English, which is spoken by 1.9 billon of the world’s population as their first language (Redman, 2004), has been spreading rapidly in the world since the British Industrial Revolution and colonialism in many continents such as Asia, Africa and North America during the 18th century (Lavot, 2000). As the influence of English is increasing, some linguists think that it is a natural process of successful international communication. However, many other languages are also dying out at an accelerating rate because of the expansion of the English language. In discussing the issue of the growing influence of English; arguments, both for and against, should be considered, particularly, in the economic, the information exchange, the linguistic
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According to the article ‘Times of London’s Varsity Rankings: Scoring Revamp Sees NUS Drop from 19 to 33’ of Davie (2007), in The Straits Times, most of the world’s top 30 leading universities are located in countries where English is spoken as an official language, for example, Australia, the USA and the UK. Also, many global organisations such as the United Nations, the World Bank and the OPEC have adopted English is one of their official languages for their general meetings (Crystal, 1997). As a result, the increasing use of English can narrow the gap between people with different languages and also assist in interchanging information from a party to another party.
Another positive outcome is that English promotes cultural understanding. In multicultural countries such as Australia, there are different races of people such as Chinese, Europeans, Japanese and Korean. People can share their own culture with others and also to understand the cultures of others. The growing using of English can create a channel for them to share and understand different culture. People will start understanding and appreciating other cultures as language is no more an obstacle for them.
On the other hand, the growing influence of English may result in language and culture extinction. Under the growing influence of ‘English is the global lingua franca’, unique languages, such as