Multilingualism in the English-speaking World and the Influence of English as a Global Language, E REMIŠOVÁ

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Content: MASARYK UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF ARTS DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH AND AMERICAN STUDIES ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE ERIKA REMISOVБ MULTILINGUALISM IN THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING WORLD AND THE INFLUENCE OF ENGLISH AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE BACHELOR'S DIPLOMA THESIS SUPERVISOR: PHDR. JITKA VLCKOVБ, PH.D. 2008
I declare that I have worked on this thesis independently, using only the primary and secondary sources listed in the bibliography. ............................. 1
I would like to thank my supervisor PhDr. Jitka Vlckovб, Ph.D. for her help under difficult circumstances. 2
1. Introduction..........................................................................................................4 2. Multilingualism versus lingua franca ................................................................5 2.1. What is multilingualism? ...............................................................................5 2.2. How could a language become the lingua franca? ........................................5 2.3. On what basis did English become the global language? ..............................6 3. Vanishing of the languages..................................................................................6 3.1. Vanishing of the languages............................................................................6 3.2. Different types of language loss ....................................................................7 4. Attempts of Anglicization in history ..................................................................9 4.1. Ireland ............................................................................................................9 4.2. Wales ...........................................................................................................10 4.3. Scotland .......................................................................................................10 5. Present situation in particular languages ........................................................11 5.1. Irish Gaelic...................................................................................................11 5.2. Welsh ...........................................................................................................12 5.3. Scottish.........................................................................................................13 5.4. Cornish.........................................................................................................13 5.5. Manx ............................................................................................................14 5.6. Aboriginal languages in Australia and New Zealand ..................................14 5.7. USA .............................................................................................................16 5.8. Canada .........................................................................................................18 5.9. South Africa.................................................................................................20 5.10. Caribbean .................................................................................................20 5.11. The number of the English-speakers in the world ...................................21 6. ..................................................................................................................................22 6.1. "Mosaic" model versus "melting pot" model ..............................................22 6.2. Immersion schooling in the English-speaking countries .............................23 6.3. Language stimulation support......................................................................25 6.4. Radical parties..............................................................................................26 6.5. United Nations: Unity in Diversity, Global Understanding ........................27 7. ..................................................................................................................................27 7.1. Rejection of English.....................................................................................27 7.2. History of corporal punishment for speaking the minority language ..........28 8. ..................................................................................................................................29 8.1. English and the movie industry ...................................................................29 8.2. English and the Internet ...............................................................................30 8.3. Simplification of the English language........................................................31 9. The future of English as a global language......................................................32 10. Conclusion ......................................................................................................35 11. Bibliography ...................................................................................................37 3
1. Introduction In my thesis I would like to concentrate on the English language and the influence it has on the minority languages in the English-speaking world. I am going to look at different aspects with the aim to find out why English has become the new lingua franca and what were the major factors giving it this status. I am going to focus on what I recognise to be the major deciding factors throughout the history like the influence of cinema and film industry earlier on and the expansion of the Internet later on. I am going to point out different attitudes of either rejection or accepting of the English language as the lingua franca throughout the world. Most importantly I am going to look at possibilities of at least slowing down the process of minority language extinction, suggesting what steps should be taken to achieve this goal. I am going to concentrate on countries in which English is the mother tongue and the official language. These are USA, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and some Caribbean countries. I am also going to look at endangered or vanished languages in the countries mentioned above. 4
2. Multilingualism versus lingua franca 2.1. What is multilingualism? Even though this question might seem quite straight forward, it turns out that the answer is more complicated than might have been expected. Some experts would suggest that multilingualism is when people are fluent in two or more languages. This means they need to be competent in one language as well as the other one. On the other hand, there are people of an opinion that if people are able to convey their message in more than one given language, even though we cannot talk about a proficiency level of fluency, they still qualify to be called multilingual. These two definitions obviously suggest something very different and for reasons like these it is rather complicated to approach numbers that mirror the reality. The known fact is that many more people in the world are multilingual than monolingual. 2.2. How could a language become the lingua franca? The most common answer to this question would probably be that many predominant nations speak it. This is not necessarily the case though and most certainly not the deciding factor. The proof of this is that despite the fact that languages like Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Hindi/Urdu have many more native speakers than English and although these languages have considerably strong position they were never viewed as lingua franca. Much more important than the quantity is what kind of people speak the language. A language gains this status based on power. This could be either based on economic power of the country which speaks the language, political power of the country or power of the church / a religion, which in the past helped Latin retain its 5
