, appears to be a waste of time whereaswhich global English raises. other common pronunciation problems (such as simplifying consonant clusters) contributeA n inexorable trend in the use of global English is that fewer interactions nowinvolve a native-speaker. Proponents of to problems of understanding. Such an approach is allowing research- hers to identify a ‘Lingua Franca Core’ (LFC)teaching English as a lingua franca (ELF) which provides guiding principles in cre-suggest that the way English is taught and ating syllabuses and assessment materials.assessed should reflect the needs and Unlike traditional EFL, ELF focuses alsoaspirations of the ever-growing number of on pragmatic strategies required in inter-non-native speakers who use English to cultural communication. The target modelcommunicate with other non-natives. of English, within the ELF framework, is Understanding how non-native speakers not a native speaker but a fluent bilingualuse English among themselves has now speaker, who retains a national identitybecome a serious research area. The in terms of accent, and who also has theVienna-Oxford International Corpus of special skills required to negotiate under-English (VOICE) project, led by Barbara standing with another non-native speaker.Seidlhofer, is creating a computer corpus of Research is also beginning to show howlingua franca interactions, which is intended bad some native speakers are at usingto help linguists understand ELF better, and English for international communication. Italso provide support for the recognition of may be that elements of an ELF syllabusELF users in the way English is taught. could usefully be taught within a mother Proponents of ELF have already given tongue curriculum.some indications of how they think cov- ELF suggests a radical reappraisal of theentional approaches to EFL should be way English is taught, and even if few adoptchanged. Jenkins (2000), for example, ELF in its entirety, some of its ideas areargues for different priorities in teaching likely to influence mainstream teaching andEnglish pronunciation. assessment practices in the future. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 87
  • 88. LEARNING ENGLISH English for young learners (EYL) 2.11 The percentage of primary school pupils learning English in EU countries in 2002. (Based on Eurydice data published in 2005) E nglish learners are getting younger. Across the world, from Chile to Mongolia, from China to Portugal, English is being introduced in primary schools, with greater compulsion, and at steadily low- The age at which children start ering ages. A global survey of English for learning English has been young learners, undertaken by the British lowering across the world. English Council in 1999, showed that the majority has moved from the traditional of countries in which English was taught in ‘foreign languages’ slot in lower primary schools had introduced the innova- secondary school to primary school tion in the 1990s. Often this was only on an – even pre-school. The trend has experimental basis or in one of the higher gathered momentum only very grades. Since then, the practice has become recently and the intention is often more widespread. In Europe, almost every to create a bilingual population. country documented in the 2005 Eurydice survey showed an increasing percentage of88 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 89. One rationale for teaching languages to young children is the idea that they find it easier to learn languagesprimary pupils learning English during the ASPIRING TO BILINGUALISMyears 1998–2002 (the most recent year for In fact, the sea-change in attitudes to thewhich data was available). Since 2002, the learning of English which has occurredtrend has continued apace. in very recent years is not simply a new Often there is considerable pressure from fashion in language learning but has deeperparents, who may also supplement school pro- causes. Indeed, EYL is often not just anvision with private lessons. In Japan, Benesse educational project, but also a political and(the Japanese company who own Berlitz economic one. A remarkable number oflanguage schools) reported that, in 2005, 21% governments talk not only about the needof 5-year-olds in Japan attended English con- to learn a foreign language but of an ambi-versation classes – up from 6% in 2000. This tion to make their country bilingual. Thetrend is typical of many Asian countries. European project is to create plurilingual One rationale for teaching languages to citizens. Colombia’s ‘Social Programme foryoung children is the idea that they find Foreign Languages without Borders’ is ait easier to learn languages than older government initiative to make the countrystudents. In practice, young learners face bilingual in 10 years. In Mongolia in 2004,obstacles that older learners do not. They the then Prime Minister declared that theare still developing physically and intellec- country should become bilingual in English.tually; their emotional needs may be higher; In Chile, the government has embarkedthey are less able to take responsibility for on an ambitious programme to make thetheir own learning. One of the practical population of 15 million ‘bilingual within areasons for introducing English to younger generation’. South Korea intends to makelearners is to ensure that they have longer English an official language in new enter-in their school careers to master the lan- prise zones. In Taiwan, a public opinionguage; another is because the timetables survey published in January 2006 foundin secondary schools now have too many that ‘80% of the respondents said theycompeting demands. EYL also provides a hope that the government will designatefoundation for a transition to CLIL or even English the second official language’.to English-medium in secondary school. Many countries which have declared bilin- There are many hazards attached to EYL, not gualism as their goal do not look to the UK,least of which is that it requires teachers who or to the USA as a model, but to Singapore,are proficient in English, have wider training Finland or the Netherlands. Furthermore,in child development, and who are able to they are increasingly likely to look tomotivate young children. Such teachers are English teachers from bilingual countriesin short supply in most countries, but failure to help them in their task, rather than toat this stage may be difficult to remedy later. monolingual native-speakers of English. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 89
  • 90. LEARNING ENGLISH – OVERVIEW OF MODELS EFL ESL (a) ESL (b) Target variety Native speaker, usually Native speaker – host Local variety (e.g. Indian American or British country; may be non- English); might include a standard local standard as well as non-standard Skills Focus on speaking and All skills, including listening; communicative literacy curriculum Teacher skills Language proficient, Native speaker Bilingual teacher in local trained in methodology who understands community immigrant’s problems Learner Mixed; often poor Integrational Usually part of inherited motives motivation identity so little choice Starting age 10–13 years old, Whatever age a person From birth secondary school immigrates – from birth to retired Primary To communicate with To function in host Communication within purposes native speakers; to satisfy country; sometimes to local elite; national entrance requirements for acquire new nationality communication across jobs, universities linguistic boundaries Values Liberal: improves Values of host society Local social values tolerance and (e.g. British, US, but may have Western understanding of other Australian) orientation cultures Citizenship In EU, seen as a Often used as vehicle component of developing to teach about rights European citizenship and duties in host country Learning Classroom focused; time- Host society provides English is often a environment tabled subject; occasional immersion experience; language of the home; visits to native-speaking some family members community is saturated country may provide model; with English material. perhaps part-time Role of school to ESOL or special develop competence in support classes standard variety Content/ Local government Very variable; may Often local text books of materials textbook; international include realia and a traditional academic publisher government forms etc kind Assessment Either: local exams or Citizenship or visa Local traditional exams international (IELTS, exams Cambridge ESOL, TOEFL, TOEIC) Failure Low proportion of Often age/generation Depends on social pattern learners reach high dependent class/group proficiency90 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 91. EYL Global EnglishTypically claims to use native speaker variety Focus on internationally intelligibility ratheras target, but problems of teacher supply often than a specific variety; carry-over of some L1makes this unrealistic characteristics; expected to maintain national identity through English; need for receptive skills in a range of international varietiesYoung learners may not have L1 literacy skills, All skills including literacy; translation andso emphasis is on speaking and listening interpretation skills often required; emphasis also on intercultural communication strategiesLanguage proficient including good accent; Bilingual with subject knowledge andalso needs training in child development; may understanding of local exams; or may haveneed security screening wider pastoral role for developing study skills and student supportYoung learners rarely have clear motive; they Usually instrumentalmay just like the teacherKindergarten – Grade 3 Primary (5-9) Builds on foundation provided by EYLTo develop language awareness and prepare To get jobs in own country; to communicate withfor higher levels of proficiency in later years non-native speakers from other countriesAll education at this age has strong moral and Secondary materials may include global issuesideological components which usually reflect such as human rights, environment, poverty,local, rather than ‘Anglo-Saxon’ values gender inequalityContent may reflect needs for national Growing notion of ‘global citizen’; English may beintegration and unity; provide information needed to function in some areas of national life;about basic health, community values and Plays role in ‘European citizenship’so onOften informal in kindergarten, pre-school Classroom is a key context but is insufficient.or primary classroom. Affective factors are Private sector and home tutoring often play aimportant roleActivity-based, play, songs, games Content often relates to another curriculum area in CLIL style approachUsually local testing or informal assessment, Existing exams often not appropriate;though international exams are available assessment often via assessment of ability to carry out tasks in English or by assessing knowledge taught through EnglishOften successful in developing basic oral ‘Mission critical’ process where broaderskills but if badly done can deter child from education or employment is dependent onlanguage learning actual skills (rather than token certification) ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 91
