Subject Material

Chapter 10 - Global English

Published: 06.12.2011, Updated: 04.03.2017
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The History of English in 10 minutes - Chapter 10 (OU)

Global English   

Comprehension

  1. How many years have passed since the Romans left Britain? What significance did their withdrawal from Britain have for the development of the English language?
  2. Which capabilities did the English language have since it managed to conquer the world?
  3. How many languages has English adopted words from?
  4. What is the total number of English speakers?
  5. How many speak it as their mother tongue?
  6. How many speak it as a second language?
  7. What problems does English present for a learner?
  8. In which context is Singlish, Hinglish and Chinglish mentioned? Where do you find these accents and why is it necessary to give these accents individual names?
  9. Why do you think the lecturer suggests that if somebody should think up a new word for English, “it should be in Chinese”?

Discussion

Do you think the global language should have a different name than English? Can you suggest a name?

Writing

Write an essay where you present arguments and discuss your view of the future of the English language. Some points to consider:

  • Will it continue to be the international language of communication?
  • Will it survive in a similar form?
  • Will there continue to be several varieties of English?
  • Will it be adapted into a simplified language like Globish?
  • Will English threaten local languages?

 

Suggested Further Reading

  1. The Origins of the English Language 
  2. Why So Much Variety in English?