Discuss about the English Language for An Asset or a Threat.
While some nations promote the use of English, others have shunned it and stuck with their own languages. It is no doubt however that the English language has wide usage in the world acquiring the status of a global language (Crystal, 2003). This paper will argue that the English language is more of a threat than an asset.
Language embodies the culture, values, behaviors and the style of thinking. The importation of a language therefore brings along some culture elements which that language embodies (Hamilton, 2013). Those countries that encourage use of English expect that their citizens will adopt some cultures whether good or bad from the English speaking countries. English language thus may be a threat to the cultures of any nation that encourages its use.
A study conducted in Australia showed lower performance in schools of students from the Aboriginal English background, partly caused by students feeling that their language was not being respected at school which they considered part of them and their identity, so they felt that school was not about them due to preference of the Standard Australian English (SAE) (Sharifian, 2008). Thus English has been seen as a tool of isolating people from their identity.
In other nations however, English language is considered an asset and has an important role to play to modernize and develop and therefore the need to strengthen and expand its teaching. At a personal level, it has been regarded as resulting to some social economic opportunities as it gives the individual access to employment in both the private and public sectors and advancement in profession and social prestige (Hu, 2002b).
The English language needs an evaluation of its relationship with culture and identity of people and their power. Some nations have considered English a threat to their identities while others are encouraging its teaching as it is seen as a tool for modernization. This paper has argued that English is more of a threat than an asset as it may lead to people losing their culture and identity.
Crystal, D. (2003). English as a Global Language. Cambridge University Press.
Hamilton, C. (2013). The Curse of Speaking English. ABC.Net. Retrieved October 9, 2017 from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-03/hamilton-curse-of-speaking-english/4993940
Hu, G. (2002b). English Language Teaching in the People’s Republic of China. In Rita Elaine Silver, Guangwei Hu & Masakazu Iino (Eds), English Language Education in China, Japan, and Singapore (pp. 1–77).Singapore: National Institute of Education.
Sharifian, F. (2008). Aboriginal English in the Classroom: An Asset or a Liability? Language Awareness , Volume 17, 2008 - Issue 2