  • 92. LEARNING ENGLISH English in Europe The Council of Europe’s framework has foster large-scale multilingualism in Europe had a significant influence on curricu- (or ‘plurilingualism’ as the Council of Europe lum developments in many European prefers to call it). European citizens should countries, and represents much more ideally learn 2 languages in addition to their than the teaching of foreign languages. mother tongue. The expected benefits of such a programme include a better under- standing between neighbouring nations, E urope, where the ideal of one national language per nation-state became a central feature of modernity, is reinventing improved mobility of people in work and study, and an enhanced sense of a shared European identity. itself. The Council of Europe’s language In this respect, 21st-century Europe policies have provided a new focus for for- seems keen to roll back the centuries-long eign language learning across Europe. The modernity project which created largely new European model provides more than monolingual societies. a means of standardising approaches to language education through mechanisms ENGLISH AS EUROPEAN LINGUA FRANCA such as the Common European Framework One of the weaknesses of the European (CEF). It represents a wider ideological project is that all languages are positioned project to improve citizens’ awareness of the as having a ‘home’ in one or more member multilingual nature of Europe, to encourage countries. In theory, English has no greater a positive attitude towards linguistic diver- status, in European terms, than, say, French sity, and to promote the learning of several or Swedish. languages. The European project is to In practice, within many large companies, and even in parts of the European govern- 70 mental institutions, English has become a Russian Persons speaking foreign languages (%) 60 common working language. In some quar- 50 ters the de facto special status of English 40 in Europe is causing resentment (see, for English example, Phillipson, 2003). 30 20 SEVERAL TRENDS 10 Not surprisingly, English has acquired a 0 15–19 20–24 25–29 30–34 35–39 40–44 45–49 50–54 55–59 60–64 65–69 70–74 special place in school timetables in most Age countries. Steadily, across Europe, English 2.12 English has replaced Russian as the first foreign has become the ‘first foreign’ language in language in Estonia. (Data from 2000 Estonian census). education systems, often replacing another92 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 93. In many large companies, English has become a working language100% % of population claiming to speak English Malta Netherlands Sweden Denmark 80% Cyprus Luxembourg Finland 60% Slovenia Austria Belgium Germany Greece Estonia 40% France Latvia Italy Lithuania Portugal Romania Poland Czech Republic 20% Spain Turkey Hungary Bulgaria 0 1999 2001 20052.13 Recent trends as shown in Eurobarometer data. Most countries have shown a rise in the last five years.language from that position. For example, in English is also being introduced to everSwitzerland, some German-speaking cantons lower ages in primary schools (see thehave controversially decided that English will discussion of EYL earlier in this section).be introduced at an earlier age than French, And there is a steady growth of CLIL (seethe second national language of Switzerland. the discussion of CLIL) in most EuropeanIn the Baltic states and post-soviet countries, countries.English has, in many cases, now replaced The regular Eurobarometer surveys,Russian as the main foreign language. In which ask EU citizens in which foreign lan-Estonia, for example, the census in 2000 guages they can hold a conversation, notasked citizens which foreign languages they surprisingly indicate that the numbers ofcould speak. It found that the decline of people claiming to be able to speak EnglishRussian speaking was exactly matched by have been rising in the last 5 years in mostrise in English amongst young people (2.12). countries surveyed. (2.13). ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 93
  • 94. LEARNING ENGLISH English as an Asian language India is only one of many countries in For many years, estimates for English South and South-East Asia to now speakers in India have hovered around exploit its English-speaking colonial 5% or less of the population, which in heritage and connect to the global 2005 would suggest there were fewer economy. However, it is likely that it will than 38 million speakers aged over 15. On be China who will determine the speed the other hand, Kachru (2004) suggests 333 million people in India ‘use English’ at which other Asian countries, such as – a figure based on a survey by the maga- Thailand, shift to a global English model. zine India Today in 1997, which reported that over one third of Indians claimed to E nglish has been spoken in India from colonial days and, since the infamous ‘Macaulay Minute’ of 1835, has featured speak English. A survey of wage earners in India, carried out in 2005, found that a similar proportion claimed to be able to prominently in Indian education. However, ‘read English’, but less than half of those it has always been exceptionally difficult to also claimed to ‘speak English’. estimate exactly how many people in India India, of course, is not the only Asian speak English. Partly, the difficulty comes country which counts English as a from the very wide range of proficiencies colonial legacy. Pakistan, Bangladesh, – what counts as an English speaker, when Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, very many know a few words, but only a few and the Philippines all now exploit have a high level of competence in both their anglophone heritage to attract local and more standard varieties? Another offshore contracts. As regional trade reason for difficulty is that Indian states grows, encouraged by ASEAN, English is have evolved very different, and changing, becoming an ever more valuable lingua policies towards English-medium schools. franca in Asia. 2.14 Proportions Read Hindi Speak Hindi of Indian earners 48.5% 31% who claim reading or speaking ability in English and Hindi. Data based on 2005 Read English Speak English survey of earners 35% 16.5% by the Indian Retirement Earnings and Savings (IRES).94 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 95. China is now setting the pace for English learningENGLISH IN CHINAIndia has demonstrated the huge economicbenefits of speaking English, but it is Chinawhich is now setting the pace of change inthe region. In 2001, China decided to makeEnglish compulsory in primary schoolsfrom Grade 3. In practice, rural areas maynot meet that target, whilst big cities, suchas Beijing and Shanghai, have already intro-duced English at Grade 1. More people arenow learning English in China than in anyother country. Within the formal educationsector an estimated 176.7 million Chinesewere studying English in 2005. Kachru (2004) suggests that there were200 million Chinese English users in 1995. 2.15 English is compulsory for Beijing police trainees.As a result of the new policy, China now pro-duces over 20 million new users of English Not only is China setting the pace, but untileach year. It seems possible that within a countries in the region are able to developfew years, there could be more English their national proficiency in Mandarin,speakers in China than in India. English will provide their main means of China’s decision to make English a key part communicating with China.of its strategy for economic development hashad a galvanising impact on neighbouring BEIJING SPEAKS ENGLISHcountries, where enthusiasm for English was China has taken a thoughtful approach toin danger of waning. By the end of 2005, setting goals. Beijing is preparing for theThailand, the Philippines, Japan, and Taiwan 2008 Olympics by setting targets for eachwere all expressing grave anxiety about category of citizen and providing opportuni-their national proficiency in English and ties for learning. For example, 80% of policehad announced new educational initiatives. officers under 40-years-old should pass anThailand announced a new teacher training oral English test at basic level; 6,000 policeprogramme and a switch to communicative officers at intermediate level; and 300 topmethodology because its 1996 policy to start officers at advanced level. Shanghai, mean-English at Grade 1 was failing. The Philippines while, is looking to the World Expo in 2010 asare debating whether to make English the its deadline for improving its citizen’s Englishmedium of education at all levels. language skills. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 95
  • 96. LEARNING ENGLISH The ‘World English Project’ The developments in English teaching to rise one IELTS level. In other words, even already described suggest that a new if classroom time was always focused and orthodoxy appears to have taken root as effective as that in the best language in the last few years which could be de- schools, the traditional school model would scribed as ‘The World English Project’. If bring students to, at best, PET/IELTS 4.0 by this project succeeds, it could generate the end of their school careers. In practice, only a small proportion of students reach over 2 billion new speakers of English this level. within a decade. As English proficiency came to be seen as T raditionally, English belonged to the ‘foreign languages’ curriculum in sec- ondary school and was typically taught a necessary criterion of ‘graduateness’, uni- versities in many countries began to require students of any subject to reach a certain from the age of 11 or 12. The age-profi- standard of English proficiency before they ciency relationships, which the traditional were able to obtain their degree. This often EFL model was expected to generate, is aspired to be around IELTS 6.0 but in prac- shown in the ‘escalator’ (2.16) Each step tice, given the poor starting levels of stu- on the escalator matches an age (shown in dents and, at times, indifferent motivation, the circle) against an expected level of pro- rarely exceeded FCE/IELTS 5.0. This level ficiency, as expressed in three currencies: is not regarded as sufficient for academic the Common European Framework (CEF), study through the medium of English. the relevant Cambridge ESOL exam, and an IELTS level. (These three forms of assess- NOW FROM PRIMARY ONWARDS ment are not strictly convertible, but the The idea of English as an exit qualification equivalences shown here are those which in universities is gradually being supplanted are widely used in practice by, for example, by that of it being an entry requirement, UK universities.) and the expectation that at least part of a student’s study at university level will be JUST SIX YEARS OF STUDY done through English. This is one reason The traditional approach allows only six why the new orthodoxy has emerged, in years of learning before leaving secondary which learners begin in primary school, school or entering university which, in where they learn the basics of the language most school timetables, approximates to a and then develop the use of English as a maximum of 600–700 hours contact time. language of study in secondary school. This Intensive EFL course providers estimate model generates completely different age- that 300–400 hours of study are required proficiency relationships, as shown in 2.17.96 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 97. A new orthodoxy has emerged: learners begin in primary school 22 Up the English escalator 20 18 A new orthodoxy appears to be emerging in the education systems 16 C2 (CPE/ IELTS 7.0) of many countries across the world. 