why is english a global language nowadays
A language is not considered international just because a great number of people speak it. An enormous number of people speak Chinese, but Chinese is not the most important language in the world. The main reason for a language to become international is power - the political and economic power of the people who speak it. Britain was the world's leading industrial and trading country in the 19th century. It colonised many other countries where English is now spoken. The North American economy is growing fast, making the USA one of the most important and powerful countries in the world. These are the reasons why English is a global language. Like anybody else, you need a global language for communication, not only today, but for your future as well.
So, let's learn English! a) How many Brazilians need English for working purposes? b) How many Brazilians need to know how to speak English? c) How many Brazilians need to know how to read in English? Make a graph of percentages and show it to your class.
What we have seen in this course is that the English language is and always has been a diverse entity. It has changed dramatically over the centuries since it first arrived on the shores of Britain from the north of Europe, and these changes mean that the language that was spoken at that time is almost incomprehensible to us now. As the language has spread beyond Britain it has continued to change, and to change in different ways in different contexts.
It has diversified to such an extent that some scholars suggest that it is no longer accurate to talk of a single вEnglishв; that instead there are many different English languages around the world today. At the same time, however, English exists in the world today as a means of international communication в as a way for people from different social groups to communicate with each other в and to fulfil this function it would seem that variation in the language needs to be curtailed to a certain extent. That is to say, if the language becomes too diverse it will not remain mutually comprehensible across different social groups.
So we have two impulses at work that are seemingly incompatible, or perhaps even in conflict, and the question we are faced with is how to render them as consistent, as both being part of the existence of a single entity we call вEnglishв. This is one of the central issues in English language studies today в and itвs a very modern issue because it has come about as a direct result of the unprecedented position that English now occupies in the world: as a language with global scope which is implicated in the history and present-day existence of societies all around the world.
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