The Continuing Development of English as a Global Language (Part 1)

The Continuing Development of English as a Global Language

War and colonization is the primary reason why any language becomes international. Looking into the perspective of the Iberian peninsula acquiring a romantic language is due to the fact that they were once under the rule of the Roman Empire. The same happened previously with Greece and its colonies. Nowadays, Spanish is spoken in the majority of South America and Central American due to prior rule by the Spanish Empire. Even though colonization isn't a continuing factor since the countries independence, there countries continue to speak in Spanish due to it being the lengua franca. There are doubtlessly multiple languages in each country but the “business language” – if you will – is Spanish.

Throughout the years of English as a global language there has developed three distinct circles. The inner circles refers to English in long-running British colonies (UK, USA, New Zealand, and Australia). We can refer to the second circle could be attributed with countries that are developing English throughout their already established language (India, Jamaica, and Philippines). Finally, it can be defined that countries which are gaining significant economic growth by recognizing that English is a growing global language (Holland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, etc.). These three circles encompass 750 million English speakers – L1, L2, and EFL speakers of English.

The emergence of the USA as an international power began with the US civil war. After the war there was an economic boom in the early 1870's with the coming of the Gold Rush. At the turn of the century, industrialization was enforced by the development of the production line (i.e. Ford Motor Company). The expansion of treaties with countries like Mexico led our economy to surpass the rest of the world's. Through the USA's large economy English is able to maintain its world power.

What we know today is that the obvious reason to speak English is to understand American capitalism. There are certain, specific examples of English words being the vocabulary of niche jobs – information technology. For example, my friend Javi works for an IT company and he has informed me that essentially every word that he has learned in his niche is directly an English word. Therefore, that which we understand now is that English is thriving on economic prowess rather than military enforcement.

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Tags: English, bilingual, bilingualism, education, globalization

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Comment by Selvakumar.S on May 27, 2013 at 10:53

Nowadays English language is very essential one for general communication in business and other day to day activities... Even we are all here because of English only.  As far as India is concerned.... most of the people feel that English is must to develop their career and expand their business in Worldwide.  We never mind that whether it is British English or American English but we need to English Language. 

Most of the people are working in a big company only by knowing English even though they do not know any subject.

If we know English then only we can improve our communication skills otherwise it would be very difficult to proceed further...


Comment by A dream on May 25, 2013 at 6:31

Hello Jeremy ,,,So i think nowadays economical matter is importance as much as political maybe more than that ,,and one of the reason that we can see we have English as business language also is the Economic hub of the world are native English and English is much more easier than a language like china and we can see English in lots of international contract and trade from long time ago than we can say that English has an historical record in the International community...

Thanks for sharing this valuable text :)"

Comment by Jeremy Luman on May 23, 2013 at 6:50


At least in the case with the conquest of North America I know that commercial activity was quite difficult.  The French traders spoke Iroquois or Algonquin -native languages- to communicate effectively.  It's hard for me to imagine how difficult it must have been to learn without the use of foreign language books or the internet.  We are truly blessed to communicate the way we can right now!

Comment by falcon on May 22, 2013 at 22:35

It's good to have one common language to communicate with the world.I was wondering,how people used to communicate or doing business with each other while there was not any common language and different people had different one.

Comment by Jeremy Luman on May 22, 2013 at 17:19

I speak American English, but I teach British English because I live in Spain and the textbooks are written with British English.  British English is far more popular, however, neither is "correct".

Comment by ⊱ Mickey ⊰ on May 22, 2013 at 17:05

Do you speak British English or American English? Which one is more popular in your opinion?

Thanks for sharing~ =)

Comment by noaslpls on May 22, 2013 at 7:54

Sure... will do.. 

Comment by Jeremy Luman on May 22, 2013 at 7:52

I added "Part 1" to the title. Thank you for the suggestion :) Hope you can check back to see the rest of the series.

Comment by noaslpls on May 22, 2013 at 7:51

Opppsssyyy ... You should put : Part One on top... and at the bottom :To be continued.  LOL. Sorry for getting ahead.

Comment by Jeremy Luman on May 22, 2013 at 7:45

You're getting ahead of me ;)  This blog post is part of a series of 4 which deal with the globalization of English.  Thank you for the feedback noaslpls!

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