14 C1 (CAE/ IELTS 6.5) level needed for academic study 1 Teach more courses at 12 B2 (FCE/ IELTS 5.5) university through English, or at B1 (PET/ IELTS 4.0) least expect students to be able A2 (KET/ IELTS 3.0) to access study materials – such as textbooks – in English. A1 (IELTS 2.0) 2 Require students to be2.16 Desirable age-proficiency levels in the traditional EFL curriculum. proficient in English at entry;Although patterns varied from country to country this did not matter reduce support for Englishmuch as little else was dependent on a student’s knowledge of English. teaching within university to specialised subject knowledge. 3 Begin teaching at least part of the curriculum through English at secondary school. Possibly provide specialist support by 16 English teachers. 14 4 Start teaching English at primary 12 school – preferably Grade 1 but 10 C2 (CPE/ IELTS 7.0) at least by Grade 3. 8 C1 (CAE/ IELTS 6.5) level needed for academic study As a consequence of the new 6 B2 (FCE/ IELTS 5.5) orthodoxy, the relationship between age and expected levels B1 (PET/ IELTS 4.0) of proficiency in English has dra- A2 (KET/ IELTS 3.0) matically shifted from the traditional EFL model, with major implications A1 (IELTS 2.0) for textbooks, curriculums, methodologies, and assessment.2.17 Idealised age-proficiency levels in the global English curriculum. English learning at basic – andIn this model, English learning has become ‘mission-critical’. There is sometimes intermediate levels – isstill much variation in provision, however, leading to a need for great becoming a childhood matter.flexibility in all aspects of ELT services. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 97
  • 98. LEARNING ENGLISH The rise in demand 2.18 Projected numbers of English 2000 learners (millions). The graph on these pages derives from a computer model 1900 developed by The English Company 1800 (UK) Ltd, designed to forecast potential demand for English in the education 1700 systems of the world. 1600 1500 The model provides a way of generating 1400 estimates for the past, as well as the future. The preliminary results for the 1300 growth of English language teaching in 1200 the second half of the 20th century are scarcely less dramatic than the future 1100 projections. It suggests a basic pattern 1000 of rapid growth in the 1970s and 1980s, slowing in the early 1990s and then 900 taking off again at the end of the 20th 800 century. These figures now need to be triangulated against other kinds of 700 historic data to help test the assump- 600 tions made by the computer model. 500 400 300 1960 1970 1980 1990 200098 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 99. The peak of the graph represents the point at which learners of all ages are studying English – from cradle to grave. The number of learners will decline as cohorts of children who have studied English at primary school reach secondary and tertiary study. If the ‘World English Project’ is successful, then eventually a steady state will be reached where the majority of learners are either young, or in need of specialist support.2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 99
  • 100. LEARNING ENGLISH If the project succeeds . . . Within the space of a few years, there A WAVE OF ENGLISH LEARNING could be around 2 billion people The projections shown on the previous learning English in many different page are generated by a computer model, contexts around the world. Once a developed by The English Company (UK) peak has been reached, the number Ltd, and designed to forecast potential of English learners will decline, demand for English in the education sys- starting with young adults. tems of the world. They indicate that there are now over 5 billion people globally who do not speak English as either their first or I f successful, the ‘World English Language Project’ will transform the place of English in the world and learners’ attitudes to it. It is second language. Around 1.9 billion of these are between the ages of 6–24 (representing the key ages of education and training); this also likely to change dramatically the nature figure, of the total number of non-English of English teaching and the role of native speakers in the target age range, is expected speakers and educational institutions in the to rise slowly, peak in 2030 at just over 2 major English-speaking countries. billion, and thereafter decline to around 1.9 billion in 2050. AN INCREASE IN ELT BUSINESS The interesting question is, how many It is tempting to see the new orthodoxy of this demographic segment will be as simply increasing the size and scope of learning English? In 2005, there were an global ELT business, which it will certainly estimated 137 million children enrolled in do for a decade or more. But the implica- Chinese primary schools. A similar number tions for almost all traditional stakeholders – perhaps even larger – of children in India in English language teaching, should the were of primary school age. These chil- new model be successfully put into action, dren belong to a moment in world history are potentially seismic. – unprecedented and probably unrepeat- As learners become ever younger, English able – at which students throughout formal teachers of the future may find themselves education – from early primary school, wiping toddlers’ noses as they struggle secondary school, and students in college with an interactive whiteboard, or they may and university – are all learning English at find their classrooms have been moved to beginner or intermediate level. In addition, shopping malls and theme parks. English a large, but unknown, number of adults teachers working with older learners may are learning English in the workplace or in be remedial specialists or providing study their free time. So while the roll-out of pri- support to students in difficulty. mary school English takes place over the next decade or so, hundreds of millions of100 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 101. Nearly a third of the world population will all be trying to learn English at the same timeolder learners are still busy with English. up. English teaching for older learnersThe computer model generates startling is likely to become focused on subjectestimates of the scale of the ‘wave of specialisms. In this way, the pattern whichEnglish’ which is now building up. Within a has only recently emerged in the world’sfew years, there could be around 2 billion universities – which deliver an increasingpeople simultaneously learning English in number of courses in English – is movingthe world’s schools and colleges and as down to secondary school level.independent adults. Nearly a third of theworld population will all be trying to learn WHEN WILL DEMAND FOR ENGLISH PEAK?English at the same time. This contrasts Many difficult-to-anticipate factors will affectwith the British Council global estimate exactly when the demand for learningfor the year 2000, in which between 750 English will peak, but it could be as soon asmillion and 1 billion people were learning 2010. At that point we can expect aroundEnglish. 2 billion people to be learning English – all requiring teachers, textbooks and materials.THE DECLINE OF SECONDARY ENGLISH Thereafter, the number of people who canBut looking further ahead, the wave may be categorised as ‘learners’ will decline rap-subside almost as quickly as it came. If idly, falling to 500–600 million by 2050 – orthe project to make English a second fewer if enthusiasm for English wanes.language for the world’s primary school- Even if the peak comes a little later, orchildren is successful, a new generation is not quite as high as represented on theof English-knowing children will grow up chart shown here (perhaps because fewerwho do not need further English lessons countries than expected have implementedof the traditional kind. Indeed, many will the project or have done so more slowly), thebe expected to learn curriculum subjects general shape of the curve is a logical conse-such as maths and science through the quence of policies already put in place.medium of English. And, as this generationof children moves through the education A MARKET THAT IS BOTH YOUNG AND OLDsystem, they will supplant their predeces- As the numbers of learners rise, there will besors in secondary school who were only a need to cater for all imaginable age-levelbeginning their study of the language. combinations. One Korean internet providerConsequently, teaching general English is offering English courses for foetuses still inin secondary school will fall away and the womb. More conventional young learners,become the preserve of the remedial teenagers, professionals, retired people, allteacher, helping students who cannot may require beginner materials. And year onmanage in the mainstream classes to catch year, the mix of requirements will change. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 101
  • 102. Russian English Next English Learning English Trends » For many decades, EFL has been the dominant model for the teaching of English, but as countries respond to the rise of global English, the traditional EFL model seems to be in decline. » The increase in the teaching of English to young learners (EYL) is not just a new methodological fashion, but fits with wider reforms of education. » In an increasing number of countries, English is now regarded as a com- ponent of basic education, rather than as part of the foreign languages curriculum. A surprising number of countries now aspire to bilingualism. » During the next decade and beyond, there will be an ever-changing mix of age-relationships with skill levels, making generic approaches to textbooks, teaching methods and assessment inappropriate. » The learning of English appears to be losing its separate identity as a discipline and merging with general education. » Specialist English teachers in many countries can expect to see the nature of their jobs changing during the next 10-15 years.102 ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION
