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presentation - reasons for the spread of english

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Susi Gonzales

on 12 December 2012

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Transcript of presentation - reasons for the spread of english

Bergmann & Neubauer Reasons for the spread of English John Adams, 1780: David Crystal, 2003: “English is destined to be in the next and succeeding centuries more generally the language of the world [...]. The reason of this is obvious, because the increasing population in America, and their universal connection and correspondence with all nations will, aided by the influence of England in the world [...] force their language into general use, in spite of all the obstacles that may be thrown in their way [...]. - The British Empire and colonial period were
major contributing factors

- "Civilizing" the "dark parts" of the world
with the help of the English language

- History of English as a world language
began in the 17th century The Sun never sets on the English Language - English emerged as a medium of communication in important areas: media, education, international relations, safety and travel

- It also became the official working language in international organizations (e.g. European Union, NATO)

- As well as in influential financial institutions (e.g.World Bank, IMF) After the World Wars in the 20th century “English and American English seem to embody for men and women throughout the world- and particularly for the young- the ‘feel’ of hope, of material advance, of scientific and empirical procedures.” George Steiner, 1975: “The present- day status of English is primarily the result of the two factors: the expansion of British colonial power, which peaked towards the end of the 19th century, and the emergence of the United States as the leading economic power of the 20th century. It is the latter factor which continues to explain the position of the English language today.” - groundbreaking inventions in the 19th
century during the Industrial Revolution
-> Britain as the world's leading industrial and trading nation

- new terminology in English

- 1/2 of the influential scientific and
technological output written in English Access to Knowledge --> the English language started to be
taken for granted as the natural choice
for progress towards the end of the
19th century The popularity of English as a global
language is in no immediate danger right
now, but it would be foolish to assume that
its position will never be challenged. Some Numbers Political incorporation of Celtic territories
-> subjugation of population and
-> reinforcement of Christianity

Knights brought varieties of English into these territories

1870 compulsory state education – teaching of Standard English
-> language as a unifier Spread within the British Isles Settlers in position of power

New varieties of English depended on
close daily interaction
group loyalty
presence of a powerful and high-status model

Anglicism and liberalism
India: 1835 English Education Act

Discourse of Orientalism
Malaya Spread beyond the British Isles 1. Original settlement by English speakers
- Displacement e.g. North America
- Subjection e.g. Nigeria
- Replacement e.g. Barbados and Jamaica

2. Political incorporation -> British Empire

3. Nationalist reaction -> Independence
e.g. 1776 Independence of American colonies
1931 Commonwealth of Nations Common Sequence of Colonization May 2012: Governor proposes an English Plan
-> to be taught as primary language in schools
Purpose: 51st US state

Referendum on November 6 2012: 61 % favored statehood Puerto Rico - the 51st state ?

16th century: Henry VIII Proclamation of 1541 -> fresh colonisers: Scots (Ulster Scots), poor Londoners

Irish were resettled in the poorer west of the country -> Anti-English sentiment

1798 uprisings -> 1800 Act of Union

17th century: almost 100 % Irish as L1
Today: only 2% speak Irish Language Change in Ireland
1776: Declaration of Independence
-> patriotism, new political and social ideals

-> Noah Webster: national dictionary, grammar,
spelling book

After Cold War:
-> US becomes only superpower
-> English is associated with liberation and democracy
-> marketed in former communist states North America Gordon Brown 2008:
"Help 2 billion people learn English by 2020"

British Council: Promotion of Britain and English

Education sector: important for UK’s exports: £28bn

Biggest markets: China, Singapore, Malaysia, India and Hong Kong Britain’s language plan Discussion Question: What do you think about Puerto Rico becoming the 51st state of the US ?

What kind of language-change does it imply ?

How will the people/country be affected by that - economically, culturally and politically ? Sources: Thomas Ricento: Ideology, politics and language policies: focus on English, 2000
Linguistic Imperialism Continued, Robert Phillipson, 2009
The Guardian
Education Week, Vol. 31, p.4 Crystal, David (2003). English as a Global Language. 2nd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Graddol, David (1997). The Future of English? The British Council.

Phillipson, Robert (2009). Linguistic Imperialism Continued. New York: Routledge.

Ricento, Thomas, ed. (2000). Ideology, Politics and Language Policies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publ. Company.

Seargeant, Philip and Swann, Joan (2012). English in the World. New York: Routledge.

Education Week, Vol. 31, p.4

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/jan/17/gordonbrown.labour [last access date: 12/12/2012] Thank you for your attention ! - In the aftermath of World War II, US- American influence was extended around the world - During the last few decades it grew even more important as the language of the electronic revolution
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