Global trade is a complex structure. Two-thirds of international trade are connected with Translational corporations. The biggest TNCs are a part of chemical, energy and the communication industry. International activities of those corporations promote English.
TNCs are based on joint ventures and they usually choose English as their lingua franca. Agreements that they make are written in English. Those legal documents sometimes demand specialist English language training. Staff associated with tehnology transfer has to know English as well as the staff of secondary entrprises ( hotels, tourist facilities, etc.) connected with the TNCs.
More and more people are being employed in service industry, and this shift from producing goods towards services is visible also in English language. Material goods are becoming more valuable because of branding, and English is the primary language of advertising and marketing.
Working at home while communicating with office by telephone or a computer, became very popular. Every day the number of those that sit in front of the computer gets bigger.
Labour has become screen based.
A shift towards knowledge-intensive industries is happening.
'Language has been regarded since the Renaissance in terms of territory.
Statistics about language, culture and economy, collected by international
bodies, have been based on nation states, populations of speakers and
relative sizes of economies. But chaos theory suggests the concept of ow
may be better suited to understanding language in a borderless world.'(pp36)
English is seen as a complex system. It flows into other languages, which adopt English words and phrases. But at the same time it is under the influence of those languages that It is effecting. As a result new language varieties in second-language-speaking are appearing.
'The ultimate drivers of language are the people who use it.'( Graddol 36)
Every day people are moving. Sometimes it is because of education or business, and in other cases they are in a role of a tourist or maybe an imigrant. Where ever they go they take their languages and cultural values with them.
International travel has a globalising effect; the impact on the use of English is noticable.
People communicate with the help of the telephone and the internet. English is the dominant language of intercontinental communication, but some say that this dominance is unlikely to continue. With improving communications infrastructures, telephone conversations will be held on other languages more often; regional lingua francas will appear.
'Proficiency in English may be one of the mechanisms for dividing those who have access to wealth and from those who do not.The global spread of English may also be associated with decreased use of endangered languages.'( Gradol 37)
Some see English as a language of power, language that brings success, while others say it brings inequality; that it brings poverty. In the past, being extremely poor was connected with geography and ethnicity, but now it seems to be linked to the lingua franca.
It has been claimed that English is associated with the loss of other languages. The fact is that a lot of languages are dissapearing. Usually those with least political or cultural power die faster and easier but the big languages are also likely to suffer from language shift.
'English is rarely the main, or direct cause of this.'(Graddol 39 )
The Internet is also a good example for inequality. There are a lot of materials on English, and the amount of the same on other languages cannot be compared; so access to information technologies makes a difference between the information poor and the information rich.
English medium education is one of the mechanisms of spreading social and economic power but, spreading of English skills could influence the 'balance of power' between ethnic groups.
'Study of gender balance at university in Brunei Darussalam showed that more women than men are graduating with science degrees and obtaining higher grades. Men, on the other hand, form the majority for literature courses.
-This phenomena can be explained by the fact that science is taught through English - a subject in which, from early secondary school, more Brunei girls than boys have excelled - whilst literature is taught through the medium of Malay.' (Graddol 39 )
Impact on English
Everyday use of English is affected by trends; demographic, tehnological and economic ones.
The work place- There are two tipes of working English; first one deals with communication between other professionals; workers use specialised language, and a specific vocabulary. The second type is linked to communication with people who are not members of the trade.
Workers have to adopt a wide variety of language styles so demands on an employee's competence in English are rising.
Education- 'One of the most significant educational trends world- wide is the teaching of a growing number of courses in universities through the medium of English. ' (Graddol 44 )
At this point English is the most widely studied foreign language and there are no clear rivals. It is a part of languages curriculum in Europe, and pupils are starting to learn it at a really early stage.
There are some factors that could stand in a way of English being the first foreign language in the world's schools. Firstly there is growing competition from other languages. Secondly, The education system in multilingual country has to provide for some amount of languages used within that country. Thirdly, regionalisation could encourage the use of non-english lingua franca. And finaly, study of languages from neighbouring countries could be supported instead of those from a different cultural and economic region.
The main reason why English did not take over the world's schools is lack of teachers.
There is not enough primary school teachers with the necessary language skills. Those that have the essential knowledge usually decide to work in a higher education system, like secondary school and college, or they start working in some better payed job.
When talking about colleges one has to mention the rising number of courses held on English.
It became the need. English became more suitable than the national one for some subjects.
Take science, for example, all up-to-date materials can be found in English but one would probably have some dificulties with finding it in some smaller language.
This shift towards English-medium education is having some long-term consequences.
The number of people using English as a second language is rising , they are starting to use it more often for social communication between themselves, and some even raise their children speaking English as a first language.
The knowledge that university students have may not be sufficient for other enterprises, so education of adults is neccessary. It could be done in some conventional way, like taking coursess, but there is also an idea of electronic education. Training through the 'virtual universities'
The global media
The media is an international industry. It is competing to reach audiences all around the world. 'Until the 1990s, the BBC World Service was one of the few broadcasting institutions with worldwide reach.'(Graddol 46)
In Europe satellite TV is encouraging the use of English but it is also moving into languages other than English. Profit is the most important, so networks adjust the material for a specific market. They show comercials, series and other in a language that is best suitable for te target country.
One of the oldest forms of adjusting these materials are dubbing and sub-titling. Dubbing has a linguistic effect and it maximise the profits of the English language media industry.
'Dubbing English is emerging as a 'relay' language for the marke ting of films: a Hong Kong action movie, for example may be dubbed into English to show at an international festival. It will then be bought and translated into a third language.'(Graddol 47 )
So as you can see this technology could develop linguistic and cultural diversity; instead of creating a homogenus product it could become more supportive towards local languages.
Young people are the target of the globalised industry. They are the ones that shape the world, they are the 'new driving force'. Some of them see them selves as a part of a certain group, that may not belong to their culture. These sub-cultures as well as the culture effect life in general.
Changes are also visible in the language. English is not a unitary language. There are a lot of forms of it. The basis for all of those is the standard form. Native-speakers experiment with social identities. (In English speaking countries Black English has developed)
Non-native speakers promoted the use of foreign-language varieties.(e.g.German and Italian English accents)
'The Internet is regarded by many as the agship of global English.'( Graddol 49)
Most of the informations that are stored in the world's computers are on English, and internet brings it to almost every country of the world, in almost every home.
Users working in other languages depend on their knowledge of English, which they have to
use to communicate in cyberspace.
This situation might be explained with the fact that 90% of the world's computers ,connected to the Internet, are based in English-speaking countries. If more countries get the possibility to connect on the Internet the profile of the users will change. And with the new customers, demands will become different and therefore the number of languages presented on the Internet will rise. It will be normal that a page existing in English automatically appears in the language of the user.
Time and place
The World is divided into three major time zones on the base of geographical location. These time zones could cause adventages as well as disadventages for some countries. It will bring some into closer integration and others will have problems. Differences in distance can be solved by technology but those in time present a problem.
Those countries that will rise in term of economics, they will become the source of skills and technology for neighbouring countries. Also, those neigbouring countries, will be used for production because it will be cheaper to do it there. A symbiotic relationship will be developed.
Globalisation has a great
Effects of Globalisation, as mentioned, can be seen in economy, but also in politics and culture. Hybrid formas of those are being developed.
Will 'hanging out' on the Internet become as formative as hanging out on the street? 'Electronic media will become not just a means of communication, but a generator of global style'
Graddol, D. The Future of English? London: The British Council, 2000.
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