  • 103. Part two referencesEurydice (2005) Key Data on Teaching Languages at School in Europe. Brussels: Eurydice European Unit.Jenkins, J. (2000) The Phonology of English as an International Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Kachru, B. B. (2004) Asian Englishes: beyond the canon. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.Farrell, D. and Grant, A. (2005) Addressing China’s Looming Talent Shortage. McKinsey Global Institute.Phillipson, R. (2003) English-Only Europe? Challenging Language Policy. London: Routledge.Sastry, T. (2005) Migration of Academic Staff to and from the UK – an analysis of the HESA data. Oxford: Higher Education Policy Institute. ENGLISH NEXT • PART TWO • EDUCATION 103
  • 104. PART THREE Conclusions and policy implications104 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 105. (Photo: Chris Tribble)ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 105
  • 106. PART THREE INTRODUCTION Global English as an innovation One of the most useful ways of under- it becomes to everyone. Not only does this standing why the era of global English is make it more attractive to those who have qualitatively different from the EFL era not yet adopted the innovation, the effect comes from ‘innovation diffusion’ theory is also retrospective in that early adopters – often used by market analysts to find their technology becomes more useful. understand how innovations are taken As adoption increases, the cost of the tech- up in society. nology tends to drop; opportunity costs reduce; and lower-cost sources of supply T he ‘S’ shaped curve, which I discussed earlier in relation to the global popula- tion growth (1.2), has been familiar to inno- become available. Later adopters are able to learn from the experience of others and often demand vation diffusion scholars since the 1960s. It that the technology develops ways which shows how an innovation is typically slow to suit their need. In several respects, later take off, then gathers pace rapidly, but when adopters behave differently from earlier most of the population who could adopt the ones. The ways in which they need to be innovation have done so, increase slows. persuaded are different: they will have dif- Specialists in innovation diffusion suggest ferent motives and expectations, and they that each stage on the S-curve involves dif- may be less tolerant of limitations, requiring ferent kinds of people (see box right). For the innovation may have to be adapted – by example, the more people adopt an innova- themselves or others – in order to meet tion such as a fax machine, the more useful their needs. Kuhn’s theory of ‘scientific revolutions’ Kuhn (1970) argued that key moments occur changed, and along with that, the ways in which it in scientific progress at which old theoretical is taught. These incremental changes have led to a approaches require too many ad-hoc additions breakdown of the old paradigm of EFL. and exceptions in order to explain new findings. The old way of talking about English education Any new theory which explains everything known has served for a couple of centuries or more, but more neatly, and indicates directions for new no longer help us to understand what is research, will be taken up eagerly by the scientific happening today, as an extraordinary rush to community and will lead rapidly to a new othodoxy. English is apparent around the world. In other Something similar seems to have happened words, we need a new ‘paradigm’ in the Kuhnian in ELT. Year-on-year, the number of English sense, in order to understand how the new language learners has grown worldwide. As the wave of English will affect the wide variety of number has grown, so the impact of English in stakeholders in the global English enterprise. It the world increased. But, almost without anyone may be that rethinking the concept of ‘global noticing, the reasons why English is learned have English’ may be a fruitful way of doing this.106 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 107. It is very tempting to apply these ideas Innovation adoptersto the ELT business. The pattern of rise andthen fall in the numbers of people learning 1 Innovatorsthe language would represent the number Typically people who are enthusiasts, highly knowledgeable, and who may even play a vitalof ‘new adopters’. Although the rate of role in the invention of the innovation itself.new adoption declines as the ‘market 2 Early adopterssaturates’, this does not, of course, mean Usually people who are well placed in socialthat the total number of English speakers networks, who attend conferences and whodeclines. It would be interesting to specu- have the confidence to adopt innovations beforelate on what that ‘saturation point’, or final the majority. Early adopters are often influential‘market penetration’ of English might be. opinion leaders.At this stage, very rough estimates based 3 Early majority adopterson the emerging patterns of middle class This group represent the point at which theand urbanisation hint at around 3 billion innovation takes off. They often rely on recommendations from opinion leaders.speakers by around 2040. In other words,it is doubtful whether, even if the ‘World 4 The late majority These take up the innovation when it becomesEnglish Project’ were successfully imple- impossible not to do so because everyone elsemented, that more than around 40% of has. It is the point at which NOT adopting carriesthe global population would ever become with it penalties. However, they will be lookingfunctional users of English. for a proven, well debugged product which can Early adopters in the global English be adopted quickly without pain. The motivesS-curve are likely to be motivated by the and aims of these later, mainstream adopters are often very different from those of earlydesire to gain some kind of competitive adopters. Although they are the late majority,advantage – whether as individuals seeking their power to form an opinion block should notadvancement in the job market, or as gov- be underestimated.ernments wishing to obtain a competitive 5 The ‘laggards’edge for their countries in the BPO market. A resistant minority who will be very slow to Later adopters will behave differently, adopt, or who may never do so. Their motiveshowever. They will have different expecta- for non-adoption may be varied, from povertytions and seek a different gain. This may be through to circumstance or ideology. The standard distribution curve used by manythe stage, now rapidly developing, where analysts suggests laggards may total aroundEnglish becomes indispensible, a key basic 16% of the total population.skill for everyone. At this point it no longerprovides competitive advantage. Source: E. M. Rogers (2003) ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 107
  • 108. PART THREE INTRODUCTION When global English becomes mainstream, it provides no competitive advantage. Instead, there is a penalty for failure to adopt. The number of new adopters declines as the market ‘saturates’. This is the point at which cohorts who learned English in primary school move to secondary school and become young adults. Much of the ‘hype’ about global English occurred when the trend was first spotted. Global English EFL Competitive advantage is gained from adopting The traditional EFL model will never completely die English only in the early stages. out but will account for a much smaller proportion of learners. 3.1 Global English as an innovation.108 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 109. We may now be somewhere between the ‘trough of disillusionment’ and the ‘slope of enlightenment’THE GARTNER HYPE CYCLEComplementing theories of innovation dif-fusion is the ‘Gartner hype cycle’ outlined The Gartner hype cyclein the box (right). This builds on the ideas The IT market research consultants Gartnerof innovation diffusion researchers by uses what they call the ‘hype cycle’ to helpdescribing the typical stages which a new understand the process of innovation diffusion.technology goes through. They identify 5 stages in a typical hype cycle for new technology. If we apply these ideas to the develop-ment of global English, then perhaps theperiod in the 1990s represented the period 1 The technological breakthrough or trigger that makes the innovation possible.of inflated expectations. If so, we may nowbe somewhere between the ‘trough of disil- 2 Peak of inflated expectations A frenzy of publicity typically generateslusionment’ and the ‘slope of enlightenment’, over-enthusiasm and unrealistic expectations.in which some countries are already shifting There may be some successful applications of anational priorities (perhaps to Spanish or technology, but there are typically more failures.Mandarin) whilst others are making progress 3 Trough of disillusionmentwith the groundwork which will ensure they Technologies enter the ‘trough of disillusionment’reach the ‘plateau of productivity’. because they fail to meet expectations and I think the important insight is that it takes quickly become unfashionable. Consequently,time, and perhaps some failures, to reach the press usually abandons the topic and some users abandon the technology.a stage in which the benefits of globalEnglish are maximised and the costs (both 4 Slope of enlightenment Although the press may have stopped coveringeconomic and cultural) are minimised. the technology, some businesses continueFurthermore, we can see that the needs through the ‘slope of enlightenment’ and experi-and aspirations of users of global English ment to understand the benefits and practicalare very different from those of early adop- application of the technology.ters, and the benefits they will receive will 5 Plateau of productivityalso be different. A technology reaches the ‘plateau of We are entering a phase of global English productivity’ as the benefits of it become widelywhich is less glamorous, less news-worthy, demonstrated and accepted. The technology becomes increasingly stable and evolves inand further from the leading edge of second and third generations. The final heightexciting ideas. It is the ‘implementation of the plateau varies according to whether thestage’, which will shape future identities, technology is broadly applicable or benefits onlyeconomies and cultures. The way this stage a niche market.is managed could determine the futures ofseveral generations. ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 109
