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The Circles of English

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Brian Chan

on 20 September 2012

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Transcript of The Circles of English

The Circles of English The Expanding Circle The Outer Circle Refers to the users of English as a first language The Inner Circle Refers to the users of English
as a foreign language
Indonesia, Iran, Denmark, Korea, Sweden, Egypt, Thailand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia,
Russia and many more Countries that belong to this circle include: An estimated 100million to 1 billion people belong to this circle Countries that belong to this circle include: India, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Jamaica, Zambia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Philippines, Hong Kong An estimated 300million to 500million people belong to this circle Countries that belong to this circle include: United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada and South Africa An estimated 320million to 380million people belong to this circle Uses English on a Second Language basis
Generally these include people who live in populations that have been colonised by the British empire some time in its history
It is used for a variety of functions such as education, government, pop culture and especially business and commerce
However the mother tongue is of a greater influence in government and especially in society and more colloquial settings English is used as a first language
It has a wide range of functions including communication, building rapport, giving instructions, for entertainment purposes and much more.
As the main language, English is used by the government, media and schools predominantly, and children are first exposed to English by their family. Consider English a foreign language
May only use English for specific areas of their lives; most prominently as a means for international communication for business but it is not used in their government or society to any great degree
English bears limited function in the day-to-day lives of these people and is not noticeably present in communities
Only enough for basic communication The main language in Australia is English
Australia is a multicultural country and endeavours to embrace a multilingual society therefore does not have an official language
However, approximately 76% of its population reporting it as the language they use most
English is used by the government, media and in schools
It is used for basic functions of language including communication and for sharing information Australians use a dialect of English known as Australian English
The main differences between standard English and Australian English are phonology (accents) and lexis
Its vocabulary includes words such as ‘bloody’ and ‘g’day’ which are not present, or at least frequently used, in other forms of English
As English is the main language in Australia, it is used by the Australian population instinctively and naturally
Therefore, there are not many strong positive or negative attitudes towards it. Hong Kong is an autonomous territory of the People’s Republic of China
Hong Kong has been “colonised” after China’s loss in the Opium war to Britain for an agreed period of 99 years
Due to this act, Hong Kong has become very prosperous in the international markets during the early 1900s
This coupled with an influx of tourism raised the status of English in Hong Kong A total of 2.8% of the populous admit to speaking English as the first language where as 90.8% speak Cantonese - the mother tongue
English is taught at schools from early education (even in kindergarten) although Cantonese remains more important in Hong Kong
The younger generations are taught the important of English in this world and an emphasis is put to teach it in schools
Part of the older generations have a distaste for this cultural shift as they feel English is foreign thing The use of English can be divided into two categories:
Tourism In this age, English can be considered as a universal language for business
Those who lack in English lack in communication which endangers the business or at the very least be at a disadvantage
In Hong Kong, English is used for international meetings Tourism is an important asset to a country
Tourists tend to like to go to countries where they can be understood (mostly English speakers)
Some measures have been taken to improve tourism
All official signs are bilingual in Cantonese and English
Government officials must have basic communication skills in English
All employees in tourist areas can at least speak simple English Status and uses of English:
English is held in general high regard throughout Japan
It is also used more for decorative, flourishing and ego-boosting purposes rather than for actual communicating
Even when English is used for communication it is usually very direct and to the point
This is due to English being used almost solely for international business where efficiency in the language is far more important than lavish phrasing How does it differ from the standard?
The Japanese seem to have extreme difficulty in picking up English as a language
Partly because of its low use in their average lives and subsequent low level of importance
But mostly due to the differences between the two languages of Japanese and English which make it difficult to apply ones’ rules to the others
Some differences are:
The Japanese sentence structure is subject-object-verb compared to the English subject-verb-object
