The Spread of the English Language

23 Mar 2015 14 Dec 2017

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English is the language of survival in the present battle of life .This prevalence of English language came as a result of the British colonizing movements previously and the present economical and political power of English speaking countries that imposed themselves and as a result imposed their language on the globe[1]. The essay will include the causes of the dominance of English in the world, its part in the world and in my life as well as the negative results of this dominance.

The present wide spread of the English language worldwide is obvious from the huge number of its users which is about 1.8 billion speakers [2] , as well as the increasing rate of its learners which approaches a billion[3].

This remarkable interest in learning English which can be noticed from the huge number of its learners reflects the leading role it plays in our world today. This leading role has various aspects. For instance, the globalized world that English created, presents a way of connecting the whole world together, politically by generating a common area of communication between different ethnic groups which is the use of English language and economically as it led to free trade that resulted from globalization [4]. Moreover, as it is the main language of teaching science, it helped scientists and researchers around the world to share their knowledge and scientific results which led to the developments we witness today [1]. Furthermore, it plays a vital role in the cultural exchange by translating other cultures' books to English as there are considerable numbers of English users who can benefit from these translations.

English language also has its significant role in individuals' lives which I will discuss through my experience. It has been 14 years since I started learning English which has affected my life positively since then. The first and most important thing is that it helped me to enter the university, because without having a certain level of knowledge in English, it is almost impossible to think of studying a scientific major in UAE [5]. In addition, it acts as an access gate for me to other cultures by having the power of communicating with individuals from any part of the world through using English. Moreover, I had the chance to practice my favorite activity which is reading by having a look at English literature depending on my knowledge in its language.

Despite of the usefulness of the spread of English language, I believe it has some negative aspects on both learners and native speakers. When it comes to English learners, learning any language is fairly challenging [6]. For me, I can say I started learning real English since five years only and the other nine years were nothing but a waste of time because learning any language requires an extra personal effort in mastering it rather than the knowledge we get from school. As a result, the learning process is long as well as frustrating. In addition, it caused a cultural conflict for non-native speakers as many of them started losing the strength of their mother tongue language because of the extensive use of English language [7]. As an example, in the Arab world we now have what is called the Arabizi generation. Arabizi is a word that is used to describe the mixture use of both Arabic and English languages which was caused by the general interest of mastering English by Arabic native speakers [8]. This trend of mixing Arabic and English resulted in weaken the hegemony of Arabic language especially with children which led to an issue of identity for them.

The side effects of the spread of English on native speakers are limited but important. One thing is that English native speakers lost one aspect of their uniqueness which is their language, as they are not longer the only ones who use it. Another disadvantage for the next English native generation is that they face the threat of ending up of having only one language while the whole world is forced to learn English in combination with their own mother tongue language which will have its cultural political and economical threat on them [9].

Although mastering English is of major importance, people shouldn't neglect mastering their own mother tongue language in order to maintain their identity and distinguishing themselves from other nations and cultures. It is also important for English people to start learning other languages to keep up with rest of the world.


The references:

[1] D. Crystal, Thecambridge encyclopedia of the English language. New York: Cambridge University press, 2003, pp. 106

[2] G. Schiltz. (2004, Jun 2). Lecture 7: World-Wide English. [Online]. Available: on 21 Apr 2010

[3]K. Beare. (n.d.). How many people learn Englishglobally?. [Online]. Available: on 21 Apr 2010

[4] J. Korpela. (2003, Sep 2). English – the universal language on the Internet?. [Online]. Available: on 21 Apr 2010

[5] T. Morgan. (2008, Sep 21). UAE: Poor English limiting university access. University world news. [Online]. 0045. Available: on 21 Apr 2010

[6] The Language Chronicle. (2008, Aug 3). The Challenge of Learning a New Language. [Online]. Available: on 21 Apr 2010

[7] R. Rubdy and M. Saraceni, English in the world. NY: Continuum, 2006, pp. 187

[8] R. Habib. (2005, Dec 18). Thoughts on Arabizi. Gulf news. [Online]. Available: on 4 Apr 2010

[9] M. Taylor. (2006, Feb 15). Global spread of English ‘a threat to UK’. The Guardian. [Online]. Available: on 14 Apr 2010



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