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WHY ENGLISH? THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT

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Miguel Robles

on 7 December 2015

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Transcript of WHY ENGLISH? THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT

Why English?
The Historical context.

Many of them came from England’s “West Country” and brought accent, with its “Zummerzet “voicing of s sounds, and the r strongly.
Many of the Plymouth colonists came from countries in the east of England. These eastern accents were rather different notably lacking an r after vowels.

The nineteenth century saw a massive increase in American immigration; people from Irish, Germans, Italians, and Central European Jews. Within one or two generations of arrival, most of these immigrant families had come to speak English, through a natural process of assimilation. Grandparents and grandchildren found themselves living in very different linguistic worlds.
Two settlements one in Virginia, to the south, the other to the north, in present-day New England had different linguistic backgrounds.
1776

Ships from Europe travelled to the West African coast, where they exchanged cheap goods for black slaves.
Black slaves with different language backgrounds were shipped to the Caribbean islands and the American coast as a result several pidgin forms of communication were developing.


• Children recently born produced the first black Creole speech in the region by using their pidgin as the mother tongue.
• Creole forms of French, Spanish and Portuguese were also developing in and around the Caribbean. Also varieties of English were developed.
THE CARIBBEAN
WEST AFRICA
• 1770

James Cook visited Australia and with him 13000 prisoners were transported. Many of the convicts came from London and Ireland thus features of the Cockney accent of London and brogue of Irish English can be traced in the speech patterns now used in Australia.


• Australia now has a very mixed linguistic character because of the American English and the increasing amount of immigrants.
NEW ZEALAND
1769 -70 In New Zealand Captain Cook charted the islands.

1814 - Christian missionary work began among the Maori.
The official colony was not established until 1840 following the Treaty of Waitangi between Maori chiefs and the British crown

• There was an increase in European immigration having emerged a New Zealand accent. Many people speak with an accent which displays clear British influence.


• Maori people now form over 10 percent of the population which increases the use of Maori words in New Zealand.

SOUTH AFRICA
British control was established in 1806
English was made the official language of the region in 1822.

English was being used as a second language by the Afrikaans speakers.

English came to be used along with Afrikaan and other languages by those with an ethnical mixed background (coloured`s)

English was perceived by the Afrikaner government as the language of protest and self-determination.

In 1993 constitution names eleven languages as official including English.

In 1993 government surveys demonstrate that black parents preferred their children to receive the education in English.

INDIA
It is estimated that a third of the people in India are now capable of holding conversations in English.

The origin of South Asian English lie in Britain.

From 1745 until independence in 1947 English gradually became the medium of administration and education through out the subcontinent.

When the universities of Bombay, Calcutta ,and Madras were established in 1857, English became the primary medium of the instruction.
Increasingly it is being perceived by young South Asian as the language of cultural modernity.

AUSTRALIA
AMERICA
SINGAPUR
In the 1950s a bilingual educational system was introduced in Singapore, with English used as a unifying medium alongside Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. However, English remained the language of government and the legal system, and retained its importance in education and the media

MALAYSIA
The situation is very different in Malaysia where, following independence (1957), Bahasa Malaysia was adopted as the national language, and the role of English accordingly became more restricted. Malay-medium education was introduced, with English an obligatory subject but increasingly being seen as of value for international rather than intra-national purposes – more a foreign language than a second language

HONG KONG
English has always had a limited use in the territory, associated with government or military administration, law, business, and the media.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA
About half the people speak Tok Pisin, an English-based pidgin, as a second language (and some have it as a mother tongue). It has a nation-wide presence, widely seen in advertisements and the press, and heard on radio and television
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