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A Discussion of the Advantages and Disadvantages of English as a Global Language essay example
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A Discussion of the Advantages and Disadvantages of English as a Global Language

A widely accepted definition of global English which can be found at “English as a global means of communication in numerous dialects, and also the movements towards an international standard for the language, it is also referred to as world English, common English or general English. ” In regard to history and why English developed into a global language, Crystal (1977) points out that the current status of English dominance is mainly attributed to two factors: the British colonial expansion in the nineteenth century and the dramatic rise of the American economy in the twentieth century.It also has undergone a period of rapid growth as a result of the development of globalization since the twentieth century. Crystal(2000) has drawn attention to the fact that no language but English possesses such a considerable number of speakers and plays such a vital role in various fields such as economy, science, culture and education. The goal of this work is to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of English as a global language. This essay will principally focus on the influences that global English brings, including the negative and positive aspects.

In the first place, this essay will examine the merits of English as a global language. Then its drawbacks will be elaborated on. A conclusion will be the last part of the essay.

The first main advantage of global English is the significant impact on cultural communication. For thousands of years, culture was only accumulated and inherited within a single race continuously. Interethnic communication of culture rarely happened as a result of the paucity of communication media. With the emergence of global English, it seems that this sort of restriction is likely to be eliminated.As Crystal(2000) observes, all kinds of literature are either written in English or are translated into English, and it is an undeniable fact that the English language is an indispensable part in recording the past. The work of Graddol(1997) shows that the percentage of the global books annually published in English is 28%, which is far more than Chinese(13%). Currently, English as a global language is utilized for expressing personal emotions, ideas and feelings, for affecting individual and social behaviour, for accessing knowledge by more and more members from arious races and nations.

Apparently, this is the phenomenon by which global English acts as a bridge to link the different cultures. To a large extent, it urges the variety of cultures to communicate with each other directly. Gnutxmann(1999) correctly argues that the guiding concept for the general goal of English education has turned into intercultural communication competence. In addition, humankind never stops the pace in pursuit of progress. In the process, several prominent and compatible cultural features will be absorbed by other nations.Therefore, several combinations between two or more different cultures would be possible, which may turn the single culture into a rich and diversified one. For instance, some of the elements from the Peking opera are being used to insert into the western popular music, and form a new musical style in both China and abroad.

Another benefit that global language brings is the development of the economy. As is mentioned in the introduction, the dominant position of global English was largely the result of the USA as the leading economic power in the twentieth century.Similarly, it also had a remarkable effect on the economy. The opinion of Crystal(2000) is that global English as the first ranking language being used in the industries has a significant influence on all aspects of society. Global English devotes itself to eliminating the barriers to linguistic communication, which make the negotiation and cooperation became more simple and frequent in the field of international business.

Graddol(2006) makes clear that the English language effect of the economic rise of Brazil, Russia, India and China is approximately 30%, this figure is higher than Chinese(22. %), which is the second place. Before the emergence of global English, commerce concerning multinational merchants required the participation of many translators.

There is no doubt that this process could be rather complex and inefficient. Now, global English has become the solution to that problem. Therefore, global English brings more chances for the development of the economy. In addition, the global English is widely used in information technology and its relative industries, whose effects on economic development can not be underestimated.In the case of electronic commerce, English could help merchants and consumer to establish a connection directly via the internet, which makes transactions more flexible. Consequently, the amount of global transactions and deals has increased extraordinarily. Although the benefits that could be drawn from the appearance of global English are significant, several potential risks have also been disclosed by some commentators, Crystal(1997) writes. The primary drawback of global English is it is accelerating the disappearance of other minority languages.

Despite the unavoidable continuing disappearance of language, the wide spread of English is liable to make the situation worse. For instance, in a multinational and multiethnic community, the residents only could communicate with each other by using English. The consequent habit and proficiency they gained may cause these residents discard or reduce the use of previous language. Crystal(1997) goes on, one language is enough for one person to talk to someone else, it is sometimes controversial, and once a global language is in a place, other languages will vanish gradually.As Graddol(2006) has indicated, the amount of wealth of domestic speaker may used to decide the importance of English language, but now the number of individuals who use English as a second language is becoming a more essential factor.

Meanwhile, the tendency of learning English in non-English speaking countries never ebbs away. Research by Ellis(2004) suggests these who considering English as a second language are sparing no effort to acquire it. This sort of phenomenon might reduce the utilization of other languages.For a deeper level, culture is never separated from the language.

Consequently, the disappearance of any language will be a catastrophic story for a kind of culture. In addition, with the arrival of global language, the burdens and pressure on employees are obviously increased. Firstly, with the extensive use of English in science, economics, politics and culture, English is not only the mere means of communication, but also an essential job skill in one’s career. Turning to Graddol(2006), one finds that a competitive advantage could be obtained through the English skill.To meet the language competence requirements, some job seekers and staff suffering from the shortage of mastering English have to spend considerable time and energy on acquiring it. Even the spare time will be occupied and the ordinary work will be delayed. These who must be insist on it. Otherwise, the staff may lose the job and become a member of group of the job seeking.

To be more precise, there is an existence of a certain group of individuals having a difficulty in learning English.For instance, the English has a rich sound system, some foreigners could not present the pronunciation articulately. As Ellis(2004) mentioned, some wealthy South Koreans need to be operated on with a plastic surgery for frenectomies to help them pronounce English. The English also has a subtle order in grammar.

Comparing to the sequence of a learner’s native language, this kind of order is always adverse. Thus, the learners are required to alter the thinking of expressing when using the English.For a considerable number of Chinese who lack of such linguistic awareness, it is a significantly obvious obstacle for learning English and it presumably leads to a wide range of wrong Chinese-style English. This work has elucidated the topic of English as a global language with regard to its merits and drawbacks in terms of culture, economics, linguistics and impacts on employee, and has found that those influences are definitely relevant to daily life.

Global English brings the human being cultural diversity and exchange, in addition to economic improvements.But similarly, compelling the disappearance of other languages and increasing burdens for employees conflict the human being. It is obvious that the rapid development of globalization spurs the rapid spread of English, which in turn has a remarkable effect on society and behaviors. The evidence suggests that global English will not fade away in a short period. Instead, this sort of world language tends to attract more communities and individuals.

It is probably reasonable to choose such English as the second language. In the following dozens of years, global English should be more universal and useful.

References

1. Crystal, D.(1997). English as a global language (the first edition): What are the dangers of a global language? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

2. Crystal, D. (2000). English as a global language (the second edition): The cultural foundation and The right place at the right time. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

3.Ellis, S. (2006). Hold your tongue. Press by Guardian.4. Graddol, D. (1997). The future of English: English in the 20th century. The British Council.

5. Graddol, D. (2006).English next: Introduction. British Council: The economic advantage ebbs away and the world in transition.

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6. Gnutzmann, C. (1999). Teaching and Learning English As a Global Language: Implication for the cultural content of teaching and learning. Stauffenburg Verlag.

7. Global English. In Reference. Retrieved February 15, 2012, form http://www.reference.com/browse/global+english.

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