lingua franca status for centuries. The combination of these as well as other factors is the key to a global language. 2.3. On what basis did English become the global language? Looking at the timeline of when this shift towards the importance of English started happening, it was the power of Britain as a leading colonial nation in the 17th century that started off what was to follow. During the next two centuries Britain retained its position as a leading industrial giant and as we moved through the 20th century the dominant position on the world stage was taken over by North America partially thanks to the cinema and television broadcasting. Undoubtedly, the media had a big impact, development of technology and electronic communication including the Internet. Approximately 40 % of the volume published on the Internet is in English (Crystal, Global Language 115). In the past two decades popular music has been the significant factor together with the need to follow anything that is American. These events in part explain the powerful position of the English language in the world and how it became chosen as the lingua franca. 3. Vanishing of the languages 3.1. Vanishing of the languages An estimate says that about half of the known languages have died out gradually in the last 500 years. (Nettle and Romaine 2) Some languages might not have left any written forms whatsoever. This suggests that the numbers might actually be considerably higher. We are not talking 6
about some phenomenon that was happening centuries ago, but the fact that it is going on probably even this moment somewhere in the world. Sadly, not many people seem to pay enough attention to this problem that has been going on for years. Many articles are published about the climate change and all the endangered species in the world, but not nearly as much is discussed about the endangered languages that are dying before our very own eyes and are in the process of being forgotten forever. Obvious factors that are speeding up the whole process are that the technological world is being developed in English and the fact that international finance is nearly always transacted using the English language. These factors have helped English maintain its solid position on the linguistic ladder. 3.2. Different types of language loss In the book Vanishing Voices the authors Daniel Nettle and Suzanne Romaine, 2000, divided the types of language loss into three different categories. The first one was named language loss by population loss. This type has been happening for centuries especially with Indigenous and Aboriginal people as a result of the arrival of Europeans to the American continent and Australia. The Europeans brought with them numerous unknown diseases, which the local people were vulnerable towards. In some cases the diseases killed over 50 % and even in some exceptional circumstances up to 90 % of the indigenous population and substantial number of languages came to an end as a result. Another reason for this type of language loss can be a natural disaster like volcano eruption when it is easily possible for a small group of speakers together with their language to be killed (Nettle and Romaine 52). Another way of the language loss mentioned in the book is a shift from one language to another. This shift can either be voluntary or forced. The example of a 7
voluntary shift is Cornish people, who considered speaking English more useful and convenient rather than speaking Cornish. This particular shift cannot be blamed on population loss as the number of Cornish people has actually increased rather than declined lately (ibid. 133). The forced shift occurred a lot among Indigenous people where children were separated from their families at a very young age and sent to the all-English immersion schools. A language can be killed when the people living in rainforests that were cleared out completely were forced to move elsewhere. For small groups of people where the language has maybe a few hundred speakers and possibly less, this move almost automatically results in the loss of the language as the chances that enough people of the same group will stay together become rather unlikely. Many people do not realise that a language cannot thrive and will not thrive without a socio-economic basis. In the case of voluntary shift it can last several hundred years for the languages to disappear completely. Here Nettle and Romaine describe two different kinds of language death. The first one they named "from the top down". In this kind of language death the language usage is terminated by official institutions like the courts, politics or church but continues in the home or among friends. Gaelic speakers in Scotland, Punjabi speakers in Britain or Italian speakers in the USA represent this shift. Gradually the speakers are usually less and less fluent which results in the simplification of the grammar and the shrinking of the vocabulary trying to convey their message. The consequences can be rather harmful for the given language. The threat is that because these speakers are more fluent in English they might decide not to transmit the language to the next generation, which results in eventual language extinction. 8
On the other hand "from the bottom up" language death is brought about by restricting its usage in everyday life. It works this way in numerous Indigenous languages that people speak English on daily basis and the Indigenous language is only used on special occasions in church or some special events. People lose their fluency, which gets gradually worse from one generation to another. It needs to be said that we cannot always point at a particular way of language loss as often they blend together and more than one factor is responsible (Nettle and Romaine 92). 4. Attempts of Anglicization in history 4.1. Ireland Henry VIII's Act for the English Order, Habit and Language quotes "Nothing which does more contain and keep many of his subjects in a certain savage and wild kind and manner of living than the diversity that is betwixt them in tongue, language, order and habit." It implied that the Irish "to the utmost of their power, cunning and knowledge, shall use and speak commonly the English tongue and language" (Nettle and Romaine 140). Even though the clergy accepted usage of English in church and schools, the one thing that caused the decline was not until three hundred years later when massive migration to the areas where Irish was not spoken was the result of the agricultural collapse (ibid. 139-140). 9
