Thursday, June 10, 2010
The English language
Approximately 375 million people speak English as their first language. English today is probably the third largest language by number of native speakers, after Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
English is the primary language in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guam, Guernsey, Guyana, Ireland , The Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Montserrat, Nauru, New Zealand, Pitcairn Islands, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Because English is so widely spoken, it has often been referred to as a "world language", the lingua franca of the modern era, and while it is not an official language in most countries, it is currently the language most often taught as a foreign language.
English is the language most often studied as a foreign language in the European Union, by 89% of schoolchildren, ahead of French at 32%, while the perception of the usefulness of foreign languages amongst Europeans is 68% in favour of English ahead of 25% for French. Among some non-English speaking EU countries, a large percentage of the adult population can converse in English - in particular: 85% in Sweden, 83% in Denmark, 79% in the Netherlands, 66% in Luxembourg and over 50% in Finland, Slovenia, Austria, Belgium, and Germany.
Books, magazines, and newspapers written in English are available in many countries around the world, and English is the most commonly used language in the sciences with Science Citation Index reporting as early as 1997 that 95% of its articles were written in English, even though only half of them came from authors in English-speaking countries.
The impact of the English language globally has sometimes had a large impact on other languages, leading to language shift and even language death and to claims of "English Language Imperialism". English itself is now open to language shift as multiple regional varieties feed back into the language as a whole. For this reason, the 'English language is forever evolving'.
Those who rejects learning the English language and mastering it are doomed to be forever as much use as a handbrake on a canoe because English is the lingua franca of the modern world today.
Later, I will write about the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English (PPSMI) and why I totally support it. Our government should steer ahead with the policy and be damned with all the detractors because this policy will be good for our country in the long run.
To conclude, those who rejects PPSMI like the GMP (Gerakan Memansuhkan PPSMI) are plain idiot. Because of their stupidity, they want others to be stupid too so that we won't understand the propaganda of those who want to colonise us once again.