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English as a Global Language

Updated on September 29, 2014


“English as a global language has been used by people in the world as a first language, a second language and a foreign language” (Rohmah, 2005). English doesn’t have any role as of primitive epoch and it was instigated from the union of old dialects known as old English which was transported by German settlers in Great Britain (Gohil, 2013). At this stint of time, English was only an instinctive language in most of England and southeast of Scotland. Consequently colonization after 1600s has further boosted the spread of English language to Ireland as the native language. This was further extended in many islands and continental areas of Caribbean, Honduras, Nicaragua and Colombia (Annonymous, 2007). Therefore, Latin and Greek form of language used in the curriculum of schools and universities are vanished due to the introduction of English language to the academic life (Rohmah, 2005).

Every country retain their own native language. These languages are designed to remain as intrinsic. However English has been blown out extensively within a short period of time. The advancement of far-reaching spread is solely reliant on human population and their aspiration to learn and acquire knowledge. The education resource development in higher education, science and technology, commerce and economics during the 21st century has constrained people to learn English as second language (Hitchings, 2011). Accordingly English became a global language since most of the education resources are developed and succeeded using English, international relations are enhanced through proceedings and computing methods are available in English.

Kaplan (2000) pointed out that the native peoples are taught in English by the new settlers mainly to make them understand, speak and develop civil service under the leadership of British administration during the British colonialism. Then, the political and military power of the US after World War II made way for a considerable economic and cultural impact that expatriate French from the circle of discretion, and fixed English as the customary language for international communication. Therefore, British colonialism in the 19th century and American capitalism and technological evolution in the 20th century were indisputably the main causes for the spread of English throughout the world.

Key factors in its spread

The perpetuity in the spread of English beyond the borders of British Isles was mainly owing to British colonialism, American economic and political preeminence and technological encroachment of industrial revolution (Hitchings, 2011). (Annonymous, 2011) Pointed out that English have sited itself in some parts of India, Africa, Australia and New Zealand during the British Empire. The number of the European pioneers augmented due to annexation. English is enforced as an administrative language, spoken as mother tongue by the British colonizers in the era of British Empire in India but the local people used their own native language. It is considered that the main factors in the spread of English and consideration towards global language is due to British colonization in the 19th century, industrial revolution and technological advancement in the mid-21st century.


Annonymous. (2007). The Spread of English. Retrieved from BBC:

Annonymous. (2011). English as a Global Language. Retrieved from British Library:

Gohil, P. P. (2013). English as a Global Language. International Journal for Research in Education, 2(2), 7. Retrieved February 2013

Hitchings, H. (2011). "The Language Wars": A History of Proper English. New York: Farrar, Straus and Girous.

Rohmah, Z. (2005). English as a global language: Its Historical Past and Future.


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