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English as a Global LanguageA chief component of globalization has been the spread of English around the world. English functioned as the language of world economics as the united states and other english speaking countries rose as global powers. In addition to the growth of western economies, Laurent Bibard, the Dean of MBA programs at Essec in france, points out that English has become the ?language for international teaching [because] English allows students to be able to come from any place in the world? (Carvajal, 1). Some scholars have argued that the spread of English is a ?natural consequence of globalization, with English functioning as Latin did in the 13th century as the lingua franca most used by universities? (Carvajal, 1). According to a NY Times article written in 2007, ?about one-fourth of the world's population can communicate to some degree in English? (Mydans, 1). While English continues to be taught around the world, there are many challenges surrounding the teaching and spread of English that should be considered as we as TOEFL educators participate in the globalization of the English language. One of the biggest challenges in conjunction with the instruction and use of English around the world is the way it also facilitates the spread of Western economic and cultural ideals to other parts of the world. I personally struggle with the idea of teaching business English and the infiltration of Western culture and ideals that the spread of the English language also carries. I worry that the teaching and learning of English in international classrooms is simply a vehicle for the spread of Western ideals and the creation of a homogenized world culture. Ideally, I would like to encourage English speakers to study other languages with the same voracity and necessity we expect out of English language learners. Another interesting factor of the spread of English is the possible demise of the language over time. Mydans reports that as ?English continues to spread, it is fragmenting, as Latin did, into a family of dialects - and perhaps eventually fully fledged languages - known as Englishes? (1). Some scholars expect English as a common world language to die out over time, also like Latin did. We have already seen many shifts in the English language as more causal or less grammatically regulated forms have grown with the use of technology. In addition to technologically reproduced English (internet, texts, emails), English has merged with local languages because so many people know enough to incorporate some words into their own vernacular. I do not personally worry about the ultimate demise of a grammatically sound English language, but I do see the importance of the instruction of a formal, grammar based English. While the spread of Western ideals and the demise of a formal English language are only two of the challenges of English as a global language, they are certainly both topics that deserve much thought and attention as we continue to build English language programs in international education systems and in global business settings. I agree that communication across cultures and borders is important and ultimately the goal, but I also hope that we are able to incorporate a common language in with other world languages without any language or culture dying out. Carvajal, Doreen. Tuesday, April 10, 2007. ?In many business schools, the bottom line is in English?. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/10/world/europe/10iht-engbiz.2.5212499.html Mydans, Seth. Monday, April 9, 2007. ?As a new millennium begins, scholars say that about one-fourth of the world's population can communicate to some degree in English?. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/09/world/asia/09iht-englede.1.5198685.html