The subject is frequently omitted
Articles are often absent
Non-existent plurals
The difficulty in distinguishing l and r
All lead to complexities arising when learning English
These factors lead to a unique Japanese English where Japanese syntax and grammar (or indeed lack of grammar) is transferred to English. Attitudes towards English:
Japans’ eschewing of using English comes from a deep cultural custom which Japan has held for a long time, that is the idea of a large community living together on a small island which requires co-operation and conformity in order to survive
While this quality is commendable and is clearly seen in Japan through their strong sense of identity, general agreeableness and willingness to support others, it also causes change to occur very slowly if at all as disagreements and arguments with customs and traditions are frowned upon The government holds a hesitant yet determined approach towards English, seeing the languages value but perhaps not fully endorsing its teachings
Japan takes a very rigid approach to the instruction of English, they have made it compulsory to learn in the sixth grade and have tried to make a majority of middle schools and high schools also teach English
This would be commendable, until we look at the ‘aims’ of the course the goals of the English courses are “Before they leave primary school students should know 285 English words and 50 expressions” as well as such outlines as “1000 words to be learned during Junior high” Refers to the users of English as a second language Australia Hong Kong Japan Aside from the international usage of English, it is not common to hear the language spoken around towns, however often in literature, music, street signs and the like there will be some words or phrases in English
This is because English has become a sign of intelligence and modernisation in Japan, it is a sign of good education and work-ethic to have a good understanding of English This is reflective of three things:
First is the importance the Japanese government has placed upon learning English, that succeeding in English is stressed to such a degree that it is a highly valued achievement to understand it
The second is the difficulty that the Japanese have in learning the language for it to be seen as something ‘special’ to have learned English and
Lastly it represents just how powerful English has become as a global language that because Japan scored the second lowest on an International English Proficiency survey they have taken vast reforms in their education system in an attempt to improve the overall English standards in their country Hong Kong lexicon can be quite different with borrowing from Cantonese causes the coinage of words (such as dimsum, or laisee)
Hong Kong English also differs in semantics with words such as Austronaut meaning a HK person who as emigrated, but come back to work
Some grammatical features include:
lack of subject-verb agreement ("it help" instead of "it helps")
Missing subject ("feel happy" instead of "I feel happy)
Missing article (the/a)
Redundant article ("I ate the rice" instead of "I ate rice)
Difference in present/past principles ("I loving our dear leader) Use English on a Second Language basis
Generally these include people who live in populations that have been colonised by the British empire some time in its history
It is used for a variety of functions such as education, pop culture and business
However the mother tongue is still used for government purposes and colloquially English is used as a first language
It has a wide range of functions including communication, building rapport, giving instructions, for entertainment purposes and much more
As the main language, English is used by the government, media and schools predominantly, and children are first exposed to English by their family. This may simply be a cultural difference with the Japanese taking studying more seriously than the West however these goals come across as being extremely formalised and keeping the students nose to a grindstone, mindlessly cranking out words and learning through repetition and memorization than actual understanding of the language.
It may look good on paper but the stress and pressure students would feel from needing English to such a degree would be immense which bring up the concern of English simply being a tyrant and gaining more power than it ultimately should need. This is perhaps best summed up by the Japanese saying ‘the nail which sticks out is the one that gets hit’ or something along those lines, which illustrates the sense that those who are outspoken or unruly are the ones who will get knocked around
This custom is slowly becoming less and less prominent as the world begins to become more global in its activities and communications and the Japanese government takes on this evolution, initiating many campaigns to start spreading and accepting new cultures
This includes the English language, as it becomes more prominent as a global language Japan wishes to introduce the language into the county and cultivate its presence in the youth. By: Aaron Johns, Cameron Low, Brian Chan Thank you for listening LOVE THE LINGO by Kate Burrige, Debbie de Laps first published 2010





http://www.scribd.com/doc/33298844/Analysis-of-Kachru-s-Concentric-Circles http://grammar.about.com/od/il/g/Inner-Circle.htm

http://grammar.about.com/od/e/g/Expanding-Circle-TERM.htm References: Look for the hidden mickey mouse! :D
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