700 Reasons: Reason #404

Reason: 404
It cannot be stated with confidence how the 'languages game' will be played in European and international society of the future. The rise of English as global language means that students, businesspersons and others will increasingly find themselves in fluid and changing rather than predictable and fixed situations of language use. In particular, they may find themselves increasingly in situations abroad where more than one language is used within the one event. This is potentially encouraging for English-speaking learners of other modern languages. It means they need not aspire to reach the inaccessible pinnacle of the native speaker (which has been an implicit though unattainable aim of traditional language teaching to an elite minority) but instead may require new and more pragmatic types of competence in communication in which they draw on such languages as they possess, ensuring that these work together in order to achieve a desired effect. If so, this will have important consequences for the education system which will seek to develop in students the following pragmatic sorts of competence: to communicate entirely in international English in certain contexts; to communicate entirely in their modern language in other contexts; to communicate in 'mixed mode' in other contexts, using both English and one or more other modern languages. We should add that communication in international English is not straightforward and to be taken for granted as something that native speakers of English are automatically able to achieve
Scottish Executive, Ministerial Action Group on Languages (2000) Citizens of a Multilingual World: Key Issues (www.scotland.gov.uk-library3-education-mwki-07.asp)
Related Keywords:
Communication, Global English, Multilingualism