Globalization And The English Language

Did you realize that over a billion people in the world now speak English? According to a report titled, “English Next” by language researcher David Graddol, “…two billion people [will] be speaking or learning English within a decade.” [1]

English is everywhere. The Economist says, “[English] is the language of globalization-of international business, politics… It is the language of computers and the Internet… it is the dominant international language in communications, science, aviation, entertainment, radio and diplomacy….” [2]

“English… is an important tool for operating on the world stage,” says John Whitehead, director of the British Council. The ability to speak and understand English is mandatory in certain fields, professions, and occupations. In fact, English is so widely spoken, it is referred to as, the “lingua franca” [3] of the modern era.

Nonetheless, with the millions of native speakers vying for jobs in the global market, what chance is there for ESL (English as second language) speakers to compete? ESL students take heart. As the Graddol report demonstrates, the global spread of English… will lead to serious economic and political disadvantages in the future…. A future in which monolingual English graduates face bleak economic prospects as qualified multilingual young people prove to have a competitive advantage in global companies and organizations.

Given that English has acquired its world-wide reputation due, in large part, to globalized power relations, those companies and governments employing well-trained non-native speakers for their international business communication needs will obviously see the advantage of hiring non-native speakers of the English language with multilingual talents.



Source by Steve G James

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