Teach English in Shiqishi Zhen - Yongzhou Shi

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Over the course of the past few centuries, British dominance in the world paved the way for the English language to become the universal tool of communication. As the British colonized various parts of the world, they set up educational institutions so that the educated migrants would rise within the ranks of that particular society and eventually become influential members creating change. Supporters of globalization believe that it has the potential to make our world a better place to live in, that it offers a solution to problems such as unemployment and poverty. Globalization, as its advocates would have it received, stands for free trade, which promotes economic growth, creating jobs, making companies more competitive, and lowering prices for consumers. A global market allows for companies and consumers to have access to products from different countries which creates an exchange of information between differing countries, offering cultural intermingling where each country is learning more and more about the other. It also has the potential to lead to the effacement of borders and the free movement of people, possessions and ideas. My concern, however, is the potential extermination of national cultural values and traditions, thus eliminating the diversity of human experience— making all of human experience and customs the same through an unconscious attempt to promote an imperialist western lifestyle.  Many countries where one may find themselves teaching English will most likely have distinct cultural behaviours that differ from native English speaking countries. As a native English speaking teacher, it is important to become well versed in the appropriate ideas, customs, and social behaviours of the particular people or society that one will be teaching. English language educators need to be aware that there are certain foreign societies that aspire to aspects of western culture. Educators need to be careful not to push their own ideas, habits or prejudices onto their students; they must realize that western ideologies are not the be all and end all.    Westernization happens when non-western societies come under western influence or adopt western culture. They admire and adhere to our living standards, incorporating themselves into what they believe to be a more prevalent culture. It is believed that western culture offers opportunities for development and advancement in economics, technology and information, which would positively impact developing countries. However, Western language educators must realize that other countries— or cultures— have their own systems of technology and blueprints for social advancement. Cultural assimilation throughout time would surely provide us with a mundane one dimensional world in which to live, depriving future generations of their rich identities. Therefore, I propose the idea of respectful cultural exchange, instead. Due to colonization many different native languages worldwide have become endangered or extinct, consequently making English the prevailing global language. Though it is unfortunate that many languages have become lost, it is important to understand how sharing a language is a wonderful way to give people the chance to communicate with one another. Speaking a common language allows for individuals to study and work internationally without being limited to their own culture. Diversity makes the world go round, people from differing cultures have so much to contribute to one another and to the planet as a whole. Cultural diversity is a beautiful thing, and one must be conscious of this while teaching English in different countries. Neglecting authentic cultural customs would be a faux pas, as it could lead to cultural decimation. As an English language educator, I believe that it is important to encourage foreign societies to preserve their own values and protect themselves from the overarching ideologies of western culture. Global civilization is continuing to evolve, although learning to speak a common language can open the door to a lot of possibilities, one would be remorseful if ever we loose the rich diversity that makes this world an interesting place to live.