English and globalisation


English teaching and globalisation

English is part of globalisation. English plays a vital role in global trade, media, communication, movement of people, and many other areas. It is not just a system of grammar, words and pronunciations; it is also a tool to integrate countries both politically and economically into the global community.

However a question has to be answered. What type of English do we want our students to learn?. The three alternatives generally offered are

  • centred varieties of English, such as US and British English;
  • English as an international language or lingual franca;
  • regional and local English, such as Asian English (Singapore English, Thai English, etc.).

You Say “Englishes”?

In a previous post, I outlined these different choices and how a teacher can handle the “Standard or Global English” dilemma “. In this post, I want to refer to an article at WebProNews about how different “Englishes” have emerged and created a completely new reality. Neville Hobson says citing Newsweek:

“Non-native English-speakers” worldwide now outnumber native ones 3 to 1. In Asia alone, Newsweek says, the number of English users has topped 350 million – roughly the combined populations of the United States, the UK and Canada. There are more Chinese children studying English – about 100 million – than there are Britons (that’s nearly twice as many).

It goes without saying that those new English users speak different “Englishes”. Given the new facts, what will become of the standard English used in the United States, Canada and Great Britain? Will the standard English users become the minority?


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3 Responses

  1. Globalisation has become a buzzword in the new era of international relations. Basically, it is a process of expanding trade and commerce all over the world by creating a borderless market. But it has had a far reaching effect on many aspects of life. With the development of sophisticated communications media, rapid technological progress, and rapid transportation facilities, the world has come closer. We can now learn in an instant what is happening in the farthest corner of the world and travel to any country in the shortest possible time. Countries of the world are like families in a village. They can even share their joys and sorrows like next-door neighbours. If one country is in distress, others can immediately come to its assistance. If we can build up an atmosphere of mutual understanding and co-operation through this globalisation process, our world could certainly be a better place to live in.

  2. Md. Mominul Haque says:

    Informative for us. Thanks.

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