4.2. Wales People of Wales were forced to join the mainstream society under the reign of Henry IV in the 15th century. Welsh speakers were denied economic or social progress by not being able to own a land in the border areas or were not able to hold a municipal office. Apart from these restrictions they were not allowed to carry arms, were denied the freedom of assembly without permit or when some goods from a border town were stolen and not recovered within one week, any Welshman captured could have been punished for the crime he had not committed. The 1536 Act of Union did not allow Welsh people to hold offices and imposed English church and English judges. Surprisingly, similar policies continued all the way until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1846 Welsh was attacked by the government commissioners as "Disastrous barrier to all moral improvement and popular progress in Wales which distorts the truth, favours fraud and abets perjury" (Nettle and Romaine 139). In some schools a wooden badge, worn for speaking Welsh, called "Welsh not", persisted all the way until the beginning of the 20th century. There is no need to stress what destroying effect these implications had on Welsh language (ibid. 139). 4.3. Scotland Under the reign of James I (James VI of Scotland) an extensive process of Anglicization happened. As a result clan chiefs were forced to send their children to English schools and Anglophone churches were imposed. His 1616 Act for the Settling of Parochial Schools quoted "The vulgar English tongue be universally planted, and the Irish language, which is one of the chief and 10
principal causes of the continuance of barbarity and incivility amongst the inhabitants of the isles and Highlands, may be abolished and removed." Later on in the beginning of the 19th century Gaelic speakers were cleared from the Scottish Highlands into more marginal areas to break their community, which resulted in decline of Gaelic language usage (Nettle and Romaine 140). 5. Present situation in particular languages 5.1. Irish Gaelic Numbers of Irish speakers fell rapidly in around 1800, when they went down from about 1.5 million to about six hundred thousand by the beginning of the 20th century. Irish language seemed to have disappeared from some parts of the island completely, especially the eastern half. Nowadays the numbers of Irish speakers reach approximately the same level and the language is taught at most schools as the second language. Although the numbers might seem quite encouraging in the Irish Republic with 43 % of people, which represents about 1,43 million, claiming their ability to use it in oral and written form, they admit to speak the language less than once a week. The main problem appears to be the fact that Irish is not spoken at home frequently enough and the lack of usage within community as means of everyday communication, which prevents people from achieving native fluency and leaves it almost with the foreign language status. "A language cannot be saved by singing a few songs or having a word printed on a postage stamp. It cannot even be saved by getting "official status" for it, or getting it taught in schools. It is saved by its use (no matter how imperfect) by its 11
introduction and use in every walk of life and at every conceivable opportunity until it becomes a natural thing, no longer laboured or false. It means in short a period of struggle and hardship. There is no easy route to the restoration of a language." Ellis and mac a'Ghobhainn (Nettle and Romaine 176). Many people end up disillusioned and feeling that the time spent learning Irish at school was wasted. With this kind of approach it would not be too much of a surprise if it led to a gradual death of the language. The situation is much worse in Northern Ireland where only 4.3% claim to be able to read and write in Irish. A drastic action needs to be taken in order to save the language. Otherwise the whole extinction process might only be a matter of a few generations. The situation is vaguely better since joining the EU in 1973 but thanks to the government's passive approach Irish still belongs to the group of endangered languages. There is a television channel called Teilifis na Gaeilge which operates in Irish language. BBC Northern Ireland provides approximately forty hours of radio broadcast in Irish and more Irish can be heard on Radio Teilefis Eireann. (http://islandireland.com/Pages/irish.html) In 2004 there were eighteen Irish medium schools with 2,598 students, two universities offered courses in Irish language and literature and one teacher-training college ran courses for the teachers of Irish (Edwards 112). 5.2. Welsh As one Welsh saying says "Land without a language, land without a heart". At present the situation in Wales appears to be a bit more optimistic as it holds the strongest position of all the Celtic languages. The 2001 census showed the increase in 12
the number of speakers of Welsh where almost twenty one per cent speak the language now. There was a number of language acts implied in Wales throughout the years and although the 1967 Welsh language Act offering equality for English and Welsh was more theoretical than practical, the 1993 Welsh Languages Act offers the right to speak Welsh in places like court and guarantees total equality of English and Welsh languages (Nettle and Romaine 193). 5.3. Scottish Although some might protest that Scottish is only a mispronounced English, it does have a status of a language on different basis. Grammar and vocabulary vary sufficiently from southern English. There are different ways of creating plural, usage of articles and word pronunciation. In Scottish there are idioms English speakers would not use. The language is a good way to prove their identity as Scots. Spoken Scottish has been continuously changing. It varies from region to region and, of course, depends on the class, age group as well as ethnic group using the language. People are often inspired by the language used in the media. Some old words died out and some new were brought into the vocabulary. One of the common mistakes is when people speaking Scottish are accused of speaking bad English for their distinctive pronunciation and grammar. 5.4. Cornish The language once spoken on everyday basis by as many as 38,000 people is now spoken by as little as about 350 in the UK and is one of the endangered languages 13
in the UK. Except for being spoken at home by a number of families it is as well used in business within Cornish organisations and variety of social ceremonies. There are a number of organisations trying to promote the language by publishing of literature such as novels, poetry and children's books to attract the attention of younger generation. Primary schools and educational organisations are doing their best to promote the language by offering classes in Cornish not only in Cornwall but in London as well as overseas. There is relatively a lot of interest from the descendents of Cornish people from all over the world to get in touch with the language although it is rather optimistic to presume these people will acquire fluent knowledge or use the language at home. 5.5. Manx This Celtic language of the Isle of Man was spoken by 1,689 out of 76,315 persons according to the 2001 census. Its government is being very supportive of the preservation of the language. They are trying to keep up a "Positive National Identity" by promoting the language in the media like radio, newspapers and education, which is obviously the most efficient way of bringing up more fluent speakers. There are optional classes available for the children aged 8 and older whose parents would like them to be brought up in Manx. Interestingly Manx is getting more and more visible on the Isle of Man, which is most definitely a good sign for the future of the language. 5.6. Aboriginal languages in Australia and New Zealand Situation in Australia is not much more optimistic than other parts of the English-speaking world. It is believed that before the arrival of the Europeans there 14
