English as an International Language

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Cojocaru Olga-Georgiana, Master STA, anul I,sem. I ENGLISH AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE Abstract This paper is intended to raise awareness on the aspects which define English as an international language, by examining the characteristics of an international language, the number of users, how it spread to reach global status, what factors may impede its continued spread and what dangers are involved in the development of English as an international language. English’s international status is determined by a constellation of political, economic,…show more content…
Nowadays, there are over seventy countries in which English holds this special status. Kachru(1989) stats that English serves different roles in different countries. He categorizes the countries in which English is used in three concentric circles: (a) the Inner Circle, where English is the primary language of the country. This is the case of Australia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom; (b) the Outer Circle, where English plays the role of a second language. These countries are multilingual and include Singapore, India, and the Philippines; and (c) the Expanding Circle, where English is widely studied as a foreign language such as in China, Japan, and Korea. With the passing of time, changes have occurred and many countries which were before categorized as in the Expanding Circle have more English-speaking bilinguals than countries in the Outer Circle. One of the advantages of Kachru’s model is that it highlights the unique development of English in these three contexts (Graddol 1997). The migration of English speakers led to a wide spread of this language as a primary language. Things developed in different directions, each country developing its varieties. The second category is a result of colonization, which divides in two types of linguistic development. Some countries which where under colonial powers developed English as elite second language and others, the cause was the slave trade which influenced the spoken
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