Diary

Class Task 1

2.a.

  • Which factors do you think that make a language to be ´global`?

There are many reasons that make English a global language.

  • Historical and political power related to the colonialism period that brought English around the world from the 16th century. This legacy was carried over into the 20th century and nowadays continues with the empowerment of United States of America.
  • The economic power. Most of the innovations of the industrial revolution were of British origin. As a metaphor says, “Money talks”, and, then as now, the language in which it was talking was chiefly English.
  • The cultural power which is manifested in:
  • The press. Today, about a third of the world’s newspapers are published in countries where English has special status, and the majority of them will be in English.
  • The advertising: those commercials and advertisements with more financial and social impact are in English.
  • Broadcasting. English was the first language to be transmitted by radio. Nowadays, with independence the countries’ mother tongue, most of the countries broadcast in English. And this transmission has influenced the growth of world English.
  • Motion pictures. English movies still dominate the medium. Hollywood is one of the most powerful industries and its productions are aimed at a huge audiences.
  • Popular music. All the major recording companies in popular music had English-language origins. Indeed, many people make their first contact with English in this way. No other single source has spread the English language around the youth of the world so rapidly.
  • International travel and safety. English has come to be used as a means of controlling international transport operations especially, on water and in the air.
  • Education. As English is the medium of a great deal of the world’s knowledge, especially when talking about science and technology. In fact, English becomes the normal medium of instruction in higher education for many countries.
  • Communications. As the Internet is another American invention.

 

  • What could be a definition of Global language?

Global language can be defined as a language which develops a special role that is recognized in every country, internationally, in many different contexts.

  • How does David Crystal defines Global language?(Crystal´s article)

According to David Crystal, a language becomes global when it develops a special role that is recognized in every country. To achieve such a status, the language a language has to be taken up by other countries around the globe. First, citizens have to decide to give it a special place within their communities, even though they may have few (or no) mother tongue speakers. There are two ways in which this may be developed.  First, the language can be made the official (or semi- official) language of a country, that is, to be used in different domains such as the government, the law courts, the media and the educational system. Second, the language can be made a priority in a country’s foreign language teaching.

 

2.b.

  • Do we need to the teach English as a ‘global’ language to learners? How can we do it?

Absolutely yes, we need to teach English as a global language to our students because the standard and the British English are only some of the different varieties that we can find around the world. In every city, we are likely to find hundreds or even thousands different English varieties or dialects, and, the sooner we (as teachers) start providing students with these samples of language, the better for the learners knowledge.

We can teach global English by collecting real, varied and, non-standard material from different speakers around the world (such as newspapers, journals, tv or the Internet), and not only using standard material such as standardized books. Besides, it is also important to make students aware of some important cultural notions and nuances when talking about pronunciation and grammar of each territory where English is spoken.

 

  • Should we focus on the receptive skills? Why?/Why not?

 

Although productive and receptive skills are equally important and essential in order to master a language, the fact is, that global language hardly affects production. As a person cannot produce all the varieties of English around the world. Everybody is got to speak one accent and one dialect, and the choice among the standard or the different varieties will depend on the variety which the teacher decides to teach in class. Whereas the receptive skills, can be trained in order to enable the students to face the English-speaking world with confidence. If so, they will become efficient speakers and will be aware of the real English around the world.

 

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