were as many as 270 different languages spoken in Australia. It is a very different scene nowadays though. The Aboriginal population of Tasmania disappeared within 75 years of contact with Europeans (Nettle and Romaine 51). Linguists believe that Aboriginal languages in Australia are dying out rapidly at a scary rate of one or more a year and most of them are probably as little as one generation away from complete extinction. It is still amazing, that almost all the Aboriginal languages somehow managed to survive into this century. The problem is though, that they are unable to recruit new speakers and are even losing the existing ones. At present as many as ninety per cent of the languages spoken in Australia are feared to be near extinction. This is without doubt an alarming number and the prognosis for the future is that only about two or three will survive this century. Of about fifty widely spoken languages only eighteen are believed to have more than five hundred speakers. And these eighteen belong to a group of about 25,000 of the remaining 30,000 speakers altogether. Just to make things worse, none of the speakers use their language in all the fields of everyday life within a large community. Twenty Aboriginal languages are being taught at schools (Nettle and Romaine 9). In this case we can talk about gradual death, where the language is less and less spoken from one generation to another based on "use it or lose it" system (ibid. 53). There are many known cases where family members from two generations apart are not able to communicate. The problem is that the grandparents only speak Aboriginal language and have limited vocabulary in English. On the contrary the grandchildren are fluent in English but have difficulties to have a conversation in the Aboriginal language. This suggests that the chances of the Aboriginal language to survive another generation are minimal or non-existing. 15
In New Zealand the only Indigenous language whose decline has been slowed down in the past few decades appears to be Maori. In the 2001 census Maori created 14.3% of the population, which represented 526,281 people. Out of these one in seven claims native fluency. The important factor here is that a large proportion of young people speak Maori, therefore there is hope for the language to survive (Edwards 24). As a Maori leader Sir James Hanare expressed in 1989 "The language is the life force of our Maori culture and mana (power). If the language dies, as some predict, what do we have left of us? Then, I ask our own people who are we?" (Nettle and Romaine 23). Although Aboriginal people do have rights of their own and are not oppressed nowadays, they have lost most of their culture and traditional way of life has disappeared in order to fit in with the mainstream. This inevitably means speaking majority language, English, rather than their original language. Fortunately there are some organisations in Australia that are not giving up hope on teaching other languages than English. For example The Victorian School of Languages offers classes in more than forty languages excluding English. There are approximately fourteen thousand students in seven hundred classes. The number of students shows that people are keen to learn when they are given opportunity and that it is possible to live in harmony in a multicultural and multilingual society. 5.7. USA By 1950 the number of immigrants had risen to about 150 million and most of them came to the USA to speak English as part of the process of their assimilation. It is suggested that this linguistic unity was the base for keeping the nation strong in the period of this massive cultural diversification. 16
On the other hand, as expected, some minority groups started to feel the threat of identity loss. These differences in opinion triggered off the thoughts of nomination of English as an official language. With the indigenous people in the USA there has always been attempts to assimilate them and make them join the mainstream population. As Darryl Babe Wilson, a Native American, quoted "We must know the white man language to survive in this world. But we must know our own language to survive forever" (Nettle and Romaine 192). Those Indigenous people who managed to escape the diseases and slaughter had their children separated from them and sent to English-only boarding school. Even nowadays there is still a lot of pressure to abandon their languages for various reasons such as politics, economy etc. The statistics from 1962 registered about 210 native languages in the USA. Still only about eighty-nine were being used by all kind of age groups. Eighty-six of them had less than one hundred speakers and are now considered to be extinct. In the same year another seventy five languages had between one hundred and one thousand speakers and in the not far future these are expected to meet the same faith as the extinct ones. In the USA languages like Dakota and Navajo still have thousands of speakers and are running different school projects in order to preserve their culture and language usage. The USA is clearly the country with the leading number of English native speakers. These form approximately seventy per cent of all English native speakers. For this reason the USA presently has the most power in influencing which way the language is likely to develop in the future (Crystal, Global Language 31-36). 17
5.8. Canada The situation in Canada is rather complicated and specific when it comes to language issues. English and French are two official languages spoken here. Quebec is the only province officially French-speaking, New Brunswick is the only bilingual province, all the other provinces are officially English-speaking. Interestingly enough, children of the "inter-marriages" in Quebec tend to speak English, even though they live in a French-speaking province. The position of English is rather strong in Canada and English-speakers outnumber French-speakers greatly. In spite of this the position of French seems to be solid here and French-speakers do not feel threatened of the language loss but quite the opposite. The position of French has greatly strengthened in the past years. In 1969 Official Languages Act stated that all the signs across Canada in the federal government buildings as well as labelling and food packaging had to be written in English as well as French. In 1977 this was taken one step further from the French side when in Quebec English signs were banned on exterior signs altogether. Some cases would take absurd measures and translate the names of large food chains known worldwide in English and translate them into French. The size of the signs was the cause of numerous arguments as the Francophones would demonstrate against English signs being bigger than the French ones. Following numerous protests from the Anglophones this decision of prohibition of the English signs was banned for violation of freedom of expression. "Greater visibility" or "marked predominance" of French was permitted, but English could not have been prohibited altogether. Nowadays bilingual or even multilingual signs are common and accepted in Canada. 18
