Methods of Teaching English as a Foreign Language TEFL 569 CHAPTER 1: THE CHANGING WORLD OF ENGLISH
THE CHANGING WORLD OF ENGLISH A. A Language Story English has gradually become the language of communication for people from different backgrounds whose language is other than English. 1985 Kachru’s estimates were between 320 and 380 million native speakers of English, compared to between 250 and 380 million non-native speakers of English. However, he also foresaw a change in these numbers, meaning there would be more non-native speakers of English as time went by, which came to be true. Currently, estimates find that there are close to 329 million native English speakers, but about 1.2 billion non-native English speakers (Crystal 2003a).
Economics: As commerce has become more globalized mainly by American dominance, English has become the language of business. THE CHANGING WORLD OF ENGLISH Information Exchange: Academic conferences, journal articles and several branches of the sciences and education have English as their main language. The introduction of the Internet, which has its roots in the USA, has also caused English to become more ‘popular.’
THE CHANGING WORLD OF ENGLISH Travel: Tourism is conducted in English in most places around the world, but even if English is not used for tourism in certain areas, one can always be sure that most airports on the planet have English besides the country’s first language printed in signs, and most of the staff at the airport will certainly know English to be able to provide assistance to travelers.
THE CHANGING WORLD OF ENGLISH Popular culture: Movies and music are very commonly found in English in the western part of the planet, and certain countries such as the USA, The United Kingdom, Australia and others try to persuade people all around the world to choose said countries as study destinations, which can also be seen as part of the business these places are doing.
THE CHANGING WORLD OF ENGLISH A4. The future of English Since a great deal of commerce takes place between the Americas, it is very likely that in the near future, this entire region may become an all English-Spanish speaking area (David Graddol 1997). Therefore, English will be far more ‘popular’ than it is today. It will probably be spoken by approximately 3 billion people by the year 2040.
B. EFL, ESL, ESOL & ELF THE CHANGING WORLD OF ENGLISH Since there will be more and more speakers of English spread all around the globe, the line between different categories of English learners may become blurry, especially EFL/ESL.
THE CHANGING WORLD OF ENGLISH B2. Teaching English in the age of ELF Vicky Kuo (2006) suggests that language use is not just international intelligibility. The purpose of language learning is not to achieve inaccuracy. In such a competitive world as the one we live in, a certain degree of accuracy may very well translate into success.
THE CHANGING WORLD OF ENGLISH B3. Native speaker varieties and other Englishes The USA, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom as the main countries where English is the first language have several differences among them. These differences may refer, but not be limited, to grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Even within the limits of one particular country, let’s say the USA, one can find clear differences in the ‘Englishes’ used depending on the region. English speaking countries
THE CHANGING WORLD OF ENGLISH B4. World English Education Throughout the world, English is taught (and learned) for a big number of reasons, be it business, or education, be it travel or a hobby. However, no matter what the reason, it is clear that the number of speakers is growing dramatically.