Globalization of English and English Language Policies in East Asia: A Comparative Perspective/MONDIALISATION DE L'ANGLAIS ET LES POLITIQUES SUR LA LANGUE ANGLAISE DANS LES PAYS ASIATIQUE: UNE PERSPECTIVE COMPARATIVE

Article excerpt

Abstract:

The last decade has witnessed the ever rising realization of the significance of English, which triggered the booming concept of teaching English as an International Language (EIL). English as a lingua franca has been playing an important role in the whole world since the 1950s in the twentieth century. In order to compete with western rivals in the new century, East Asian countries and regions in the expanding circle of English have to respond positively to the globalization of English and make adjustments to their respective ELT policies. This paper tries to review the global spread of English and discusses world Englishes and varieties of English. Besides, it would also describe and analyze the corresponding English language policies in East Asian contexts through a comparative perspective. A description analysis of ELT policies in Japan, Korea, Chinese Taiwan and China's Mainland would be presented.

Key words: globalization; ELT policy; East Asia; comparative study

Résumé: La décennie dernière était témoin de la réalisation même croissante de la signifiance de la langue anglaise, ce qui a déclenché en plein essor le concept de l'enseignement de l'anglais comme une langue internationale. (EIL) L'anglais comme une lingua franca a joué un rôle important dans le monde depuis 1950s pendant le 21e siècle. Dans le but de rivaliser avec rivaux occidentaux pour le nouveau siècle, les pays et les régions asiatiques dans le cercle en expansion de la langue anglaise a à répondre positivement à la mondialisation de la langue anglaise et à mettre en ajustement leurs politiques respectives ELT. Cette mémoire tente de revoir la diffusion mondiale de la langue anglaise et de discuter de l'anglais mondial et des variétés de l'anglais. D'ailleurs, elle décrira et analysera aussi la correspondance des politiques pour la langue anglaise dans le contextes des pays asiatiques par une perspective comparative. Une description et une analyse des politiques ELT au Japon, en Corée, à Taiwan et dans la Chine continentale sera présentée.

Mots-Clés: mondialisation; politique ELT; asiatique; étude comparative

1. INTRODUCTION

In the Old Testament, when people attempted to build a heaven-reaching tower, the Tower of Babel, in a city (now thought to be Babylon), they were punished by the Lord to become unable to understand one another's language. Then, the tower itself was abandoned and the world separated.

Contemporary means of transportation, telecommunication, and mass media, nowadays, has virtually shortened the geographical distance between different nations. As the saying goes, "United we stand, divided we fall". Human beings are able to unite again to build the "global village" with joint efforts, which is called globalization.

To facilitate globalization is, to some extent, to find a common language to enable different peoples all over the world to communicate with each other. This language, undoubtedly, shall be a well-established and universally-recognized international language.

The last decade has experienced the ever rising realization of the significance of English, which triggered the booming concept of teaching English as an International Language (EIL). In historical discussion, almost all the researchers (see, for example, Crystal, 1997, cited in McKay, 2003; Graddol, 1997, cited in McKay, 2003) concur that English is serving as an International Language or a lingua franca connecting different peoples in different areas, at different levels, and from different cultures. Lingua franca refers to a language widely adopted for communication between two speakers whose native languages are different from each other's and where one or both speakers are using it as a second language. (Harmer, 2001, p.l) English as a lingua franca has been playing an important role in the whole world since the 1950s in the twentieth century. (Crystal, 1997, p.9-10)

This paper tries to review the global spread of English and discusses world Englishes and varieties of English. …