The language issue in Canada is an especially delicate subject as Englishspeakers feel like they are accommodating French-speakers and vice versa. In general Canada seems to be quite open and supportive towards the immigrant groups and their maintaining of their original language and their identity. The 1971 Multiculturalism Act was meant to promote all the languages and cultures throughout the country. Before 1971 not much attention was paid to the Allophones (people speaking neither English nor French) as the country was too busy focusing on the English-French issues. In general, immigrants would assimilate, speak English and gradually blend with the mainstream society. Even though Canada is quite open towards the so-called "mosaic model", the immigrants seem to prefer the "melting pot model". The ancestors of immigrants speaking Italian, Punjabi etc. normally concentrate around some larger Canadian cities (http://enkerli.wordpress.com). Some individuals or groups of people get very emotional and have very strong feelings when it comes to their language and the threat of their identity loss. As Rene Levesque, Quebec Prime Minister has said once "Being ourselves is essentially a matter of keeping and developing a personality that has survived for three and a half centuries. At the core of this personality is the fact that we speak French....To be unable to live as ourselves, as we should live, in our own language and according to our own ways, would be like living without a heart." (Nettle and Romaine 192-193) The two official languages in Canada are English and French. There are as well some recognised regional languages. These are Chipewyan, Cree, Dogrib, Gwich'in, Inuktitut (including Inuvialuktun and Inuinnaqtun) and Slavey (including North and South Slavey). 19
5.9. South Africa In 1822 English was established the official language with the attempt to anglicise the large population speaking Afrikaans. English was used as the official language in different fields like law, public life and education. Hundreds of thousands of English-speaking immigrants arrived here by the end of the 19th century. Different parts of the country were represented by different English accents. London accent was represented mostly in the Cape area and Midlands and northern British accent mostly in Natal on the east coast. The 1993 Constitution names eleven official languages in South Africa including English and Afrikaans. It shows their ambition for the multicultural society although it brings about numerous difficulties with the administration in so many languages. The position of English in South Africa is pretty solid. A large proportion of parents prefers for their children to receive their education in English rather than Afrikaans. English was much more popular language to be used in the Parliament too with 83 % (Crystal, Global Language 43-46). 5.10. Caribbean The growth of several forms of pidgin was a consequence of shipping of African slaves to the Caribbean in the 17th century. The slaves talking the same language were not allowed to travel together in order to prevent rebellion plotting. The pidgin forms developed as a result of slaves trying to talk to the sailors who mostly spoke English. After reaching the Caribbean, the pidgin forms continued to be means of communication between the slaves and the landowners as well as between the slaves 20
themselves. For the next generation these pidgin forms developed to be the mother tongue (Crystal, Global Language 39). 5.11. The number of the English-speakers in the world It seems impossible to approach the precise number of people who speak English as people responsible can not agree on who is an English-speaker. What makes an English-speaker? Is it somebody who is exposed to English on regular basis? Or is it somebody who has at least a basic or reasonable command in English? Or can we only consider a person who is fluent in English to be an English-speaker? It largely varies from people who have some knowledge of English but are not able to have a fluent conversation to people who are fluent in English. If we look at the number of people who learnt English at school as their first language, in the early 2000s we would get a number close to 329 million. But if we want to include people who speak pidgin and Creole English, then we should add about another 80million to the 329 million, which gives the result of more than 400 million speakers. But even this number is not precise as we are missing some English-speakers from some countries of African as well as Asian continent. With the high number of inhabitants for example in the Asian countries, even a small percentage difference does influence the overall numbers substantially. We come up with a conclusion that all the numbers are only approximate and possibly rather distant from real numbers. 21
6. 6.1. "Mosaic" model versus "melting pot" model These two models represent different approaches some countries apply towards immigrants. The "mosaic" model is well known for example for Canada. It is based on belief that the country should support the cultural diversity of the immigrants rather than try to assimilate them into a mainstream population. The model in favor of assimilation of the immigrants is the "melting pot" model, which is applied in the USA. This model is based on the fact that no matter who the immigrants have been in the past, in order to be accepted by the society they need to adopt and follow their new country's way of life. This includes the language issue as well. Their primary purpose is to become a single culture with everything that belongs to it. Although Canada is very proud of their "mosaic" model, lately it has been showing that people are more in favor of the assimilation and against the "numerous cultures within a culture", especially as they grow older. Even though the "mosaic" model has proved to work well for years, people find it hard having to deal with different minorities and trying to please them all in all the fields. The 2005 results of The Dominion Institute and an Innovative Research Group, which are both placed in Canada showed that out of 1,016 randomly asked Canadians and one thousand randomly asked Americans sixty seven percent answered that new immigrants have a better chance of getting ahead in Canada than in the United States. This shows that the "mosaic" model appears to be working better for the immigrants. On the other hand, when asked "What should be the priority for new immigrants to Canada, seventy per cent of the Canadians replied "Adopting to the Canadian way of life" rather than "Sustaining the culture of their country of origin". In the USA seventy 22
six per cent of the respondents were in favor of the immigrants adopting to the American way of life rather than sustaining the culture of their country of origin. To show the difference in opinion between the younger and older generation in Canada and the US, while forty six per cent of the Canadians aged eighteen to twentyfour say adopt to the Canadian way of life, it rises to sixty five per cent among people aged twenty five to forty four and massive eighty one per cent among Canadians aged fifty five and over. In the United States it proved to be quite similar with identical forty eight per cent among younger generation being in favor of the immigrants adapting to the American way of life and ninety per cent among the older citizens aged sixty-five and over. Another result in the United States showed that the western region of the US is much more in favor of the immigrants adapting to the American way of life with eighty one per cent. White Americans share this opinion with seventy nine per cent more than non-whites with sixty five per cent. Even though there might be objections how is the attitude of the immigration policy relevant towards the language issue of the countries it shows that the countries with the "mosaic" model are more tolerant towards for example immersion schooling than the countries with the "melting pot" model. This will be mentioned further on in the following chapter (www.helium.com). 6.2. Immersion schooling in the English-speaking countries This type of education was first established in Montreal, Canada, in 1960s by a group of people who realised the importance of the French language competence in professional life as well as socialising. The plan was to expose their English-speaking 23