  • 110. PART THREE INTRODUCTION Who is a native speaker? O Global English has led to a crisis of terminology. The distinctions between ne of the most familiar ways of rep- resenting the global community of English speakers is in terms of three circles ‘native speaker’, ‘second-language speaker’, and ‘foreign-language user’ (3.2). The ‘inner’ circle represents the have become blurred. native speakers; the ‘outer circle’ consists of second-language speakers in countries like India. The ‘expanding circle’ was the EXPANDING ever-increasing number of people learning English as a foreign language. OUTER The three circles were first described in this way by the sociolinguist Braj Kachru in INNER 1985. By the time The Future of English? was 320-380 published in 1997, such a model was already failing to capture the increasing importance 150-300 of the outer circle, and the degree to which ‘foreign language’ learners in some coun- 100-1000 tries – especially Europe – were becoming more like second language users. 3.2 The ‘three circles of English’ as conceived by Kachru (1985). In a globalised world, the traditional definition of ‘second-language user’ (as one who uses the language for communication within their own country) no longer makes sense. Also, there is an increasing need to distinguish between proficiencies in English, rather than a speaker’s bilingual status. Kachru himself, has recently proposed that INNER the ‘inner circle’ is now better conceived of 500 as the group of highly proficient speakers ig of English – those who have ‘functional y c H hp roficien nativeness’ regardless of how they learned or use the language (3.3). Low proficiency 3.3 Representing the community of English speakers as including a wide range of proficiencies.110 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 111. SECTION 1: POLICY IMPLICATIONS The trends identified in this book have profound implications for both the ELT profession and the wider communities who are now embracing English. The following pages give an indication of some of the more significant issues which anyone involved in strategic planning for English will have to take account of. A new hegemony of English 112 The native speaker problem 114 Protecting local languages and identities 116 Beyond English 118 Managing the change 120 The economic advantage ebbs away 122 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 11 1
  • 112. POLICY IMPLICATIONS A new hegemony of English The promotion of English around 100 % of public with favourable attitude to USA % of public with favourable attitude to China the world has long been seen as a 80 neo-imperialist project but it is time to understand the new dynamics of power 60 which global English brings. 40 T he concept of linguistic imperialism, such as put forward in Robert Phillipson’s ground-breaking book in 1992, does not wholly 20 0 Po ia da er ia Fr ds ba e C n er a y Tu ia Pa key Jo an an A do in Ca nd Ne R K an G hin Le nc no US U d th uss s In Spa n st rd na explain the current enthusiasm for English ne la In r m la a ki which seems driven primarily by parental and 3.4 International surveys of public opinion in 2005 by governmental demand, rather than promotion the Pew Research Center showed that people in many by anglophone countries. Trying to under- countries were more favourably disposed towards stand the reasons for the continuing adop- China than the USA. tion of English and its consequences within anti-Americanism is deeper and broader now than the imperialism framework may even have at any time in modern history. It is most acute in the the ironic effect of keeping native speakers Muslim world, but it spans the globe – from Europe centre-stage, flattering their self-importance to Asia, from South America to Africa . . . Simply in a world that is fast passing them by. It may put, the rest of the world both fears and resents also distract from the new forms of hegemony the unrivaled power that the United States has which are arising, which cannot be under- amassed since the Cold War ended. stood simply in terms of national interests in competition with each other. CHANGING CULTURAL FLOWS THE DECLINE OF AMERICAN VALUES There is also much evidence that cultural One problem with the much-heard idea that flows are no longer as unidirectional as English is turning everyone into ‘wannabe’ they used to be. Only a few years ago it Americans is that the current rapid diffusion was assumed that the world’s media and of English is occurring at the same time as entertainment would continue to be filled the USA is losing international prestige. with US-originated audio-visual material pro- Surveys carried out by the US-based, jecting American cultural values around the non-partisan Pew Research Center show world. Already that phase of globalisation is that in an increasing number of countries, fading. In East Asia, Chinese viewers are more the majority of the population hold anti- interested in soap opera from Korea than the American attitudes (3.4). In mid 2005, they USA. Japanese Manga comics are being taken concluded: up in Europe and the USA. Hong Kong action112 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 113. The US-dominated phase of globalisation is fading order to reduce costs and increase profits. English facilitates the greater part of this business, even for the increasing number of TNCs based outside English-speaking countries. Such arrangements are widely regarded as a ‘win–win’ situation, providing profits for the TNCs, economic growth in developing countries, and growth with low inflation in the developed countries. TNCs, however, have no particular linguistic allegiance, and no concern to promote particular national interests. They are best seen as amoral entities in pursuit of profit and shareholder value. It may be disconcerting to see TNCs, and the agen- cies which serve them such as the World Bank, promoting English as a requirement of3.5 Demonstrators at the Sixth World Social Forum basic education, but the long-term implica-held in Caracas, Venezuela, 24 January 2006. The tions are by no means clear. Maintaining aevent brought together thousands of activists fromaround the world to protest against globalisation and unique cultural identity is, in fact, a key partthe Iraq war, at the same time as the ‘club of globalis- of the globalisation strategy. The alignmenters’ met at the World Economic Forum in Davos, of TNCs’ interests and those of the USA maySwitzerland. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano) not continue indefinitely.movies have helped create a new Western In each of the world regions, English alreadyfilm genre. ‘Bollywood’ influence is being felt finds itself in a different mix – nowhere doesaround the world. Even in the USA, hispanic it enjoy complete hegemony. It is growinginfluence is increasingly felt: ‘telenovellas’ are as an Asian lingua franca, but it is notice-crossing the divide from Spanish to English TV able how many countries are now seekingprogramming. Mainstream broadcasters are to strengthen their capacity in Mandarin. Inbuying into Spanish programming. the Americas, Spanish is its key partner. In Europe, in different domains, French andIN WHOSE INTEREST? German. In the Central Asian States, Russian.The economic rise of India and China has In North Africa and West Asia, Arabic. And inbeen fuelled largely by TNCs who set up sub-saharan Africa, some global interests arefactories, transfer technology, and place already helping build up the status of linguahuge contracts for services offshore in francas such as Swahili. ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 113
  • 114. POLICY IMPLICATIONS The native speaker problem 3.6 ASEAN leaders link hands at the 11th ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13 December 2005. (From left to right) Laos’s Prime Minister Boungnang Vorachith, India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Adbullah Ahmad Badawi, Philippines’s President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. ASEAN leaders welcomed India’s proposal to establish regional English Language Centres. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) Traditionally, native speakers of English learners wanting to use English primarily as have been regarded as providing the an international language are not interested; authoritative standard and the best or as ‘gold plating’ the teaching process, teachers. Now, they may be seen as making it more expensive and difficult to presenting an obstacle to the free train teachers and equip classrooms. Native development of global English. speaker accents may seem too remote from the people that learners expect to N ative speakers of English have enthusi- astically promoted the learning of their language abroad. By the end of the 20th communicate with; and as teachers, native speakers may not possess some the skills required by bilingual speakers, such as century, less effort seemed to be required, those of translation and interpreting. as learning English became seen no longer as an option but as an urgent economic NATIVE-SPEAKER MODELS ARE LESS USEFUL need. Native speakers were regarded as The advent of new technology has helped the gold standard; as final arbiters of quality applied linguists understand much better and authority. the complexity – and grammatical untidi- In the new, rapidly emerging climate, ness – of authentic native-speaker usage. native speakers may increasingly be identi- The myth of a pedagogically tidy model fied as part of the problem rather than the is much more difficult to sustain now source of a solution. They may be seen as that many dictionaries and grammars are bringing with them cultural baggage in which based on corpus research. Native-speaker114 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 115. Native speakers may in future be seen as part of the problem rather than the solutionreference books may be developing as ALTERNATIVES ARE BECOMING AVAILABLEbetter guides to native-speaker usage, but As English proficiency becomes more wide-are less useful as models for learners. spread, so do potential sources of teachers. At the height of modernity, many social The teaching of English is becoming amechanisms helped produce a standard service which is no more specialised thanlanguage. Only people of the right social that of, say, chip design or legal research.class had access to the public domains Not surprisingly, Asia, the largest marketof publication and, later, broadcasting. for English, is already looking for regionalHidden armies of copy editors ensured only sources of supply.standard forms reached print. Those days In the 1990s, China used Belgian teacher-are over. As the English-speaking world trainers of English who were valuedbecomes less formal, and more democratic, because of their experience in bilingualthe myth of a standard language becomes education. In several Asian countries, themore difficult to maintain. definition of ‘native-speaker teacher’ has been relaxed to include teachers from IndiaNATIVE SPEAKERS MAY BE A HINDRANCE and Singapore. This is not just because ofGlobal English is often compared to Latin, difficulty in obtaining sufficient numbersa rare historical parallel to English in the of native speakers but represents a re-way that it flourished as an international evaluation of the needs and aspirationslanguage after the decline of the empire of learners. In December 2005, the trendwhich introduced it. The use of Latin was was dramatically highlighted at the 11thhelped by the demise of its native speakers meeting of ASEAN in Kuala Lumpur, whenwhen it became a shared international the Indian Prime Minister proposed settingresource. In organisations where English up ‘Centres for English Language Training’has become the corporate language, meet- in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnamings sometimes go more smoothly when no ‘to equip students, civil servants, profes-native speakers are present. Globally, the sionals and businessmen with adequatesame kind of thing may be happening, on English language and communication skills’.a larger scale. A report by IANS news agency quoted offi- This is not just because non-native cials as saying:speakers are intimidated by the pres- The tools and idiom in India are what this regionence of a native speaker. Increasingly, the would be comfortable with compared to moreproblem may be that few native speakers sophisticated teaching aids, not to speak ofbelong to the community of practice which difficult to understand accents that would comeis developing amongst lingua franca users. from core English-speaking nations.Their presence hinders communication. ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 115
