I heard an interesting discussion of the use of a very limited version of English as a Second Language ('Globish') on the BBC this morning:
The whole programme is interesting, but the relevant part starts at 22'15".
(Teachers of fairly advanced classes might want to use it to start a class discussion. If so, download it quickly, as the link will disappear in 6 days)
The guy behind it was touting it as the future of learning a few years ago, though it didn't strike me as very well thought through then. What did you think of it? Will try to download but tiniternet is playing up here.
Here's the transcript; I'll re-read it before expressing any opinions - don't want anyone else thinking I'm 'rash'. I just wanted to get the broadcast out there before the Beeb hide it away in an archive somewhere!
PS The missing link:
Last edited by BobK; 23-Jan-2009 at 20:56.
Reason: added ps
I think Jean-Paul Nerrière has recognized that you can’t stem the tide of Anglicisms creeping into French, and he’s sugaring the pill for the French by arguing that the infiltrator is ‘not English but Globish’ – not a foreign language belonging to les rozbifs, to be repelled with chauvinistic fervour, but a means of communication to be used by speakers of any language. His arguments have to be seen in this ‘political’ context.
But in English Next (downloadable from English Next 2006 - English language research - British Council ) David Graddol says ‘In the new, rapidly emerging climate, native speakers may increasingly be identified as part of the problem rather than the source of a solution.’ And this echoes something I’ve become aware of during my teaching.
On one occasion (I forget the details of what I was trying to ‘correct’) I was commenting on a presentation to be given in the course of her work by a non-English speaker; as it was a multi-national company, the presentation was in English. On several occasions I found myself saying ‘I don’t think those words quite fit with what you’re trying to do. How about <English-phrase>?’ But her reply was that her words did match her intentions, and all the other (non-native-speakers) would understand. Moreover, using a different expression might prevent them from understanding. (If they would understand, of course, her words were les mots justes in the context of that communication.)
I think we’re in the middle of the evolution of something that Graddol calls ‘ELF’ (English as a Lingua Franca), and I’m not sure what contribution EFL teachers like me can make – perhaps, in the words of Bob Dylan, ‘Don’t stand in the door-ways don’t block up the halls' (from The Times They Are A-Changin')
Last edited by BobK; 23-Jan-2009 at 12:32.
Reason: Fix typo
To add something new to this discussion: You can now read a couple of chapters of the real thing -- IN Globish -- from the new book Globish The World Over at www.globish.com or read reviews at Eyrolles publishers.