children to French only first and then, gradually, introduce English and reach the level of half French and half English education. This method proved very successful and many more followed this trend. The students managed to acquire English proficiency in combination with a very high level of the second language. Presently approximately seven per cent of the schooling population is involved in immersion schooling. Canada's approach towards immersion schooling was far more enthusiastic then other English-speaking countries. The USA's choice of languages for immersion schooling would be mostly English and Spanish with Spanish being the second most spoken language in the country. The difference in the interest in immersion schooling between Canada and the USA is shown by number of students involved in it. While in Canada, the country with one tenth of the population of the USA approximately 300,000 students were involved, it is only about twenty thousand students in the USA. Parents in Canada see this way of education not only as a linguistic advantage towards the monolingual speakers, but a right direction towards the mutual cultural understanding in the multicultural country. In 1970s Australia was supportive towards this type of education with "unity in diversity". Initially this involved languages like French or German, but gradually more and more languages like Vietnamese, Arabic, Chinese or Hebrew were added. They involve university as well as lower levels of education and there are more than forty programmes to choose from. Unfortunately the approach of the United Kingdom towards this time of education was rather passive. In general we could divide the types of immersion schooling as following: 24
Total immersion, usually taught from kindergarten to grade two, includes all the subjects being taught in the second language. The proportion of English increases in the upper grades to about twenty to fifty percent. Partial immersion includes about half the subjects being taught in the second language with partial instructions in English. Nevertheless, this type of education is obviously more costly than a single language learning which often prevents this form of education from happening. (Edwards 138) 6.3. Language stimulation support The speakers of the endangered languages are desperately trying to come up with different ideas how to preserve and possibly gradually enlarge the number of speakers. The most efficient way is to make the people use the language within community on everyday basis and even more preferably at home. Although it is important to teach the language at school, in practice the results are less satisfying and the knowledge is more theoretical than practical. The First Nations in Canada act actively in this perspective. The Innu community of North Eastern Quebec has come up with an interesting "system of buttons". It works on the basis of fluent speakers wearing a blue button and learners wearing a red button. The fluent speakers are expected to use the language with both blue and red button wearers to keep it alive and enhance the fluency of the learners. Elder people are encouraged to speak to the younger generation using the original language. One language activist explained the frustration of the situation that it is "like trying to stitch together the fragile threads of a special cloth that is coming apart in your hands" (Edwards 88). 25
On the other hand Wales is relying on the method through education, which proved to work well. The one downside is the bilingual parents who encourage the monolingual bringing up of their children in English. The reason for this decision could be their worry of jeopardizing of their children's English proficiency and consequently putting them in a less desirable position in their professional life. However, this concern has never proved to be justified and the question of bilingualism versus monolingualism will be further discussed in another chapter. Some other attempts of Wales in order to promote their language include leisure or social activities allowing the parents with children socialize in Welsh. Young children can access numerous bilingual books and CDs with for example nursery rhymes in Welsh to keep in touch with the language. There are number of organizations such as the Cylchoedd Ti a Fi, which translates as You and Me Circles, offering practical support for families and advice in bringing up children bilingually in English and Welsh. Ireland has come up with an encouraging idea of an annual competition with rewarding the communities, which have been successful in promoting the Irish language. Communities have shown a lot of interest throughout the country. 6.4. Radical parties There are situations when groups of people get frustrated about the situation in the country and the inability or the lack of interest from the side of government. They decide to fight for what they understand as their rights and often take more radical action than we are used to. They either fight for the independence of their country, or like to following ones are trying to preserve the national values like their mother tongue. These following parties object to English taking over their language and demand more 26
effort for the situation to turn otherwise. These are some examples of the radical parties in the English-speaking world: Mouvement de libйration nationale du Quйbec (MLNQ) this party is seeking independence for the French-speaking provinces from the predominantly Englishspeaking Canada. Cymdeithas DJ Cymru 1400 is a Welsh Republican movement focused on preserving the Welsh language and the culture. 6.5. United Nations: Unity in Diversity, Global Understanding The year 2008 has been proclaimed International Year of Languages by the United Nations. The organisation does not agree with English taking over other languages and is strongly in favour of linguistic preservation. As a proof of their attitude towards this issue the Assembly has proclaimed that all the six official languages used by the United Nations, which are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, have the same level of importance and English language will not be preferred in any form. All the official documents must be published in all the six languages to promote the linguistic diversity. (http://portal.unesco.org/culture) 7. 7.1. Rejection of English "To give millions a knowledge of English is to enslave them... Is it not a painful thing that, if I want to go to a court of justice, I must employ the English language as a medium; that, when I became a Barrister, I may not speak my mother-tongue, and that 27
