“English has a history, sometimes cruel and violent with colonialism and war. And introducing English as the global language may be seen as a threat of future dominance!”
The history of English begins with ancestorship of the Germanic language. This combination of languages from the European branch of languages dates back to the first millenium before Christ (BC).
Technically speaking, at this point, the history of English could and should be considered as starting with the European family of language and not the Germanic. The end of the Germanic people later gave rise to the English language of the Angles, Saxons, Frisians and Jutes.
Interestingly, a shift in language occurs again to what is known as Early Modern English. The history of the great vowel shift which changed the face of English entirely. Not only in the way words were spoken but also the sound of the words. The vowel shift added in vowels and changed the face of how words were written.
With the Arrival of Celts in Britain, English becam the language of English people. However, it was not the language spoken by earliest settlers of the lands. Historians believe that, it is the arrival of the Celts that began the recording of the many unknown races and their languages.
The Celts were bronze and iron-age inhabitants. When they reached Britain they pushed the earlier settlers into the remote corners of the nation through their mighty weapons.
According to history, around 500 BC , English was the first Indo-European tongue to be spoken in Britain.
Introducing English as the global language may be seen as a threat of future dominance. Perhaps, this will make people unwilling or unable to learn other languages. Thereby make other languages unnecessary.
One of the “risks” of having only one language is that, the chosen tongue may become very technical. Often “impoverished” for non-native speakers.
About 3 to 5 percent of the British tend to speak Received Pronunciation today (Kemmer, 2009). The growing use of written language creates the need for materials that portray certain aspects of the language. A portrayal that invites individuals that desire information about English language to look up.
Although initially meant for the non-native speakers. Native speakers curious about the new and developed part of the language also looked for such material.
Consequently, the committee made the following guidelines for teaching English reading :
A) If children arrive at a school with no proficiency in English, they should learn to read their native language. Importantly, teachers should utilize instructional guides and learning materials, and then subsequently extend their skill to reading in English;
B) If there are insufficient numbers of children to justify the development of the local community, the instructional priority should develop the children`s proficiency in spoken English.
One of the advantages is that it is the world’s most used business and political language. We can use English to develop ourselves culturally and materially. This way, we can compete with the best side in the world of mind and matter. And say that English language is our window to the world.
“The March 14 to 16 poll of 1,007 likely voters with a margin of error of three percentage points showed that 63 percent of Americans would like to have ballots and voting materials only in English, compared with 35 percent who wanted them printed in English and other languages. ” (Lawmakers Push Official English, A06)
These declarations repeat the study of Myths of the Melting Pot. Spreading wrong ideas about languages without a challenge.
Even with this slight shift in the English we all now speak, the influence of the original Celtic tongue has very little to do with English. Though considered as part of Old English. Norse Vikings, Beowulf and the Norman conquest are examples of the time period activity and language. This language adaption lasted only about 700 years, from the Anglo migrations in the 5th century. This is shortly after the Norman Conquest in the 11th century.
Theories of people speaking different languages , and the need to find a standard language may have been the precipice for which the vowel shift happened.
Knowing that the face of English has changed has a broad geographic background. It only stands to reason that there will be a future English which will become complex. Linguistically speaking, may not even sound like the English we know.
We see this shift slowly happening by the addition of new words and slang. Also complemented with different pronunciations.
Those who speak both Spanish and English refer to it as “Spanglish”.