  • 116. POLICY IMPLICATIONS Protecting local languages and identities One of the main challenges facing ... one of the fundamental reasons many countries is how to maintain their for the economic failure of post-colo- identity in the face of globalisation and nial Africa south of the Arabic zone is the fact that, with a few important growing multilingualism. There is a case exceptions, mother-tongue (home lan- for regulating the status of English but guage) education is not practised in any of the independent African states. ways need to be found of reinventing national identity around a distinctive Neville Alexander, Director of the Project for mix rather than a single language which the Study of Alternative Education in South is kept pure. Africa at the University of Cape Town I n response to the spread of English and increased multilingualism arising from immigration, many countries have intro- has been no obstacle to its acquiring pres- tige and power. Not only do languages sur- vive extensive borrowing, but this process duced language laws in the last decade. often proves a vital mechanism of innova- In some, the use of languages other than tion and creativity: Shakespeare added the national language is banned in public much to English by borrowing words from spaces such as advertising. One of the first Latin, Greek and French. Another reason for such legal provisions was the 1994 ‘Toubon the failure of many native English speakers law’ in France, but the idea has been copied to understand the role of state regulation in many countries since. Such attempts to is that it has never been the Anglo-Saxon govern language use are often dismissed way of doing things. English has never had as futile by linguists, who are well aware a state-controlled regulatory authority for of the difficulty of controlling fashions the language, equivalent, for example, to in speech and know from research that the Académie française in France. language switching among bilinguals is a The need to protect national languages natural process. is, for most western Europeans, a recent phenomenon – especially the need to CAN PURISM SURVIVE MULTILINGUALISM? ensure that English does not unnecessarily It is especially difficult for native speakers of take over too many domains. Public com- English to understand the impulse to main- munication, pedagogic and formal genres tain the ‘purity’ of a language by regulation. and new modes of communication facili- English is one of the most hybrid and rapidly tated by technology, may be key domains changing languages in the world, but that to defend.116 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 117. It will become normal for speakers to signal their nationality through EnglishIMPORTANCE OF MOTHER-TONGUE TEACHING is resolved by appropriating English in waysThe importance of early education in the which do least damage to their nationalmother tongue has long been recognised language and identity. This includes peda-– it is even enshrined in the charter of gogical practices and systematic biases inlinguistic human rights. But it is also impor- research which evaluates them – traditionaltant that mother-tongue education is not EFL privileges very western ideas aboutrelegated simply to the nursery and kinder- expected relations, for example, betweengarten, with serious intellectual develop- teacher, learner and text.ment carried out in other languages. EFL may also privilege particular learning There are, however, a number of problems strategies. It could be argued that thewhich the rush to English tends to ignore. cognitive skills needed to acquire literacyFirst, bilingualism needs to be better rec- in Chinese, for example, are difficult toognised as a normal, rather than a special, reconcile with those needed for learningcondition. This makes the debate about the spoken English. Rote learning necessarilyvirtues of mother-tongue education more plays a significant role in the former, whilstcomplex. Second, we need to recognise analytic, principles-based strategies playsthat, for an increasing number of children an important role in the latter.in the world, what the state may term Hence, arguments about the priorities of‘mother-tongue education’ is not in the different languages in education and thelanguage of the home. For the next genera- best age to start learning them, may con-tion of primary schoolchildren in China, for ceal deeper issues about cognitive learningexample, many children will be expected to styles and expected relationships betweenlearn in Putonghua rather than their mother teacher and student.tongue. SPEAK ENGLISH WITH A LOCAL ACCENTTEACHING ENGLISH AND IDENTITY CHANGE Another form of appropriation relates to theThe argument about the language of edu- form of English learned. One of the morecation is also an argument about national anachronistic ideas about the teaching ofidentity, as much as about developing the English is that learners should adopt a nativeintellectual skills of children. Amy Tsui, based speaker accent. But as English becomesin Hong Kong, has argued that many Asian more widely used as a global language, itcountries are in the process of reinventing will become expected that speakers willnational identity at the same time as they signal their nationality, and other aspectsare ‘legitimating’ the hegemony of English of their identity, through English. Lack ofby making it a central feature of national a native-speaker accent will not be seen,development. In most cases, this paradox therefore, as a sign of poor competence. ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 117
  • 118. POLICY IMPLICATIONS Beyond English One of the themes of this book is that as LANGUAGES AND MIGRANTS global English makes the transition from Immigrants to English-speaking countries ‘foreign language’ to basic skill, it seems may need to learn the language of their to generate an even greater need for host society, but increasingly, that may be other languages. insufficient. Since they tend to live and work alongside other ethnic communities, E nglish has provided a significant com- petitive advantage to its speakers over the last few decades. But countries, such as they may find they have to learn other lan- guages as well. Cara Anna, in an article for Associated India, which have capitalised on their English Press (5 October 2005) describes how language skills, are already discovering that some immigrants to the USA become they need more languages. Evalueserve, an multilingual: Indian-based BPO consultancy, estimates As new immigrants arrive in already diverse that Indian companies will need 160,000 neighborhoods, the language they embrace isn’t speakers of foreign languages by 2010, and always English. Honduran cooks learn Mandarin. that only 40,000 can be supplied by the edu- Mexican clerks learn Korean. Most often, people cational system. Not surprisingly, demand for learn Spanish. Language experts say it is a languages courses at Indian universities is phenomenon that has gone largely unstudied. increasing. When CIEFL (Central Institute for There are no tidy reports or statistics at hand, English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad) but they say the trend could finally help make advertised a course in Spanish in 2005, it America a multilingual nation. was apparently sold out within an hour. There is a renaissance in foreign language ENGLISH IS NOT ENOUGH FOR THE UK learning driven by such economic reali- The slogan ‘English is not enough’ applies ties. When Singapore Airlines introduced as strongly to native speakers of English language learning channels on their inflight as for those who speak it as a second audio-visual systems in 2005, the idea language. We are now nearing the end of was quickly taken up by rivals. Learning the period where native speakers can bask languages allows a competitive advantage in their privileged knowledge of the global to be maintained: only 2 years ago that lingua franca. About 1 in 10 children in the advantage was provided by English alone. UK already speak a language other than Interestingly, the Evalueserve study calcu- English at home. Too often this is seen as lated that for every one job created for a an educational and social problem rather foreign language professional, 2 new jobs than a cultural and economic resource. will be created for Indian English-speaking For example, a survey by the UK Centre professionals with the IT and BPO sectors. for Information on Language Teaching118 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 119. About 1 in 10 children in the UK already speak a language other than English at home There is a prevalent view here that the Age of Babel is over, that the two successive anglophone empires, British and American, have won a final victory for monoglottery through a combination of force, money, information technology and loud speaking, often repeated more than once, more slowly. Leader in The Independent, 13 December 2005(CILT) showed that although fewer childrenin Britain are taking language exams atschool, more than 60 languages are beingtaught in ethnic communities, promotingbilingualism. According to a report in theBirmingham Post in November 2005: 3.7 A student makes a face while his kindergarten Birmingham City Council has revealed a 20 per class sings a Mandarin song in December 2005, at Woodstoock Elementary School, in Portland, Oregon, cent decrease in French students in the past USA. The school is participating in a government- two years, and almost 50 per cent fall in other funded programme to encourage more students to languages like German and Spanish. But in the learn Mandarin. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) same period, Arabic has seen a 40 per cent rise. Under the ‘English for Heritage Language Speakers’ (EHLS) program, participants willENGLISH IS NOT ENOUGH FOR THE USA partake in a six-month, 720-hour intensiveThe idea that ethnic communities may be course designed to raise English language skills,better seen as a national resource rather while familiarizing students with the federalthan a threat to security and social cohe- government’s use of language. (Inside Defense,sion, has been belatedly recognised in the 12 December 2005)USA. In December 2005 the US DefenseDepartment launched a programme that In January 2006, President Bush announcedwould help native speakers of languages the ‘National Security Language Initiative’deemed critical to national security acquire which envisaged investing $114 millionEnglish proficiency so they may ‘effectively to strengthen America’s foreign-languagefunction in federal government or private- education in ‘critical languages’ such assector positions’: Arabic, Russian, Korean and Chinese. ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 119
