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  Weekly Feature: (May 4, 2003)


English as the Global Language
Helen's Weekly Feature


How did this happen?
Is it a good thing?
How can it help me?
Can I get help with English on the PALC web site?

Illiteracy in the Middle Ages was common, but with the Industrial Revolution, exploration and colonialism, the use of a formal language grew. The invention of the printing press played a major role in expanding literacy among common people. Along with the skill of reading and writing came the ability to speak other languages. If we compare the value of knowing a second language even 50 years ago with its importance today, we can see that it has become a very important skill. As time goes by, we can predict that it will become a necessity in order to function well in our world.

How did this happen?

With the Industrial Revolution came exploration and colonization. France led the way, and by the middle of the 19th century, French was considered the International Language. Later the British gained economic power and paved the way for colonialism that spread the English language around the world. Following World War 11, the United States became the leader in economic and cultural influence and fixed English as the language for international communication.

Is it a good thing?

As the desire for global communication in areas of news, business, politics, scientific research, and travel increases, so does the need for a language that is recognized and understood by people everywhere.

Discoveries in health care and technology can be shared world-wide to everyone’s benefit. Air travel, for example, requires that all in this industry know and use the same language so that all who travel arrive at their destinations safely.

How can a global language help me?

As you can see by just a few examples, the use of a global language makes our world safer, healthier, more interesting, and more accessible. Having an accurate knowledge of the International language enhances one’s future in our “global village.” Some of the best opportunities for jobs, travel, and information will depend the ability to use English efficiently. English may not be the best choice, but it has obviously become the choice, so it is in our best interests to learn and know it well.

Can I get help with English on the PALC web site?

You are in luck! There is a wealth of help with various aspects of English: reading, writing, grammar, social studies, science, math. Check out what our web site has to offer.

You can also find out how and when to apply to the Adult Learning Centre and become one of our students.

Web Links:

ESL Partyland

English as the Global Language

History of the English Language


Visit Last Week's Feature:
Spelling Demons Part 5 

Weekly Feature Index (Includes all 2002-2003 Features with descriptions)


Weekly Feature Index (Includes all 2002 to date Weekly Features with descriptions)


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