As we leap into a new year, leaving an old one behind, I cannot help but be struck with the staying power of the English language to endure.
In China, there is a movement by the government to eradicate the Mongolian language in classrooms of Inner Mongolia. In France, there is a movement by the government to not only preserve the French language, but to export it to other countries in the Francophone world.
But, English will outperform others for at least another 20 years or more. We are crowded in with Anglo-American language and culture brought by British colonialism and American overseas adventures. The world is dominated by American music and pop culture. Children around the world recognize Ronald McDonald as much if not more than Santa Claus or Jesus Christ himself.
After 20 years, the future is yet to see, but I predict English will not be the same as it was.
According to Deena Boraie, the dean of the School of Continuing Education at the American University in Cairo, Egypt and president of TESOL International Association, many cultures around the world teach English as a second language in primary schools.
But, she argues many countries are advocating to teach children through their mother tongue, seen as a basic human right. Boraie said that bilingualism and multilingualism is the wave of the future.
The United States is a multicultural nation state. Many Americans advocate for Spanish being taught in the classrooms as a second language because the United States is surrounded by Spanish speaking people both inside the country and outside it.
So although China, a most paranoid nation in my opinion (along with North Korea), may tend to eliminate differences in language, religion and cultural practices (hence the effort to eliminate Mongolian in classrooms), multiculturalism will trump out a single collective almost every time.
English may survive after 20 years and may even thrive, but keeping with the West’s penchant for human rights, a bilingual or multicultural world just may be in store for us in the future. Will English find a place in it? I am sure it will.
What is your opinion? Feel free to comment below.