  • 120. POLICY IMPLICATIONS Managing the change The key to understanding the impact of well-tuned to create high rates of failure, it global English probably lies in how well requires energy, resources and patience to and how strategically its implementa- ensure that ELT does not become an even tion is managed in each country. There more effective gatekeeping mechanism for is scope for great success but also for elite groups in society. great disaster. The new educational orthodoxy, it turns out, is not for the timid. The benefits for those I nnovations can magnify inequality. The rich, the middle class, the better educated, the urban, all tend to benefit more than their who succeed may be great, and the more who succeed the greater the imperative is for others to follow. But there is the possibility of already worse-off compatriots. And while catastrophic failure in which national identi- the poor rarely become poorer in absolute ties and economies are put at risk. terms, relative inequality increases, giving This is one of the reasons why CLIL – or rise to social and political problems. any similar approach going under a different If we relate this to the spread of English, term, is a ‘hi-tech’ approach to the curriculum. we can see that implementing the ‘World In order to work well, it requires effective English Project’ can make the rich richer collaboration between subject specialists more easily than it can improve the condi- and language specialists, of a kind which is tions of the poor. The global English model often institutionally difficult to achieve. It also may be even more problematic in that it requires sufficient funding, and effective and has the capacity to make the poor not just timely training. Above all, it requires patience relatively worse off, but poorer in absolute and the time to allow teachers to gain terms. As English becomes a basic skill, so experience and bring about the necessary success in other areas of the curriculum cultural change within institutions. becomes dependent on success in English. In effect, failure to master English as a basic HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE? skill means failure in other disciplines. The Implementing a project which will mainly innovation diffusion model predicts this benefit future generations is often extremely kind of consequence – where English once difficult for democratic governments who brought competitive advantage, learners are re-elected every 3–5 years. If a country are now punished for failure. decides to make English their second lan- One of the main differences between the guage, the reality is that – if they do every- new global English and the old EFL educa- thing right and have no untoward setbacks tional models is that ELT has now become – they are embarking on a project which will a ‘mission-critical’ undertaking. With a long take 30–50 years to fully mature. This is the tradition of pedagogic practices which are length of time it took the countries which120 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 121. The new orthodoxy is not for the timidprovide the main models, such as Finland. In today’s complex and globalisingIt is, of course, true that innovation is often world, well-trained, multilingual andfaster for later adopters, but many of the culturally sophisticated teachers areproblems facing any country wishing to make needed to teach learners of English. ... It is time for those involved in the ELTits population bilingual in a new language are profession to resist the employment oflargely not ameliorated by benefiting from untrained native speaker teachers.the experience of others or technology-transfer. One fundamental dimension is howlong it takes to create a new generation of Andy Kirkpatrick, Professor at Hong Kong Institute of Educationteachers who are proficient in English. By the time such resources are put in This typically leads to a multi-speedplace, of course, the world for which gov- approach, where different kinds of school,ernments are preparing their populations and different localities, start teaching Englishwill have moved on. Language education at different ages. But where there is extensiverequires a commitment and consistency migration to cities, how can continuity be pro-which is unusual in other policy areas. It vided for children who move schools? Further,also needs an approach which is highly textbooks suitable for 12-year-old beginnersflexible and responsive to a fast-changing are not suitable for 7-year-old early readers.world. The two are difficult to reconcile. During a transitional period, there will be annual changes in the age-level-content mixCATERING FOR DIVERSITY which textbooks need to provide.Although there are many reasons – social,economic and practical – why partial imple- MOPPING UP THE MESSINESSmentation may be a bad idea, in practice it In the early stages of implementation, itseems impossible to avoid. It seems impos- seems inevitable that middle-class, urbansible to roll out a uniform programme in all areas will be most successful. Private sectorschools simultaneously. institutions will play a key role in supporting One reason is that the essential resources weaker students. And the cities are moreare simply not available, especially a supply likely to provide English in the environment,of teachers who have sufficient proficiency offering greater motivation and supportin English. Countries which have attempted for learning English. But the truth may beto recruit large numbers of native-speaker that such messiness is not just a transitionalteachers have discovered that it is impos- matter which will eventually go away. Thesible to attract the numbers required, with need to cater for diverse combinations ofthe teaching skills and experience needed, levels, ages, and needs may be an enduringat a cost which is bearable. feature of postmodern education. ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 121
  • 122. POLICY IMPLICATIONS The economic advantage ebbs away English use is increasing around the COST OF LEARNING OTHER LANGUAGES world at a time when more people in the However, the cost of learning other lan- UK are seeking out teachers of other guages may be rising for native English languages. But the cost of learning speakers. As Philippe Van Parijs pointed out English is low – while the cost of in 2004: learning other languages is high. The cost of learning English for non-Anglophones keeps falling while the cost of learning other E arly adopters expect to gain competitive advantage from learning English. This applies whether a decision is made at an languages for Anglophones (and everyone else) keeps increasing. One consequence of the universal spread of the lingua franca would individual, organisational or national level. then be that Anglophones will face competition English skills, in a context where they are in on their home labour markets with everyone short supply, give competitive advantage. else in the world, while having no real access to However, as English becomes more those labour markets in which another language generally available, little or no competitive remains required. (Philippe Van Parijs, 2004) advantage is gained by adopting it. Rather, This is probably the main underlying reason it has become a new baseline: without for the apparently poor performance English you are not even in the race. of British citizens in learning other lan- guages. As English becomes entrenched THE COST OF IT ALL as a lingua franca, the cost of learning it A lively debate has been taking place in for non-native speakers lowers and the Europe over the cost of learning English. In benefits of acquiring it rise. In much of the November 2005, the French government world, learning English becomes easier published a report by François Grin which and the benefits it brings rise, as more of argued that as English had become the de the world speaks it. The reverse applies to facto lingua franca of Europe, the burden the learning of other languages, especially fell on European governments to teach their for English native speakers. Learners who citizens English. Comparing the difference have already been helped to bilingualism in expenditure in foreign languages educa- by acquiring English, may find it easier to tion in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, Grin learn another language. English, acquired concluded that the dominance of English at relatively low cost, has given them represented a net annual payment to the important language-learning skills and UK of over 10 billion euros. experience.122 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 123. The cost of learning other languages may be rising for native English speakersA CHANGE OF ATTITUDE? No obituary for ELTYet there are signs that the British are takinglanguage learning more seriously. Several In announcing the decline in the traditionalsurveys have shown that UK citizens desire EFL business, I am not suggesting thatto learn languages but find that barriers are ELT is coming to an end. Far from it. Butrising fast. For native speakers it becomes the nature of the business is changing.harder to tap into the multilingual environ- ELT seems to be merging with main-ment enjoyed by many other parts of the stream education. For example, theworld. The rise of other world languages, UK-based Study Group (which includessuch as Spanish and Mandarin, are helping. the EmbassyCES Schools chain) hasThe decision by a private school in the UK moved onto university campuses. Itsin January 2006 to make Mandarin a com- new International Study Centre at Sussexpulsory subject created headlines across University will prepare international stu-the world, and reflects a wider appreciation dents for their degree studies.in the UK to reprioritise language learning. Robin Hull, based in Switzerland, has described how the Swiss adult EFLUK MAY BENEFIT LESS sector has ‘gone into a nosedive’ and hisSome recent developments suggest that own language school has responded bya lower proportion of the revenue from diversifying, offering British GCEs. (Hull,the global ELT business will be, in future, 2004).entering the UK economy. The emergence of global English and As transnational education grows, the UK the new patterns of learning will offereconomy will not benefit from student’s many new opportunities to offset theindirect expenditure on items such as loss of the traditional EFL business.accommodation, subsistence, travel and In Spain, South Korea, and elsewhere,entertainment. ‘English Villages’ now cater for learners As international textbook markets expand, of all ages, including families. Such aministries demand materials which are local- ‘theme park’ approach may be one wayised. Joint ventures with overseas govern- of catering for younger learners who arements often mean that more revenue stays unable to travel on their own.in-country, and local authors are trained. When mobile phones reached market And as competition for the traditional saturation, telecoms companies switchedteenage/young adult market declines, from selling new connections to sellingEnglish schools are finding that recruitment more value-added services. The EFLagents are demanding higher commission business is likely to go the same way.– sometimes over one third. ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS 123
