African schools could normalise competent language teachers like most countries of the world. We think this is a rather optimistic view. But what is the right way to learn a language? Nowadays, as English is the lingua franca of the EU, massive efforts of translation and interpretation have to be taken. A lingua franca and Multilingualism should stand side by side, forming a common language policy. Indeed, English is very much a part of the process of transformation, which is creating a more closely interconnected world in which people and machines talk easily to each other from one country to another in the world.
It is clear that more and more people learning English as a foreign language do so in order to communicate with other non-native speakers of English.
This marks a significant change in the nature and purpose of teaching and learning English around the world, which has hitherto been built on the idea of teaching a native speaker model of English usually British or American to allow communication between the learner and native speakers. If you consider, that the number of people speaking English as a second language will soon outnumber the one of those speaking it as a first tongue, you will understand, that also the way of teaching English has to change. Therefor new methods of English Language teaching ELT have been developed to be able to teach also the diverse and changing contexts in which English will be used in the future.
There are courses on the Internet and special groups, where English teachers from all over the world discuss about the new challenge of their profession. Diana and Julia Brugger Opinions: What makes a global language? Why is English a leading candidate? Will it hold this position?
A few years ago I traveled around Europe with a friend. Although we knew only a little French, we were able to travel with no problem. Everyone we encountered, with a few exceptions, spoke English. It was comforting to be able to communicate with others when we were lost, needed help or just wanted to talk. Personally, I think a universal language would benefit most people.
Language is important because it's one of the main ways to communicate and interact with other people around us. English language is an example for the importance of a language because it is the international language and has become the most important language to people in many. Free Essay: Why do I have to take English? Who needs to know all that stuff about diagramming sentences, the proper use of prepositions, misplaced modifiers.
I agree, however, that one should not replace native languages. Native languages are symbols of culture, the past and its people.
From what we have learned so far I think a universal language would have maybe eliminated some of the oppression and subordination some peoples faced at the hands of colonizers. The USA with the strongest currency the Dollar, shows that it is not coincidental that English is the leading candidate as a global language. Because of the English predominance in the industrial world, more and more peoples will have to join in and the question remains if they are able to keep their own identities.
There is no danger if regional groups manage to keep their own language for internal communication, but in less developed countries the members of small linguistic groups have to change to a language of a higher rank in the language hierarchy. Because that way they are more flexible and the chances in world-wide competition are bigger. In Australia parents even force their children to speak English instead of their own indigenous mother tongue, because they want to provide them better chances for their future. Shortly, you can say that by surviving in a capitalistic system of competition many peoples are forced to support a process which destroys their own culture.
This seemed to be a natural process. In Africa the new system of additive bilingualism shall be introduced now. That means that the 1st language maintains and a second one is added. This system developed out of the Bantu Education, which inforced black schoolchildren to learn English with the help of a racist curriculum Stundenplan.
This truly baneful legacy of Apartheid and a lack of will amongst most of the political leadership are the main reasons why there is no successful policy of multilingualism and multilingualistic education in Africa yet. The leaders followed the French or English only or mainly language policies after formal independence from the colonial rule. Most of these countries returned to their mother — tongue within.
Alexander Neville thinks, that if additive bilingualism is carried out systematically but flexibly, there should be a high level of literacy in Africa in the course of the next century 1 African language and at least some fluency in English for all Africans. African schools could normalise competent language teachers like most countries of the world. We think this is a rather optimistic view.
But what is the right way to learn a language? Nowadays, as English is the lingua franca of the EU, massive efforts of translation and interpretation have to be taken. A lingua franca and Multilingualism should stand side by side, forming a common language policy. Indeed, English is very much a part of the process of transformation, which is creating a more closely interconnected world in which people and machines talk easily to each other from one country to another in the world.
It is clear that more and more people learning English as a foreign language do so in order to communicate with other non-native speakers of English. This marks a significant change in the nature and purpose of teaching and learning English around the world, which has hitherto been built on the idea of teaching a native speaker model of English usually British or American to allow communication between the learner and native speakers.
But language tends not to do what we want it to. The die was cast: English had thousands of new words competing with native English words for the same things. One result was triplets allowing us to express ideas with varying degrees of formality. Help is English, aid is French, assist is Latin. Or, kingly is English, royal is French, regal is Latin — note how one imagines posture improving with each level: kingly sounds almost mocking, regal is straight-backed like a throne, royal is somewhere in the middle, a worthy but fallible monarch.
Especially noteworthy here are the culinary transformations: we kill a cow or a pig English to yield beef or pork French. Well, generally in Norman England, English-speaking labourers did the slaughtering for moneyed French speakers at table. Caveat lector , though: traditional accounts of English tend to oversell what these imported levels of formality in our vocabulary really mean. It is sometimes said that they alone make the vocabulary of English uniquely rich, which is what Robert McCrum, William Cran and Robert MacNeil claim in the classic The Story of English : that the first load of Latin words actually lent Old English speakers the ability to express abstract thought.
But no one has ever quantified richness or abstractness in that sense who are the people of any level of development who evidence no abstract thought, or even no ability to express it? Languages, like human cognition, are too nuanced, even messy, to be so elementary.
Even unwritten languages have formal registers.
Even in English, native roots do more than we always recognise. N evertheless, the Latinate invasion did leave genuine peculiarities in our language. The English notion that big words are fancier is due to the fact that French and especially Latin words tend to be longer than Old English ones — end versus conclusion , walk versus ambulate. The multiple influxes of foreign vocabulary also partly explain the striking fact that English words can trace to so many different sources — often several within the same sentence. The very idea of etymology being a polyglot smorgasbord, each word a fascinating story of migration and exchange, seems everyday to us.
But the roots of a great many languages are much duller. The typical word comes from, well, an earlier version of that same word and there it is. The study of etymology holds little interest for, say, Arabic speakers.
Use this when you are confident with your opinion. I should make a qualification here. The way I. Internet has also plays a vital to promote and to spread the English language throughout the globe and more and more people are exposed to the English language and the English has become also the language of the internet as well. I think the following rules will cover most cases:. Do you find that difficult?
According to a fashion that reached its zenith in the 19th century, scientific things had to be given Greek names. But this muttly vocabulary is one of the things that puts such a distance between English and its nearest linguistic neighbours. And finally, because of this firehose spray, we English speakers also have to contend with two different ways of accenting words. Clip on a suffix to the word wonder , and you get wonderful.
Thus the story of English, from when it hit British shores 1, years ago to today, is that of a language becoming delightfully odd. Much more has happened to it in that time than to any of its relatives, or to most languages on Earth. In Old Norse it was:. In Old Norse you said vas for was ; today you say var — small potatoes.
Thus English is indeed an odd language, and its spelling is only the beginning of it. I am not aware of any such languages. What English does have on other tongues is that it is deeply peculiar in the structural sense. And it became peculiar because of the slings and arrows — as well as caprices — of outrageous history. Sarah Stein Lubrano. Become a Friend of Aeon to save articles and enjoy other exclusive benefits Make a donation. Aeon for Friends Find out more. Demography and migration History Language and linguistics. Get Aeon straight to your inbox.