6

Language as a barrier

Abstract:

This chapter examines the global domination of the English language and the concept of, sometimes unintended, linguistic imperialism. It shows that language is not the only problem facing non-native students.

Key words

English for speakers of other languages

linguistic imperialism

cultural differences

Predominance of English as a world language

The key role played by the English language as a tool of international communication is not in dispute: ‘The British Empire may be in full retreat with the handover of Hong Kong. But from Bengal to Belize and Las Vegas to Lahore, the language of the sceptred isle is rapidly becoming the first global lingua franca’ (Globe and Mail, 1997) is perhaps a rather simplistic ...

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