  • 124. Part three references Alexander, N. (2005) Mail and Guardian Online 1 September. Grin, F. (2005) L’Enseignement des Langues Étrangères comme Politique Publique. Paris: Haut Conseil de l’évaluation de l’école. Hull, R. (2004) Looking at the future – we need to think a bit more strategically. ETAS School Management Journal. Spring Issue. Kachru, B. B. (1985) Standards, codification and sociolinguistic realism: the English language in the outer circle. In R. Quirk and H. G. Widdowson (eds) English in the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kachru, B. B. (2004) Asian Englishes: beyond the canon. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Kirkpatrick, A. (2006) Guardian Weekly 1 January. Kuhn, T. (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pew Research Center (2005) Trends 2005. Washington: Pew Research Center. Rogers, E. M. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations. (5th edn) New York: Free Press. Tsui, A. B. M. (2005) Language policy, culture and identity in the era of globalization. In B. Beaven (ed.) IATEFL 2005 Conference Selections. Canterbury: IATEFL. Van Parijs, P. (2004) Europe’s Linguistic Challenge. European Journal of Sociology 45 (1): 111–52.124 ENGLISH NEXT • PART THREE • CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS
  • 125. A note on methodologyA book like this cannot rely wholly on traditional academic methods to col-lect and analyse data. Academic sources, includes several thousand international news stories about English, in English. Such news is subject to a number offor example, rarely provide the up-to-date biases: a surprising number of news reportsinformation needed. It typically takes 2–3 get their facts wrong; little news reaches theyears before key statistical data – such as international community from some partsthe number of students of each age of the world; news stories in English oftenstudying English in a particular country – is represent official points of view rather thanpublished in Year Books. In May 2005, for indicate what is happening on the ground;example, the latest Eurydice data for lan- news stories may herald events – suchguage education in Europe referred to the as new legislation – which never actuallyacademic year which began in 2002. It may take place; news stories are newsworthytake a further year for a researcher to write because they engage with the agenda ofa rigorous analysis based on such statistics the moment, rather than one which has notand yet a further year before an academic yet become of public interest. However, injournal is able to publish it. In other words, many countries, government officials tenddespite the fact that the European Union is to release the latest educational statistics inone of the fastest and prolific providers of their daily round of speeches. News storiesdata, we cannot expect to see comparative provide an important insight into currentacademic commentaries for the school trends and their very unreliability encour-year beginning 2002, until 2007. ages a sceptical attitude. A half-decade is a very long time at the I have tried to check that any figures quotedcurrent speed of change in the world. The at least have face-validity and demonstratebest we can hope for is a historical analysis, consistency with related trend data. Onewhich will only partially help us to identify invaluable resource has been the demo-and understand breaking trends. graphic computer model developed by The A second, more timely, source of informa- English Company (UK) Ltd which indicates thetion lies in the daily output of news and number of children of each age band in all thepress releases obtainable from English lan- world’s countries and territories in any year.guage media in many countries. In writing Finally, I have gained many ideas, factsthis book I have been able to draw upon and figures by meeting people involveda database of international news stories in ELT, talking to them and observing.monitored by GEN – the Global English Some of these people are listed in theNewsletter begun by The English Company acknowledgements.(UK) Ltd after the publication of The Futureof English? in 1997. This database now ENGLISH NEXT • NOTE, READING LIST, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, FIGURES AND TABLES 125
  • 126. READING LIST Below are listed some recently published books which provide various insights into the growth of global English and its educational significance. Block, D. and Cameron, D. (2002) (eds) Jenkins, J. (2000) The Phonology of English Globalization and Language Teaching. as an International Language. Oxford: London: Routledge. Oxford University Press. Brutt-Giffler, J. (2002) World English: a study McKay, S. L. (2002) Teaching English as in its development. Clevedon: Multilingual an International Language: rethinking Matters. goals and approaches. Oxford: Oxford Canagarajah, A. S. (1999) Resisting Linguistic University Press. Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Pennycook, A. (1994) The Cultural Politics of Press. English as a Foreign Language. Harlow: Crystal, D. (1997) English as a Global Longman. Language. Cambridge: Cambridge Phillipson, R. (1992) Linguistic Imperialism. University Press. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gnutzmann, C. and Intemann, F. (2005) (eds) Phillipson, R. (2003) English Only Europe. The Globalisation of English and the Oxford: Oxford University Press. English Language Classroom. Tübingen: Maurais, J. (ed.) (2006 ) Languages in Gunter Narr Verlag. a Globalising World. Cambridge: Graddol, D. (1997) The Future of English? Cambridge University Press. London: British Council. Ostler, N. (2005) Empires of the Word: a Howatt, A. ( 2004 ) A History of English language history of the world. London: Language Teaching. (2nd edn) Oxford: HarperCollins. Oxford University Press. de Swaan, A. (2001) Words of the World. Cambridge: Polity.126 ENGLISH NEXT • NOTE, READING LIST, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, FIGURES AND TABLES
  • 127. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSAll photographs credited to AP are This book would not have been possible© Associated Press. without the generous time which has been given by ministry officials, trainingThe photographs credited to Chris Tribble managers, business developmentform part of a portfolio taken for the British managers, examiners, textbook writers,Council and are © Chris Tribble. publishers, teachers and learners of English, on my visits during the past twoAll remaining photographs are © David years to Cairo, Beirut, Amman, Palestine,Graddol. Sri Lanka, Poland, Lithuania, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Beijing, Netherlands,The photographs of migrant-worker and Switzerland.children on pages 54, 68-69 and 70 weretaken at Qi Cai school, Beijing, with the I am also pleased to acknowledge the verykind permission of its headmaster, Wang helpful discussions I have had with ELTZhanhai. professionals in the UK, often prompted by presentations I have made, including thoseThe photograph on page 95 was taken at to English UK, Trinity College, Cambridgethe Police College, Beijing, with the kind ESOL, BBC World Service, IATEFL, ALTE,permission of the Beijing Municipal Public and The Study Group.Security Bureau. I would also like to thank Margaret Keeton for the dedication and experience which she brought to the design and typesetting of this book. ENGLISH NEXT • NOTE, READING LIST, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, FIGURES AND TABLES 127
  • 128. FIGURES AND TABLES 1.1 Shell International scenario planning 21 1.2 Growth of world population 24 1.3 Recent population growth 25 1.4 Age structure of the global population, 2005 26 1.5 Projected age structure, Italy, 2050 26 1.6 Age structure of Poland, 2005 26 1.7 Global population past and future 1950–2050 27 1.9 Tourism and speaker interaction 29 1.10 How the top ten economies will look in 2010 32 1.11 Changing employment by sector 33 1.12 Trade in services 33 1.13 Source of contracts for outsourcing 34 1.14 Export of Indian IT services 35 1.16 Relative attractiveness of countries for BPO 35 1.17 Most attractive prospective locations for R & D 37 1.18 Estimated global remittances by destination country 38 1.21 International telephone traffic 43 1.22 Changing demography of internet users 44 1.23 Declining use of English on the internet 45 1.25 Trend analysis in blogs 47 1.26 World urbanisation, 2030 50 1.27 Urban population 1950–2030 51 1.30 Shifts in the language of the home, Singapore 55 1.32 Trends in native-speaker numbers 60 1.33 Declining number of languages in the world 60 1.34 Chinese age profile 61 1.35 Spanish age profile 61 1.36 Arabic age profile 61 1.37 Estimated ranking of languages 62 1.38 Estimated percentage of the global economy by language 62 1.39 Number of overseas candidates taking the HSK 63 2.3 Top 20 world universities 75 2.4 Top destination countries for international students 76 2.5 Languages of international education 76 2.6 Projected numbers for international students 77 2.7 Numbers of Chinese students studying overseas 77 2.8 UK students on Socrates–Erasmus programmes 77 2.9 Transnational student numbers 79 2.11 Percentage of primary school pupils learning English 88 2.12 Russian and English speakers 92 2.13 Recent trends from Eurobarometer data 93 2.14 Proportions of Indian earners with abilities in English 94 2.16 Desirable age-proficiency levels in traditional ELT 97 2.17 Idealised age-proficiency levels in global English 97 2.18 Projection of demand 98 3.1 Global English as an innovation 108 3.2 The three circles of English 110 3.3 The community of English speakers 110 3.4 International surveys of public opinion: China and the USA 112128 ENGLISH NEXT • NOTE, READING LIST, ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS, FIGURES AND TABLES

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