ENGLISH IN THE COMMUNITY
Log in: CHFPMTFL163751
Date: August, 2015
“English seems to have joined this list of basic skills. Quite simply, its function and place in the curriculum is no longer that of ‘foreign language’ and this is bringing about profound changes in who is learning English, their motives for learning it and their needs as learners.” (Graddol, D, page 72)
We understand the discussion about how important English is and how international it has become as it is considered the ‘tyrannosaurus rex' of languages. English ...view middle of the document...
By these we mean demography, economy, the advances in technology, the connection between society and globalization, among others. All these in order to establish the reason why English is not considered a foreign language anymore, and also the impact in its teaching as a second language.
When we refer to the development of a language, English in this case, we cannot stop considering the fact that language has changed from the different and major stages in human history. We refer to Premodernity, Modernity and Postmodernity. In the case of Premodernity, languages are not standardized but vary according to geography factors. Also, to belong to a certain social status was much related to the use of language and/or a dialect. Nowadays, Postmodernity is considered as the age of the multilingual speaker. As for this, different topics arise as identity which turns into a complex and contradictory issue. In Europe this fact is provoking identity to unravel. In the United States, multilingualism is declining as Hispanification is bringing new linguistic realities. All these factors have contributed great deal on what we are facing today.
Another aspect which has affected English is demography as people are on the move. Nowadays, for many different factors, people tend to move around the globe for different reasons. This aspect has got two different sides. The good one, in which people tend to move in order to study, for business or tourism, among others. In relation to this last aspect, tourism has affected great deal the economies of some countries, the surprising fact is that it is leaving English aside, as non-native English speakers are not travelling to English speaking countries but to somewhere else. Nevertheless, the bad side, as we might call it, there are some other reasons why people have moved as well. This is the case of migrant work, immigrants, refugees or asylum seekers. In this last case, another issue arises which is the feeling of belonging “elsewhere”, especially in the case of children, who are brought up in a country different from theirs, knowing a language is not theirs, and then going back to their countries.
There is another important factor that affects our discussion issue in very important terms. We are referring to the impact of China and India on the matter. In relation to China, this country has had a peaceful rising as an answer to the soft power USA has over Latin America, the Caribbean, etc. China has invested a lot in English, but has also promoted Mandarin as a foreign language in a global context. (Graddol, D. Page 44)
Technology has a special say on this topic as well, and it is also what we consider the beginning of all this change in paradigm in relation to English usage. At the beginning, computers and Internet were subordinated by English; nowadays, though, if you do not master English it is not a reason not to use both. As a matter of fact, it is expected that the following Internet...