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Academic Paper


Title: The ET Column: Globalization and the spread of English: what does it mean to be Anglophone?
Author: Salikoko S Mufwene
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://humanities.uchicago.edu/faculty/mufwene/
Institution: University of Chicago
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The author wonders whether English is becoming as universal as is often claimed? Demand for English and American language centers has increased around the world, and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is now administered regularly in many metropolises. To ensure that their students are competitive, economically affluent countries have invested lots of money in the latest audio-visual technology while also recruiting the most competent teachers of English as a second or foreign language. South Korea has stood out in contracting American and British teachers to provide interaction-with-native-speaker experience to its students via satellite while European countries have benefited greatly from student exchange programs that enable their students to improve their competence by immersion in native socio-economic ecologies. Equally noteworthy are financial and emotional sacrifices endured by many, chiefly Korean, families whose mothers/wives and school-age children live in Anglophone countries so that the children can develop native competence in English. The relevant parents assume that as the world-wide market value of English continues to rise, every young person anywhere will need it, at least as a lingua franca, and the more fluent ones will have a competitive edge over their peers. Pop culture will undoubtedly have contributed its share to this rise of its market value.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Today Vol. 26, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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