Saturday, October 16, 2010

English In The World Today

English In The World Today
English as an international language
Of the 4,000 to 5,000 living languages, English is by far the most widely used. As a mother tongue, it ranks second only to Chinese, which is effectively six mutually unintelligible dialects little used outside China. On the other hand the 300 million native speakers of English are to be found in every continent, and an equally widely distributed body of second language speakers, who use English for their day-to-day needs, totals over 250 million. Finally, if we add those areas where decisions affecting life and welfare are made and announced in English, we cover one-sixth of the world’s population.
Barriers of race, colour and creed are no hindrance to the continuing spread of the use of English. Besides being a major vehicle of debate at the United Nations, and the language of command for NATO, it is the official language of international aviation, and unofficially is the first language of international sport and the pop scene. Russian propaganda to the Far East is broadcast in English, as are Chinese radio programmes designed to win friends among listeners in East Africa. Indeed more than 60 per cent of the world’s radio programmes are broadcast in English and it is also the language of 70 per cent of the world’s mail. From its position 400 years ago as a dialect, little known beyond the southern counties of England, English has grown to its present status as the major world language. The primary growth in the
We are teaching English or studying the teaching of English, but why do we want to teach English, as opposed to other foreign languages? It is useful for us to consider this basic question occasionally.

Importance of English
English is not the most widely spoken language in the world in terms of the number of native speakers--there are many more Chinese speakers than native English speakers--but Chinese is spoken little outside of Chinese communities, so English is the most widespread language in the world.

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