someone else should have to translate to me from my own language? Is this not absolutely absurd? Is it not a sign of slavery? ­ Gandi" (Crystal, Global Language 124). As the former president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, said in 1974: "The basis of any independent government is a national language, and we can no longer continue aping our former colonizers" (Crystal, Global Language 124). Judging according to these two examples, not everyone feels enthusiastic about English as a global language. Even though it should be making life easier in order of communication, some individuals or groups feel like their identity is at threat and that it is not right they have to give up their own language in order to succeed on the international scale. It sounds insane that some people are given corporal punishment for speaking their mother tongue. This issue is not easy to sort out, as the conflict between the need for intelligibility and need for identity can draw people in different ways. A rational solution here would be bilingual or multilingual education, which would enable people to keep both. 7.2. History of corporal punishment for speaking the minority language "A kick with a police riding boot administered by a 175-pound man upon the person of an eight-year-old boy for uttering the language of a savage left its pain for days and its bruise upon the spirit for life... And if a boot or a fist were not administered, then a lash or a yardstick was plied until the "Indian" language was beaten out. To boot and fist and lash was added ridicule. Both speaker and his language were assailed. "What's the use of that language? It isn't polite to speak another language in the presence of other people. Learn English! That's the only way you're going to get ahead. How can you learn two languages at the same time? No wonder kids 28
can't learn anything else. It's a primitive language; hasn't the vocabulary to express abstract ideas, poor. Say "ugh". Say something in your language!... How can you get your tongue around those sounds?" On and on the comments were made, disparaging, until in too many the language was shamed into silence and disuse (Edwards 98). This passage surely describes well enough what methods were used to prevent people from speaking their mother tongue. Although nowadays it might sound ridiculous and unbelievable, corporal punishment was very common. And shockingly enough, we are not talking about some phenomenon from many centuries ago. This form of punishment was still happening in the 1970s in the USA, so we are not talking about some underdeveloped third world countries. Minority language speakers in countries like Canada, Wales, Ireland and Scotland were forced to suffer this abuse for centuries. Mostly school children were beaten with a stick, had to lie in a row across tables being spanked, had their mouth washed out with soap for speaking their language, were hit with a strap or kicked. Verbal attacks were also very common and the victims suffered morally as a result of this abuse for the rest of their lives. 8. 8.1. English and the movie industry The appearance of the feature film was one of the deciding factors in the movie industry. The leadership was taken over by the USA movie giant, Hollywood studios in California. With the addition of sound in English in the 1920s this was a colossal step towards English language securing its position as the leading language. Ever since a high percentage of the world's blockbusters are in English rather than any other language. David Crystal mentions in his book English as a Global Language two 29
different periods of the movie industry. According to The picturegoer's who's who and encyclopaedia of the screen today, in 1933 thirty-two out forty-four studios listed were making movies in English. Only three per cent of all movies made then were in languages other than English. The situation has not changed dramatically ever since. According to the BFI film and television handbook listings, in 2002 less than twenty per cent of all the feature films released in the cinema were in languages other than English. Whether we like it or not, nowadays if an actor/actress is mentioned, in most people's mind there is an immediate collocation with Hollywood. English-language productions rule the world right now and are the winners of a substantial part of the Oscars as well as the world most prestigious festivals. Most countries in the world would show mostly English-production movies normally with subtitles of the local language. The example of how huge the influence of English is, is France, where before 1990s most of the audience was attracted by the local production. This has changed rapidly within as little as a decade and recent numbers show that French production includes as little as thirty per cent of the overall number of films showed in France (Crystal, Global Language 98-100). 8.2. English and the Internet The development of the electronic communication and the Internet in particular represented great boost for the English language. The Internet was introduced as a totally English medium with massive percentage of its volume written in English. A few years ago the experts prognosticated that English would probably remain the language for the Internet for the future. However, with the Internet globalisation the number of another languages has grown much faster than expected. One of the advantages of the 30
Internet is its relatively low cost comparing to other types of media like radio or television. What is even more convenient is the number of potential audience that is much wider than with the other media. For this reason it is much more accessible even for smaller or endangered languages to take part and have their say. It is rather difficult to trace how many languages are present on the Web, but the estimate is exceeding 1,500. The numbers show that the number of the Internet users between 1995 and 2000 had risen from 7 million to 136 million and that the number of newly created Websites in languages other than English was much higher than the number of those in English (Crystal, Global Language 120). Another advantage for the speakers of the languages that use other than Latin alphabet is the development of the UNICODE system, which allows them to write in for example Chinese, Hindi or Arabic. The general view of the experts nowadays is the belief in the great potential of the multilingual Web. 8.3. Simplification of the English language Because of the power of the English language it is natural that it is being used as means of communication in most international companies. To resolve the problem with not everyone speaking fluent English, some companies have created a list of about 850 basic words as well as simplified grammar and structure. These simplified rules are the basis for events like employee trainings. Similar demand for simplified English occurs in business or sales. Almost every single product being sold is accompanied by a leaflet of the product's description or instructions how to use it. It is understandable, that to make this information clear for the widest population possible, it needs to be written in as simple form as possible. 31
There is a company founded in the United Kingdom in 1979 called Plain English Campaign. The company specialises in plain language advocacy and making sure that official documents are intelligible for the widest public possible. The company sells its Crystal Mark logo often described as a reward. Thousands of documents have this logo all over the globe. 9. The future of English as a global language There have been many discussions among linguistic experts about the future of the global language. Is it going to stay the way things are now or is the position of English not strong enough to remain as the lingua franca? The conclusions vary and there are a few most commonly mentioned possibilities. The first one is that English will keep its power as a global language, although it will not be the Standard English as we know it nowadays. Its form will probably change as a result of the influence of the countries where English is not the mother tongue. The prognosis is that the biggest influence will be Asian countries like China, Korea or Japan. These are one of the countries famous for using the so called Vernacular English which is combination of English and their mother tongue. The results have been named accordingly as Chinglish, Konglish and Japlish. These are only few or many changing the English language by adding new vocabulary or simplifying the grammar. These English "varieties" are extremely popular and widely used and it is quite likely that in the future they will develop into being used as a standard form. Another possible outcome could be the so called International Colloquial English which is a mixture of English and "modern" words used on the Internet, in text 32
