English: a Globalized Language Essay

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ABSTRACT: Many explanations have been given to explain why English reached that status which has led the language to a position of supremacy around which a whole business has been developed. This essay tries to give an overview of the key ideas taken from the compulsory readings of the Sociolinguistics course: the reasons why English has come to be the most studied language can be explained by terms of Linguistic Imperialism, of supremacy of the English-speaking countries, or of the needs of having a lingua franca. The role played by the linguistic policies and their makers as well as questions on the cultural assimilation played by the English language will be also included. “English is indisputably the language of international communication” is said by Ghim-Lian (1999: p.43). “English is the hypercentral language that holds the entire world language system together” are words of De Swaan included in Myer’s article which discusses the situation of English as a world lingua franca (Myers, 2006: p.406). May be English shouldn’t have such a high status, if we think of the rights of all languages and the consequences the spread of English is having in the lost of those minority languages and cultures. However, it is almost something unstoppable. Some have related its spread with processes of Linguistic imperialism, linguicism, or the globalization phenomenon; but what is clear is that English had achieved a level of use all over the world that no other language had, nor even Latin, Greek or French in previous times. Linguistic imperialism is thought as “the spread of English as a post-colonial plot on the part of the core of English-speaking countries, which hopped to maintain their dominance over ‘periphery’ countries”. On its side, linguicism implies “the imposition of English equated to the imposition of the cultural, social, emotional, and linguistic norms of
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