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English Next – A Book Review

LEVEL: advanced

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The book written by David Graddol is a decent study of where the language is going. We might have already realised that global English is prone to have different versions of English by native speakers.  The content of the book is about a very interesting concept – that the ascent of English as a global language is becoming the death of English as the unified language.

The report contends that we are already in a very new type of environment and English is in a new stage of improvement. What are the new principles of who will be the winners and who will be the losers? In the book, the author proposes some of the answers by studying demographic and financial patterns in the Twenty-First-Century which influence Global English and language politics worldwide and will impact its future.

The book is an intriguing read, particularly for somebody who has nowadays started on to become an EFL teacher. The author puts the future of the language in an alternate perspective.

Graddol provides a wide range of research and provides a succinct and well-considered examination. The mobility of people, the technology has been improving since the nineteenth century. The main question is: are we getting to a point at which English is going to be omnipresent and its teaching is not necessary?

However, the English used in international business has not been standardised yet and it is hard to imagine how it will look when it is ever standardised by different communities. Popular culture will likely form it through the major native-speaking populations like Hollywood and teachers always will need some model to teach.

More fundamental suspicions are raised as the author tries to understand the state of the world presently and in the past, to specify his forecasts. One state is the acknowledged history of English as fighting the French and turning out triumphant. Another state he examines is the modernist views of history as steady change.

He claims that we are posited in a transitional period, a temporary state which began with the industrial revolution and it is still in progress. These methods for taking a gander at globalization, as both a reason and result of International English, contributes to seeing where we are heading.

In the next chapters, Graddol concentrates on the history and the present methodology of English teaching. He claims that the convention is designed to make a failure. He states that pedagogically it is an impossible goal to teach excellent native-like pronunciation and excellent grammar knowledge while the students socially and politically are outside the country of the target language.

The book also contains that by 2050 there may be very few English learners besides the youngest or those with unique needs. To be bilingual will not mean an advantage.

So we can say that our time is a great opportunity from the point of view of the English language and learners. The time has been gone away for antiquated quibbles about which type of English we ought to teach.

Many things have led to this change. The global acquisition of English as a second language or even the use of English as the primary language of business or education means that we are presently seeing as many as 2 billion English learners worldwide. China alone produces 20 million English speakers each year.

As a consequence, English is being taught increasingly by non-native speakers. Further, once English is largely known worldwide, spoken increasingly in homes and educational institutions and so on, the demand for English teaching will rapidly be transformed – the need will be for people who can teach English to small children, rather than adults, and as remedial tuition, rather than to the brightest and most ambitious.

We can see that English is being taught progressively by non-native speakers. Since English is known and spoken world around, spoken progressively in homes and in governmental, educational institutions, not only the language itself but the method of English teaching will quickly be changing.

The book also mentions that in the coming period the emphasis is going to be shifted to oral communication instead of accuracy and grammar. Consequently, the privileged status of the native speaker will disappear. However, all of these are assumptions but it seems that we are going on this way. Nobody can say certain things but the detailed predictions in the book show a possible future.

VOCABULARY

decent – tekintélyes

contend – kijelent

propose – állít

intriguing – érdekfeszítő

succint – egyszerű

fundamental – alapvető

suspicion – gyanú

contribute – hozzájárul

convention – hagyomány

contribute – hozzájárul

quibble – vita

assumption – feltételezés

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