messages, slang or pop music words. Approximately 5,000 words are added to the dictionaries as a result of changing vocabulary. Lately it has been rather popular to pursue local dialects on the international level. What would have been laughed at or frowned upon few years ago is no being perceived as popular or cool. Influential people like pop stars are setting up trends followed by millions of mostly young people. It is very probable that in a few years these "new" expressions will be added to the standard usage. Naturally, some people are sceptical of the opinion that English, as a global language, will survive. According to them it might be replaced by either automatic translation done by computers or possibly replaced by so-called constructed language. The former is not impossible considering the fast development in the computer field. Maybe in a few years we will be able to write an email in our mother tongue, no matter what it is, and our recipient on the other end will be able to read it in his/her mother tongue. The one problem that could occur here is that computers will probably not be able to translate things like idiomatic expressions or homonyms correctly. For this reason there would still have to remain human translators to assist with these troublesome parts of the language. It can be also hardly expected that automatic translators would work with all the languages including the endangered ones. The constructed language option is also not impossible. There is more than one option that could be considered. The first one is that this language would be based on English, even though it would not be sharing a substantial part with it. This could happen as a consequence of the above mention Vernacular English usage if for example two big empires like China and Japan took over the economical power of the world and needed a language in common. The option of the constructed languages is that it would 33
be created "from the scratch" by a group of people as "the perfect language". There have been numerous attempts in the past, although without significant success. 34
10. Conclusion The existence of a lingua franca overall has had a negative and often catastrophic impact on linguistic diversity. Even though it makes life much easier in some respect in many different fields, on the international scale it had rather brutal consequences. It is unclear what the fate of not only the endangered languages is. The potentially widely used languages like French could be at risk as well. We are talking about languages here that still have millions of speakers nowadays. Although it might seem unlikely to think about the danger or their extinction today, it would be rather brave to state with certainty that these languages have no reason to worry about their existence in the future. We are not necessarily talking about the time scale of one or two decades. Nowadays not many people dare to predict where these languages will stand in fifty years. There is nothing wrong with having one language as a main source of communication, but more effort should be made to preserve and promote the minor languages, which suffer as a consequence of English language domination. Studies proved that bilingual students are able to reach a proficiency level in both languages and are not suffering disadvantages in any way. Their mastering of the languages is perfectly compatible with the monolingual students. Not only do they gain a linguistic advantage against their monolingual counterparts, but what is at least as important as the linguistic aspect is the multicultural understanding that the non-speakers will never gain. It is not only about the language itself, but more importantly about the sense of identity, being able to communicate with the relatives, destroying the barriers between the younger and older generation that are often brought about by not speaking the same language. These results should encourage more parents to consider the possibility of 35
bilingual or multilingual education for their children whenever possible. Naturally, this option can be financially quite demanding and that is where the governments ought to step in and offer as much help as possible. To avoid the extinction of further languages, number of factors need to be taken into consideration. We need to promote the multilingual education to the maximum extent. All the living languages should be promoted by the language organisations as well as associations for language preservation, which operate in the country. These organisations should cooperate with the government and support the same ideas in order to preserve the language of the country. English learning should be supported, but not on the expense of the native language loss. All the possible steps should be taken to stop or at least slow down the vanishing of the languages across the world. There is not much time left for making long-term decisions and action must be taken now, otherwise it will be too late. All the people and organisations must work closely together in order to reach this result. We all should open our eyes and see the how grave the situation really is. It is too selfish, irresponsible and careless to let this linguistic tragedy happen. 36
11. Bibliography Corbett, John. "Scots." 10 Apr. 2008 . Crystal, David. English as a Global Language. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ­ ­ ­ . Language Death. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. Edwards, Viv. Multilingualism in the English-speaking World. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. Enkerli, Alexander. "Stable Bilingualism and Multilingualism in Canada." 11 Oct. 2006. 17 Apr. 2008 . "General Assembly Proclaims 2008 International Year of Languages." 17 Apr. 2008 . "Illusion that Canada is a Multicultural Mosaic and the United States is a Melting Pot: A Majority of Both Canadians and Americans Want New Immigrants to Assimilate into Their New Country's Way of Life." 15 Nov. 2005. 12 Apr. 2008 . "Internet + English = Netglish." 23 March 2001. 17 Mar. 2008 . "Irish Language Resources." 20 Apr. 2008 . 37
Janson, Tore. Speak: A Short History of Languages. Oxford: OUP, 2002. Joseph, John E. Language and Identity: National, Ethnic, Religious. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Kelly, Phil. "Manx." 10 Apr. 2008 . "Lingua Franca: Language and the Internet." ABC Radio National. 24 Mar. 2001. 17 Mar. 2008 . MacKinnon, Kenneth. "Cornish." 10 Apr. 2008 . Nettle, Daniel and Suzanne Romaine. Vanishing Voices, the Extinction of the World's Languages. Oxford: OUP, 2000. Nishigaki, Toru. "Multilingualism on the Net." 4 Mar. 2008 . Pennycook, Alistair. The Cultural Politics of English as an International Language. London: Longman, 1994. Schneider, E. W. Englishes Around the World. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1997. Somes, Bill. "Assessing Population Integration Models: Mosaic vs. Melting Pot." 10 Apr. 2008 . Thomas, Peter Wynn Prof. "Welsh." 10 Apr. 2008 . 38
Trudgill, Peter. "English." 10 Apr. 2008 . "Victorian School of Languages." 15 Apr. 2008 . 39

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