English as a Dominant Language of the 21st Century

English as a Dominant Language in the 21st Century

The global dominance of English language indicates that it’s likely to remain the most widely accepted language in the near and far future. English has continually played a significant role in making information accessible to the worldwide population. The language is currently a prerequisite for any organization and individuals that desire to compete effectively within the global markets. The changes in the economic structures that saw the demise of the centrally-managed capitalist economic model, geopolitical realignment and the remarkable growth of information technology continually favored the adoption and acceptance of the English Language over time. The same factors are likely to be observed in the 21st century, making it possible that English will remain the dominant language. A number of scholars have also argued that other languages, of the emerging economies, may challenge the dominant position of English. Nevertheless, it is mandatory that a challenging language will need to be standardized to accommodate a better percentage of the population; that is not foreseeable making it impossible for any language to gain dominance over the English language. English will remain the dominant language of the 21st century because it is widely spread, easy to study and currently adopted in most countries as an official language. To justify the above assertions the current paper will explore the various factors contributing to the dominance of the language and their consequent role in ensuring that the English remains an overriding language in the 21st century.

The global spread of English language has contributed significantly to it being a world’s dominant language. The wide range of functions of the language, the higher number of users and its depth of penetration into the society have contributed to the immense widespread observed in the past 40 years (Pennycook, 2017). Currently, more than 54% of the world nations have accorded an official status to the language. Moreover, more than 5% of the world’s population speaks English with a higher degree of fluency and competency (British Council., 2013). Similarly, English is used as a second language in many countries. Interestingly, Kapo (2011) also asserted that in the near future, the number of individuals who speak English as a second language will double and surpass the sum of native speakers, thus contributing significantly towards its spread and dominance. English is also currently used for many purposes that have contributed towards its dominance. Global communication, general academic teaching, scientific discoveries and global business negotiations are mostly done in English language (Danladi, 2013). It is reported that France, Japanese and German scientists have to publish their findings in English if they are to communicate with the international scientific community. The English language has a great commerce, technical and scientific dominance to aid in communication (Tompkins et al., 2014). Moreover, the language is widely used by the majority of people making it difficult to be replaced by any other language shortly. As such, English is likely to remain the dominant official language of the 21st century.

Contrary to other official languages used across the world, English is one of the easiest languages to study. English is considered a gender-neutral language since its nouns are not gender specific making it an easy language to learn and use (Griffiths & Oxford, 2014). Danladi (2013) has also asserted that English verb conjugation is simple about those of other languages such as French. A French verb has more than fifty endings to be studied while an English verb has four. Also, French has more irregular verbs of more than sixteen pages when written as opposed to less than a page list of irregular English verbs (Danladi, 2013). There is no much change in the written and spoken form of English thus making the language easy to study. As much as the pronunciation and vocabulary of English are harder to comprehend in comparison with other languages, the vast vocabulary has contributed to its wide adoption (Kapo, 2011). The extensive vocabulary and difficulty in pronunciation of English language make it an efficient and superb literary capable of expressing right shades of meaning (Tompkins et al., 2014). Learning Basic English is, therefore, easier than most other languages, more people are therefore likely to study and master the language to fit in most organizations that consider English as an official language.

On the other hand, the need to learn English language is compelling in any economy. The academic fraternity is forced to learn the language since their reports on research can only gain international ground when published in English. Furthermore, most of the teaching and research materials are documented in English making it vital that they learn and understand the language of quality education services to their students (Pennycook, 2017). Thus, most international universities adopt English as the primary language for communication amongst its students and staff. In fact, in Arabian nations, science subjects are taught in English since the learning materials are written in English (Pennycook, 2017). Players in the business world are also judged with the daunting task of learning and mastering the language. According to Tompkins et al. (2014), a higher number of multinational corporations such as Samsung, SAP, Apple, and Nokia amongst others are currently adopting English as a common language.  The English language has also remained an indispensable part of the academia since; most international students are attracted to universities that carry out their learning processes in English. As such, most colleges will require that all the students (who don’t understand the language) engage in various studies to enable them to take part in the learning process (Danladi, 2013). The need to learn the language is therefore compelling forcing all players in the various fields to engage in the learning process. On the other hand, British colonialism and technological advances during industrial revolution contributed to the wide adoption of English in the second half of 20th century. The spread and preaching of Christianity during the colonial era contributed to the spread of English in different parts of the world (Kapo, 2011). Moreover, the distribution of English-language Bibles further escalated the adoption of the language in regions. Industrial revolution and technological advancement evident in America also played a major role in the spread of English language. The development of English language mass-media and the emergence of the internet have further increased the rate of spread of the language. As opposed to China that is more focused on domestic policy reform as a strategy for economic development, America and Britain engages in wars and external expansion that are equally suitable for expansion of their native language (Stiglitz, 2015; Broadberry, Campbell, Klein, Overton & Van Leeuwen, 2015). As such, English language is likely to spread more than the Chinese language. More attempts by Britain and America are likely to be observed in the 21st century that will contribute further to the dissemination of the English language, making it the dominant language of the time.

In summary, English has remained one of the most widely adopted and accepted language over the last century. The constant growth in economy and technology also instill pressure on individuals to learn and master the language. Businesses are also focusing on making the language the principal means of communication to survive the competition observed in the global markets. The ease involved in learning the language as well as the changes in the economy means that the language will still be adopted as an official language in most parts of the world. Regardless of the possible rise of other languages, the chances of them being broadly accepted are minimal due to the difficulty involved in learning, as such, English is likely to remain the dominant language in the 21st century. Nevertheless, opponents of the assertion that English will remain the principal language in the 21st century argue that the world is under transition that will have significant effects on the current position of the language. To them, the economic dominance of the western nations is coming to an end that will support the increase in the value of other languages of the emerging economies (Bruthiaux, 2002; Sheehan, 2004). Regardless of increasing in value and usage the possibility of these languages overriding the English language are minimal.  The widespread use of English will continue to instigate pressure towards global uniformity (Danladi, 2013). Moreover, the economic and technological development that is likely to be observed in the 21st century will only lead to spread of English language that has current gained dominance in the economy. The ease involved in learning English also makes it a guarantee that the internal migration and urbanization likely to be evident in the 21st century will only support the adoption of the language (Griffiths & Oxford, 2014). While some languages may gain ground in the 21st century, English will remain the principal language in a time where demographics and economics will have an influence on languages

References

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