English Language As A Dimension Of Imperial Power Essay

1584 Words Sep 15th, 2016 7 Pages
The permeation of English language, not only in term of geographical extent but also the domains it covers, has sparked controversy about its potentially imperialist quality. Modiano (2001) refers to linguistic imperialism as a process in which prescriptive norms of English language serve to undermine cultural and linguistic diversity of non-native English language speakers (NNES). However, recently, researchers have shown an increased interest in the concept of English language as a Lingua Franca (ELF) which emphasizes the communicative property of English language (Jenkins, 2003). Since the idea of ELF challenges the view of English language as oppressive to the cultural and linguistic diversity, the negative effects of English language in the NNES users are debatable. This essay will attempt to demonstrate that the impact of linguistic imperialism on non-native English speakers can be considered negative and that the users can be seen as victims. In this attempt, this essay will first discuss English language as a dimension of imperial power in political and socio-economic contexts. Secondly, this essay will try to show the impact on pedagogy. Finally, it will attempt to discuss how the development of English as Lingua franca may not successfully overcome the impact of linguistic imperialism on non-native users.

The influence of English language usage in international political contexts can be viewed as an aspect of neo-colonial power. Some economically and politically…

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