English being the Global Language
English is considered as a global language by many people since it has dominated not only the international business, but has invaded media, politics, and culture across the globe. English is considered as the universal language since every person in the entire human history can speak it. It is spoken not only on television by politicians and others from various countries. Even travel signs and advertisements mostly written in English.
When I was only 12 years old, I went to United Kingdom to study English since it is not my native language. Coming from a family that is not accustomed to speak English in our daily conversations, it was a challenge for me to adapt the language. I remember when I was 13 years old during my stay in U. K., I had the opportunity to watch the semi-finals match in the World Cup. Saying slang English words became part of my habitual expression. As I was intensely watching the game, one of the players missed his shot and the first word I uttered as an expression was “ shit”. Although I know that saying such word literally means referring to a different thing, my only intention was to say the word to refer to a bad incident that had taken place. For me, learning English is important to be able to blend in with the rest of the world. In the book of Crystal entitled “ English as a Global Language”, the author stated that the English language plays a special role that is recognized in every country (Crystal 3). He further explained that English is made a priority in most countries since it has been the widely-used foreign-language that is being taught to young children the moment they enter school. By reflecting on these observations, it can be concluded that English has become the official or global language.
Thesis Statement: English has become a global language since it promises stability and success of every nation.
In the book of Gloria Anzaldua entitled “ Borderlands-La Frontera: The New Mestiza”, the author presented various opposing groups of people with different cultures including the Americans and Latinos. Coming from Mexican descendants, there is a showing that the English is not the mother tongue of the author. The essence of the book can be summarized as the apprehension of the author on how English had rapidly expanded all over the globe. This was clearly shown in her statement “ since we internalize how our language has been used against us by the dominant culture, we have used our language differences against each other” (Anzaldua 80).
The purpose of the author in writing this statement is to show how culture creates the beliefs and traditions of different groups of people. Part of the culture is language. In this case, the author who is a Chicana is having a difficult time learning the English language since she was accustomed to reading Mexican and Spanish literature while she was still a young student. The author started to refer to the Southwestern U. S. as “ Aztlan”, which is the homeland of the Aztecs. She argues that Aztlan is the land which was handed down over multicultural generations through force and intimidation based on historical accounts of war, conquest, invasion, and ideological struggle. This was further substantiated in her theory that over the years, there is a new culture has emerged out of chaos and it had become “ a third country or a border culture” (Anzaldua 25).
Such statement of the author has created a debate on the issue of immigration, which has been associated with racism and injustice. The author further accounts that Gringos who come from the American Southwest have regarded the inhabitants of the borderland as “ transgressors, aliens or trespassers, regardless of the fact that they have documents or not” (Anzaldua 25). The people who live in the Borderlands are prejudiced by the white people and have to learn adjust to the American culture, and that includes learning the English language (Anzaldua 39). The white people are unsympathetic to the plight of the Chicanos, based on the personal experience of the author in the Borderlands. Based on the personal observations of the author, she believes that the inhabitants are victims of racism. However, the author did not clearly elaborate the circumstances of such claim.
In my opinion, there are various reasons for choosing a particular language as a favored foreign language which will include history, tradition, political expediency, commercial, cultural, and technological impact (Crystal 5). In the case of the English language, it has met all the requirements since its presence it has been supported and resources are devoted to have many people learn the language. The strong power base of the English language made it an international medium of communication (Crystal 7).
One of the challenges that I encountered using the English language is not in speaking it, but writing it. English is the medium of communication in schools and universities. In my case, I have a difficulty in making written compositions appear and sound more professional. The common errors made are misspelled words and incorrect grammar and tenses in the sentences. I have learned in school that using the correct syntax and pronunciation will eliminate run-on sentences. I realized that such instance usually happens in the presence of run-on sentences, where the independent thoughts and the punctuation are incorrect. I learned that the best way to avoid the passive voice in constructing sentences is by making the subject do the action, where the active force is placed at the end of the sentence. In order to prevent this from happening, I have to make sure that the subject of the sentence is the doer of the action.
In the book of the author, she considered her race as the most potent, religious, political and cultural image of Chicano and Mexico (Anzaldua 52). In this instance, she had mixed feelings about the way that English is spreading as a global language. Her pride reveals a tinge of concern after realizing that there may be people in other countries who do not want to use English as the international medium.
Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands-La Frontera: The New Mestiza. California: Aunt Lute
Books, 2007. Print.
Crystal, David. English as a Global Language. UK: Cambridge University Press, 2012.