English As A Foreign Language

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In a world where approximately a billion people speak English and where the non native speakers outnumber native speakers by a ratio of 3-1, is it really possible to have a common accent for speakers of English? Since accents are not absolute but relative depending on the perception of the listener, each of us speaks with an accent. However, many learners of English as a second language have unintelligible speech patterns with respect to their listeners that may interfere with furthering their education, profession and social interactions. Job market surveys also show that 8 out of 10 people with a different accent than their compatriots have faced prejudice and discrimination because of the way they sound. It is believed that neutral accents…show more content…
It is spoken as a first language by around 375 million and as a second language by around 375 million speakers in the world. Speakers of English as a second language probably outnumber those who speak it as a first language and around 750 million people are believed to speak English as a foreign language. English is the main language of books, newspapers, airports and air-traffic control, international business and academic conferences, science, technology, diplomacy, sport, international competitions, pop music and advertising. Over two-thirds of the world's scientists read in English, three quarters of the world's mail is written in English, eighty per cent of the world's electronically stored information is in English and out of the estimated 200 million users of the Internet, some thirty-six per cent communicate in English. At any one time there are 130,000 students learning English and other skills through the medium of English in British Council teaching centers…show more content…
We may say that a neutral accent is a minority variety which carries most prestige and is widely understood. The Language of the Globe When a language develops a world-wide presence, the variety and diversity in its uses seems inevitable. The speed with which English has spread geographically or to so many speakers is unprecedented. The two chief issues-internationalism and identity- raise an immediate problem because they conflict with each other. In the former case, a nation looks out from itself at the world as a whole and tries to refine its needs in relation to that world. In the latter case a nation looks within itself at the structure of its society and the psychology of its people and tries to define its needs in relation to its sense of national identity. Internationalism implies intelligibility-if the reason for any nation to promote English is to give it access to what the broader English speaking world has to offer, then it is crucial for its people to be able to understand the English of that world and to be understood in their turn. In short internationalism demands an agreed standard in grammar, vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation and conventions of

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