Thursday, April 03, 2008

Is The English Language Being Destroyed?

Listened to the Radio Lately?
If you’ve listened attentively to the radio or watched some of the current or recent offerings on the silver screen in English, you might have noticed something alarming. People seem to be losing their ability to properly and effectively communicate in English. Why with text messaging and text messaging, you virtually need to re-learn English in order to be able to function in these environments.

English grammar, spelling and pronunciation have never been exactly what you’d call easy. As a professor of English as a foreign language, I’m all too familiar with the irregularities and intricacies of English in its seemingly myriad of varieties, dialects, patois and other divergent forms. Hop onto YouTube for a slice of English in all its splendorous varieties. Try Australian English with Steve Irwin or Jamaican English and its contorted pronunciations. Cue up a couple of the latest rap tunes, and see how well you can follow what’s being said. Then there’s the English of India and East African countries like Kenya and Nigeria, which has a booming film industry. Relax to a clip or two from one of the several Nigerian movies online and you’ll definitely begin to see what I mean.

But Wait, There’s More
Let’s not leave out Black American English or the “English of the South”.
If you’re an English as a foreign language teaching professional (ELT), you may well have comprehension problems with these forms, as will your EFL learners. With the proliferation of public speaking online and off, the problem of incomprehensible English speech is getting worse, not better. It appears that as more and more countries adopt English as a lingua franca for business, trade, technology and education, that each is developing its own “variety” of speaking, grammar and spelling. It’s almost a catch-as-catch-can situation.

The growth and expansion of English worldwide is an almost unprecedented phenomenon. While having many highly positive aspects, there is a downside to English as a world language. If some basic curbs or parameters are not eventually recognized, the English language could ultimately be warped beyond all recognition and return to the days of Beowulf, Milton or Chaucer. And who nowadays, can understand that?

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 80 countries. Get your FREE E-books,"If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" or "7 Techniques to Motivate Your English Language Learners and Make Your Classes More Dynamic" by requesting the title you want at: Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

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