Linguistic Imperialism

14,052 views

Published on

Linguistic Imperialism

Published in: Technology, Education

Linguistic Imperialism

  1. 1. Linguistic Imperialism Lecture Notes WTUC Dec. 2006
  2. 2. Linguistic imperialism <ul><li>The theory of Linguistic imperialism has since the early 1990s attracted the attention among scholars in the field of English applied linguistics , particularly since the publication of Robert Phillipson 's influential book Linguistic Imperialism , which led to considerable disputes about the merits and shortcomings of the theory. Linguistic imperialism is often seen in the context of cultural imperialism . </li></ul>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_imperialism
  3. 3. English language imperialism <ul><li>Phillipson defines English linguistic imperialism as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;the dominance asserted and maintained by the establishment and continuous reconstitution of structural and cultural inequalities between English and other languages&quot;. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Phillipson's theory <ul><li>Phillipson's theory provides a powerful critique on the historical spread of English as an international language and how it continues to maintain its current dominance particularly in postcolonial contexts like India , Pakistan , Uganda , Zimbabwe , etc but also increasingly in &quot;neo-colonial&quot; contexts such as continental Europe . </li></ul>
  5. 5. key underlying tenets of English <ul><li>These are: </li></ul><ul><li>English is best taught monolingually (&quot;the monolingual fallacy&quot;) </li></ul><ul><li>the ideal teacher is a native speaker (&quot;the nativespeaker fallacy&quot;) </li></ul><ul><li>the earlier English is taught, the better the results (&quot;the early start fallacy&quot;) </li></ul><ul><li>the more English is thought, the better the results (&quot;the maximum exposure fallacy&quot;) </li></ul><ul><li>if other languages are used much, standards of English will drop (&quot;the subtractive fallacy&quot;) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Who promotes English <ul><li>English intrinsic arguments describe the language as God-given, rich, noble and interesting. These arguments usually assert what English is and other languages are not. </li></ul><ul><li>English extrinsic arguments point out that English is well established: there are trained teachers and a multitude of teaching material. There are also abundant immaterial resources like knowledge of the language. </li></ul><ul><li>English functional arguments emphasise the usefulness of English as a gateway to the world. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Other arguments for English are <ul><li>Its economic-reproductive function: it enables people to operate technology. </li></ul><ul><li>Its ideological function: it stands for modernity. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a symbol for material advance and efficiency. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Linguicism <ul><li>Another very important theme in his work is what he calls &quot; linguicism &quot; the processes by which endangered languages become extinct or lose their local eminence as a direct result of the rising and competing prominence of English in disparate global contexts. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Internationalisation <ul><li>Such an &quot;internationalisation&quot; of English might also bring new possibilities for native speakers of the language. McCabe elaborates: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>...whereas for two centuries we exported our language and our customs in hot pursuit of...fresh markets, we now find that our language and our customs are returned to us but altered so that they can be used by others...so that our own language and culture discover new possibilities, fresh contradictions&quot; (1985: 45). </li></ul></ul>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_imperialism
  10. 10. <ul><li>Even so, the talk of &quot;linguistic imperialism&quot; is not entirely absurd. An obvious annoyance is the way English is seeping into Japanese, often taking the place of perfectly good native words as users try to be fashionable. Of greater concern is what happens when more people become fluent in English. Will English become the language of business (even in Japan) - and of scientific, technological and intellectual discourse? Will parents push their children to learn English at the expense of Japanese? Will the market for printed Japanese materials shrink? </li></ul>http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/magazine/2000/0407/ed.english.html
  11. 11. Write an Essay <ul><li>Is there a danger that these countries will lose their own identity over time by succumbing to the charm the English-speaking nations yield? Will they lose their own traditions and customs, replacing them with the more “superior” as a result of this intervention? Should the EFL teachers introduce a cultural element into their classrooms and further reinforce the current trend? </li></ul>

×