The Dominance of English in Global Affairs Raises Questions: Is it Time for Change?


As English Continues to Reign Supreme, Challenges of Linguistic Inequality Emerge

In recent years, the prevalence of English as the international language of communication has become more apparent, especially during the Christmas holidays on the European mainland. The ubiquity of English in shops, hotels, and signage is a deliberate outcome of educational policies promoting English teaching in public schools across Europe.

Also Read: Embracing Imperfection: The English Language and Japanese Fluency

The Power and Pitfalls of English Dominance

English, the third most spoken native language globally, holds cultural significance and serves as a major means of communication. However, its dominance poses challenges, with linguistic justice emerging as a crucial concern. The uneven distribution of language proficiency creates disparities in accessing the global communication network.

The Linguistic Justice Challenge

The primary hurdle lies in the concept of linguistic justice, where individuals face varying costs to access the linguistic network. While native English speakers seamlessly communicate, non-native speakers often bear the burden of learning costs. François Grin estimates that Western European countries allocate a substantial portion of their education budget, between 5% and 15%, to foreign language teaching, predominantly English.

Inequality in Education and Research

The educational landscape reflects another form of inequality, as English-speaking countries witness a decline in foreign language teaching, resulting in cost savings. In the professional realm, native language proficiency often equates to effectiveness and persuasiveness. In scientific research, English requirements for publications create challenges for non-native speakers, impacting their career opportunities.

Addressing Linguistic Injustice

To mitigate global linguistic injustice, experts propose compensatory measures. Philippe Van Parijs suggests a linguistic tax on English-speaking countries, aiming to redistribute revenue to nations teaching English as a foreign language. Additionally, reforming patent rules to reduce protection duration for English-speaking country inventors in non-English-speaking countries is considered.

Toward Solutions

Possible solutions include increased use of machine translation and artificial intelligence in scientific publications, with publishers shouldering associated costs. Criteria rewarding multilingual researchers in international project funding applications could be implemented, mirroring initiatives promoting gender equality in academia.

The Global Language Dilemma

While linguistic justice extends beyond English, the current reality places English at the forefront. As discussions around the impact of global communication intensify, considerations for those affected by linguistic disparities become imperative. The question remains: is it time to rethink the dynamics of linguistic dominance in the global arena?

If you have enjoyed “Less Than 1% of English Schools Equipped with Comprehensive Policies” I would be very thankful if you’d help spread it by emailing it to your friends or sharing it on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook. Thank you!

More Free Resources

Here are some more lists for you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *