Foreign Language In English

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Although I am Chinese, I am writing this essay in English. In fact, I spend most of my time communicating with others, expressing myself, and learning new knowledge in English. Regardless of my race, I, similar to many people across the world, use English as a primary language in my daily life. Most will agree that English is the international language of the world. To this day, English has been the most widely spread language around the globe. It is the official language of over 50 countries and the third most spoken language worldwide (Lewis, Gary, & Charles, 2010). However, despite the contributions English has made to the merging of a global village, the spreading of English will lead to the displacement of local languages and cultural…show more content…
The globalization of English will result in the displacement of local languages since the dominance of English in political and economic context will slowly replace them in the process. This is similar to cases when a more widely used language replaces other ones which are less commonly used. In the case of Australia, according to a 2007 news article, almost all of the 231 native dialects were endangered and this is most likely due to the dominance of English (Wilford, 2007). That number today might possibly be lower than that since the publishing of the article. However, around the late 18th century, there were more than 500 Indigenous languages recorded (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1999) compared to 231 still existing in 2007. This indicates that aboriginal dialects in Australia have been declining ever since the start of European…show more content…
There are also concerns, however, about English creating a Linguistic Hegemony, which is when dominant groups are able to convince other smaller groups to acquire their language norms and usage as paradigmatic (Wiley, 2000, p. 113). Learning English can often alter individuals’ behaviour to be more like the British and Americans since Language is the carrier of culture (Tsuda, 2010). This is supported by numerous experiments conducted in the past 40 years showing bilinguals behaving differently in each of their language (Grosjean, 2011). One of those experiments surveyed a group of Japanese-American bilingual female to finish some half-written sentences in both English and Japanese. Researchers found that the group expressed a different personality when completing the sentences in different languages. For example, with one of the beginnings, "When my wishes conflict with my family . . ." one participant’s Japanese version ended with, ". . . it is a time of great unhappiness," while the English version ended with, ". . . I do what I want." The Japanese version was more family-oriented whereas the English version was more self-oriented. When the number of English speakers continues to rise, the dominance of English in people’s life might cause them to lean towards behaving like Americans and British. Therefore, American and British cultures might eventually replace other
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