ABSTRACT BY Dr. [PROFESSOR] JITENDRA KUMAR SHARMA
English threat to U.K.? – An
THE GLOBAL ascendancy of English, that has been responsible for economic,
political and cultural advantages to the people of the United Kingdoms for the
past century, is now seriously threatening
the Britishers’ international standing. This is the astounding conclusion of the research published on February 15,2006.
The British Council commissioned study that nearly two
billion people around the world speak English and the benefits traditionally
enjoyed by U.K. citizens in the past are now vanishing. The reason is that
millions of students in other countries, who learn and speak English, have
proficiency in at least one more language other than English. David Graddol,
who has authored this report, says that the U.K. students should be prompted to
learn Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, and other
"languages of the future," if they want to compete
internationally and maintain socio-economic parity globally.
This lingual trend has significant implications for the U.K. where large
segments of the population do not speak another language with any degree of
proficiency. Britain, like other nations, faces global competition economically,
educationally or culturally. Therefore, conversing in English alone is no
longer adequate. According to the report, English is not treated as a foreign
language in many countries, including China and India.
On the contrary, it is
regarded as a "basic universal skill. Sixty per cent of primary school
children in China learn English. In India, the number of English learners is
much larger. More Indians and Chinese speak the English language fluently than
people anywhere else in the world.
Digby Jones, the director of the CBI, has frequently emphasized the need for
more students to study foreign languages above A-level for improving
competitiveness. On February 14,2006, the British Council said the report was a
"call to action for the U.K."
For coping with the future Graddol says that Britain has already
kick-started Mandarin teaching and pioneering programmes have been launched to
motivate language learning. Student/teacher exchanges both in Europe and the
Arab world and further afield too are being organized, says John Whitehead of
the British Council. "It is absolutely essential for British children to
learn other languages" and British Council will endeavor earnestly to put
further strategies in place to stem the trend toward linguistic deficiency.
abstract of The Hindu article “English threat to U.K.?" dated2/16/2006 submitted by Professor [Dr.] Jitendra