Teach English in BAda'erhu Nongchang - Xing'an Meng — Hinggan

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Language is the medium by which we humans communicate with each other. Throughout history, we have used various forms of language to convey a message- sign language, symbols/ hieroglyphs, smoke signals, artistic depictions and many more. The goal has always been to communicate effectively and successfully pass on information. A common language can simplify communication and can be the most efficient way of getting a message across with the least amount of effort. Which language would work best to convey a message? Various factors have led to the use of a common language and some of these are outlined below. Globalization is the spread of products, technology, information, and jobs across national borders and cultures[1]. This sharing of goods and services majorly influences the use of a common language because it increases the interaction of one country with another. In Kenya, where I have grown up, Kiswahili and English are defined as the official languages. This is because Kenya was part of the British Empire from 1920 until 1963, when Kenya gained their independence. In fact, the British Empires expanse was in countries such as India, Australia, Guyana(South America), Malaysia, Egypt, Ghana and parts of Southern Africa, just to mention a few. This would then directly affect the people there to be influenced and have made contact with the English during this time of occupation. Currently Kenya has a multinational population, dependent on foreign investment with a vast amount of business being done internationally. For example, international business includes information technology, transport, communications and medicine. In order for smooth communication and good relations, it would not be advisable to speak in a different language than the clients you are dealing with. This can lead to misinterpretation and may hinder business deals. Therefore, it is essential for Kenyans to use a common language to build their economy through successful trade discussions. The most influential country in the world is the United States of America with the United Kingdom and Canada in the top ten. This was suggested by two polls done by US News and World Report L.P and The Independent[2]. These are all English speaking countries and have major influence not only in the global economy but even in popular culture as well, ranging from cinema, music, art and literature. For example, a lot of the popular music you listen to on the radio comes from English speaking artistes that have lyrics embedded with pop culture references stemming from English speaking countries. This has a major influence on the listener to investigate more about these cultures and has a direct effect in spreading English. In addition to media, these three countries have significant leverage in today’s economy and will continue creating interactions across the world, maintaining English as a global language. Even though China may have a population higher than all these countries put together, the global effect that all these factors listed above have is that the majority of the world has been introduced to English one way or another. For example, when English media has to be translated into the country’s official language, then people with prior knowledge of English have to be present. The influence that these three countries have makes it beneficial for other countries to learn English as a second language. Is English a global language? If you travel around the world, you will find that English is not spoken everywhere, with some populations not knowing even one word of the language. For example, in my most recent travel to Bolivia in 2019, there are communities who pride themselves in not knowing English. The tour guide gave us a crash course in Quechua basics so as not to insult local villagers using English dialect. The people in this area were against their culture being tainted or diluted by outside influences. On the other hand, in a place like Copacabana, in Bolivia, all the locals wanted to speak in English for various reasons, be it to offer services or simply to practice using the language. In this example, it shows that English may not be known by one hundred percent of the population but that it can still coexist in areas with more traditional or cultural languages. In conclusion, It is clear that English is beneficial to learn. While we can maintain our traditions and cultures, English should be considered a global language. One that can coexist with the aforementioned and yet still help bridge many barriers in our day to day lives. References 1. Guttal, Shalmali (2007). "Globalisation". Development in Practice. 17 (4/5): 523–531. 2. Independent – John Hall (2016) - “The 10 most influential countries in the world have been revealed”