Posted by: raylenharo | 12/04/2011

The dominance of English

English has emerged as a backbone for growth and development.

The statement above, spoken by the Rwandan trade and industry minister, Vincent Karega, is not just an explanation to the decision of switching the language taught in schools from French to English; it portrays something bigger: the power of the English language in the world today.

Rwanda, an African country which is considered an example for the emerging economies in the recent years, has used the French language in schools since 1994, with English as optional. But, in 2009, after more than a decade with French being the most used language in schools, English has turned into the “official educational language”.

This has a lot to do with the economy: the country has recently joined the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organization composed by countries which were formerly part of the British Empire. So, in order to prepare Rwandan kids to be able to negotiate properly with people from the Commonwealth in the future, they’ve decide to surrender to English.

But that’s not the only reason; due to its importance nowadays, knowing English is one of the main steps you should take in order to achieve success.

Along with the globalization and “Americanization” of the world, the language started to become more and more spoken, posing as the language of business, scientific research and worldwide communication. Some of the side effects are like the Rwanda example: change a tradition of more than 10 years to fit the global market.

Cases like that make us think: is this empowerment of the English language good or bad?

By Rayane

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Responses

  1. I think the “americanization” you mentioned is a tricky issue, unfortunately it may cause damages to a culture, which may lose its important characteristics in order to achieve some kind of economical status.

  2. I think when a language achieve this power, worldwide importance, It influences in many aspects, and the economy always adapts the way that helps itself, because every country views their grown in the world, and if it needs, always changes. They say that is to the best, but they don’t consider cultural and historical aspects. They change for their interests ( the ones in power in a country), and say that is for the country, and in fact, it is just to themselves.

  3. Actually, we have to recognize that if you want to participate in a gloalized world you must know how a computer works and how to speak english … talking about cultural an historical aspects, we have to preserve the influences of the past, but we have to be open minded to accept new ideas and evolve with it …


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