Saturday, July 02, 2005

I found some old propoganda posters...

I found these posters I messed about with last year. I read Phillipson's Linguistic Imperialism as well as Graddol`s English as a Global Language and I was trying to figure out how political my role as an ESL teacher really is. It's just a means to communicate. While language does shape your thinking people also shape the language. English is not going to brow-beat the world into anglo-western thought. It will probably succumb to the thinking of billions of non-native speakers.
Whatever may come of it in the future, currently, English is one hell of a force. It has stormed across the globe in the last 100 years riding the back of commerce. English has been the language of money and globalisation. Those that had and controlled the money were English speakers. (One could argue this is still the case.) England's formal Empire melted away slowly but an informal Empire of it's tongue has stayed. English is the first truly global lingua franca and is very unlikely to fall the way the British Empire did.
The development and spread of English will increasingly sever what control over the language's development that native-speakers have. English will likely transform itself into a variety of languages as it is adopted by more and more non-native speakers.Take a look on your computer. You can already choose from 13 different varieties of English if you use windows xp.
The spread of English is not a great threat as some may believe. It is not going to stamp out other cultures and transform all global minds into Anglosized ones with western thought. English is simply another necessary tool needed in the arsenal of any globally competitive citizen.
While I believe all of the aforesaid I must confess at times I feel like a missionary or a soldier in an unrelenting wave of English teachers. Equally intense is the desireof Taiwanese for English. English has a sort of cult following in Taiwan. From the poorly written english-teaching shows on TV, to maniacal English students and locals who coninually feel the need to apologise for their self-professed poor English`, you meet you cannot help but sometimes be scared of the power of the language.

The Future of English--David Graddol

The Changing Global Economy and the Future of English Teaching

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The Future of English--David Graddol


Blogger dartmouthgirl said...

Are you sending these essays anywhere to be published? If not, you should. I loved this one...and the posters are ridiculously hilarious!! You did say OLD propaganda posters right? How old are we talking?

July 02, 2005 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott Sommers wrote,

I have tried to e-mail you, but the mail bounced back.

July 07, 2005 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are really talented.
Keep writing, your words are sure to turn into a sword.
We need that.

November 11, 2005 1:12 AM  

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