Englistic Imperialism

980 Words4 Pages
Historical background of the expansion of English In-depth understanding of the term “linguistic imperialism” requires the clarification of historical roots of the spread of the English language which led to the formation of the concept. The historical background will unfold the main factors of the expansion by providing an explanation of key concepts.
There are many countries in the world, and languages spoken by their inhabitants are even more. So, how do the people of Earth understand each other? As for this purpose we, fortunately, have the international languages, which allows all of us to communicate with each other, regardless of nationality or place of residence. One of them is English, which is undoubtedly considered to be the most
…show more content…
The first one includes 320-380 million people, that is the residents of those countries for whom English is considered to be the native language (US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand); the outer circle includes 150-300 million people who live in countries where English is not the first language (L1), and yet plays an important role in public institutions, and is recognized as a second language (L2) to a multinational territory ( India, Singapore, and more than 50 other countries); the latter one, expanding circle, includes from 100 to 1000 million people living in countries whose population is increasingly aware of the importance of the English language as a tool of international relations (Russia, China, Japan, Israel, etc.). In addition to this, MacArthur (1998) groups the spread of the English language into three categories, which is almost the same as the one provided by Kachru (1985) – ESL (English as a second language), EFL (English as a foreign language) and ENL (English as a native…show more content…
Initially, in the history of modern English, colonization played a huge role to expand and to seizure the colonies of the British Empire. For instance, at the end of 16th century with the expansion of England colonies, English started to spread outside the British Isles. The term “colonization” itself means "relationship between an indigenous majority and a minority of foreign invaders” (Osterhammel, 2005). This means due to the process of colonization occupied countries had close bonds with the colonial ones, which had a significant impact on the fate of the English language. Such kind of interaction between languages is explained by the term “language contact”, which is explained as the use of several languages at the same time and at the same place (Thomason, 2001). As the number of colonies occupied by the British Empire increased, the ratio of English “language contact” with other languages also significantly increased. In this sense, Mufwene (2002) claims that the new varieties of the English language are being formed in every nook and corner of the world. In addition to this, Kayman (2004) states that “there are now more non-native speakers of English than there are natives” (p. 1). Such kind of tendency led to the discourses about “language hegemony”, which represents the hierarchy of languages (de Jong, 2011). On account of that the dominant
Open Document