Class Higher TEFL

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This is how our TEFL graduates feel they have gained from their course, and how they plan to put into action what they learned:

W.M. - France said:
English as a global languageNowadays about a quarter of mankind is able to converse in English, at least deal with a daily and simple subject-matter that is. Moreover, major international organizations such as the Commonwealth or NATO established English as their official language, while over 70 countries throughout the world granted English a special status by law. The main reason generally acknowledged for the spread of English throughout the world comes down to the prominence of the British Empire on a global scale during the latter part of the 19th century followed by the rise of the USA after World War One. At this point in history English, as John Crystal puts it was ?at the right time at the right place? in that it was embedded in ever-growing economical, financial, technological and political supremacy. The English language, established by the military power was indeed used as a guarantor as well as a symbol of political unity among the numerous colonies of the British Empire which used to cover nearly a fifth of the world?s territories. The use of the colonizer?s language in some key aspects of society such as education and the legal system was a sign of the imperial domination over local population by superseding the local languages for official purposes. On the other hand, the spread of English was driven by the British technological breakthroughs and globalized economical domination in both industry and trade during the Industrial Revolution. Most of the brand new machines which revolutionized industry, agriculture, transportation, communication and entertainment were invented either by British men or Americans. The British were indeed the firsts to create an extended network of telegraphs and radio broadcastings within their colonies either for the sake the administration cohesion or news agencies such as Reuters, while new printing technologies enabled the British Empire and the USA to start massive productions of news papers and books. The English language asserted its dominating presence over other languages in terms of items produced, involving mainly the press and later on the radio. Besides, even nowadays the total numbers of letters sent within the USA only accounts for forty percents of the world?s mail. America and the British Empire were the two leading banking superpowers and were investing much more money abroad than their rivals such as france. The English language was therefore a language anyone who wanted to benefit from cutting-edge technologies and financial backing ought to master. The end of World War One ushered in a more and more globalized world involving a skyrocketing number of interactions between the globe?s nations and as a result prompted a need for a lingua franca. The dominating positions occupied by the British Empire and the USA made English de facto the language of international affairs. Nowadays about a third of the world international organizations carried out their work only in English, more specifically it is the case for 90 percent of those based in Asia and the Pacific. Moreover, English is regarded as the lingua franca of air and sea travel. Professor Braj Krachru?s three circles theory is an attempt to give an account of the spread of English on an international scale. The inner circle comprises the traditional bases of English, where it stands as the primary language that is, such as the UK, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, ireland and Canada. The second circle, called extended or outer circle, consists of a number of countries where the English language has an official status established by law and used in the states? chief institution such as the government, the educational system, courts and media, and as a result part of the population is expected to encounter some exposure to the language. The third circle, extending circle, as its name suggests, includes a steadily increasing number of states where English is regarded as an international language and so is the primary foreign language more and more people tend to study such as the Japan or china. A scientist publishing his work in English for instance is more likely to reach an international readership, as well as being able to read a wider range of articles published by other scientists all over the world. Therefore the appeal to use of English as a lingua franca can be understood as a means to open up one?s opportunities towards a more and more interconnected world thanks to new means of communication such as internet, and this is the reason why it is catching on in countries from the extending circle. The notion of global, such as in Global English shouldn?t be understood as a uniting factor between the nations of the world in the sense that English will spread and impose mindsets and cultures from the countries it originate from. First and foremost, we can notice that nowadays, there is not such thing as a unique and standardized version of the English language, each country from the inner circle worked out its on particular language features such as spelling and pronunciation. Moreover, English-mother tongue speakers can no longer claim their selves as being the rightful owner of the language and having control over the way it should develop for the number of people who adopted English as a second language overtook them. We can also notice that some countries from the extended and extending circles where English was set as an official language broke away from the main standardized form of English that are American and British English by developing their own specific features stemming from their national and cultural particularities, often influenced by local languages such as pidgin and Creole forms of English or even Singlish in Singapore.

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