History of the English language expansion in the world

History of the English language, its causes and global distribution. His role in global communication between peoples and as a major business. Comparison of British and American dialects. Proof of the importance of their various teaching for pupils.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
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Язык английский
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  • Introduction
  • I. The History of the expansion of the English language
    • 1.1 A brief history of the English language
    • 1.2 Origins of English as global language
    • 1.3 The role of English today
  • II. The varieties of English and importance of their introduction to the pupils
    • 2.1 The difference between British and American English
    • 2.2 Approbation and its interpretation
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Application 1


Today more and more disputes are caused by the enormous spread of the English language throughout the world. Some scholars claim that it has already become the first global language. And this statement isn't far from truth. In this era of consolidation and trying to unify various aspects of life, it will not be long before English can be made as a single language of the world like the single currency and the union of various nations. The level of sentimental attachment or genuine liking for English falls far short of the level of necessity-based desire to learn it. In many countries, local authorities are engaged in language planning to foster the positive image of the national language for many functions for all people, and simultaneously to foster the spread of English in its function - a difficult set of co-occurring goals. Thus, all these countries are gradually becoming bilingual.

The spread of English around the world can be visualized as three concentric circles representing different ways in which the language has been acquired and is currently used. It is called Kachru's model of New Englishes. The Inner Circle refers to the traditional historical and sociolinguistic bases of English in the areas where it is the primary language (native or first language; UK, Ireland, Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand). The Outer Circle comprises regions colonized by Britain; the spread of English in non-native settings, where the language has become part of the country's chief institutions, and plays an important "second language" role in a multilingual setting (India, Singapore, Malawi). The Expanding Circle involves nations which recognize the importance of English as an international language, but they do not have the history of colonization, nor does English have any special status in their language policy. In these areas, English is primarily a foreign language.

The term "new Englishes" is used for the varieties which have developed in the Outer Circle, have been transplanted and, therefore, can also be called "diaspora varieties". In a historical and linguistic sense, these varieties are not new. They are called "new" because it is only recently that they have been linguistically, and literaturewise, recognized and institutionalized, although they have a long history of acculturation in geographical, cultural and linguistic contexts different from the English of the Inner Circle.

The need to investigate the nature as well as the history of these varieties of the English language and the reason of their development predetermines the actuality of the given course paper.

It also has determined the aim of work: to investigate the history of the English language expansion in the world.

In accordance with the given aim, the following objectives were put forward:

- To consider the history of the English language itself;

- To find out the historical reasons and ways of spreading English;

- To analyze the role of English as the global language today;

- To compare British and American English in order to find the most common differences;

- To prove that it is important to introduce the difference between British and American English to the pupils.

The subject of this course paper is the history of the English language expansion in the world.

The object of this course paper is the varieties of the English language, their place and role in modern world and importance of their introduction to the students.

The hypothesis of the work: by teaching the varieties of English and the culture of the English speaking countries can affect positively the educational process in general, while:

1) The lessons are becoming more vivid, as the pupils do not just learn some phrases and grammatical structure, but try to understand the culture of the English speaking countries.

2) They are realizing the importance of learning English, as they know the role of English today.

3) It widens the horizon of the pupils, their awareness in the history of the world.

Methods of investigation:

- Thorough theoretical analysis of the pedagogical literature, connected with the topic of the investigation;

- Interviewing students that took part in model-lessons.

The work consists of two parts: theoretical and practical. In the first part we tried to investigate the history of the English language history of its expansion and its role in modern world. As for practical part, it contains some examples of the major differences between British English and American English, approbation and its interpretation.

I. The History of the expansion of the English language

1.1 A brief history of the English language

Speaking of the history of the expansion of the English language in the world, it won't be needless to mention the general historical outfit of the language itself.

English is a member of the Indo-European family of languages. This broad family includes most of the European languages spoken today. The Indo-European family includes several major branches: Latin and the modern Romance languages (French etc.); the Germanic languages (English, German, Swedish etc.); the Indo-Iranian languages (Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit etc.); the Slavic languages (Russian, Polish, Czech etc.); the Baltic languages of Latvian and Lithuanian; the Celtic languages (Welsh, Irish Gaelic etc.); Greek.

It's never easy to pinpoint exactly when a specific language began, but in the case of English general opinion is the history of the English language really started with the arrival of three Germanic tribes who invaded Britain during the 5th century AD. These tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, crossed the North Sea from what today is Denmark and northern Germany. At that time the inhabitants of Britain spoke a Celtic language. But most of the Celtic speakers were pushed west and north by the invaders - mainly into what is now Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The Angles came from Englaland and their language was called Englisc - from which the words England and English are derived. [1, p. 32]

Usually the history of the English language development is divided into three periods:

1) Old English (450-1100 AD)

The invading Germanic tribes spoke similar languages, which in Britain developed into what we now call Old English. Old English did not sound or look like English today. Native English speakers now would have great difficulty understanding Old English. Nevertheless, about half of the most commonly used words in Modern English have Old English roots. The words be, strong and water, for example, derive from Old English. Old English, whose best known surviving example is the poem Beowulf, lasted until about 1100.

2) Middle English (1100-1500)

The beginning of this period is closely connected with the Norman Conquest. In 1066 William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy (part of modern France), invaded and conquered England. The new conquerors (called the Normans) brought with them a kind of French, which became the language of the Royal Court, and the ruling and business classes. For a period there was a kind of linguistic class division, where the lower classes spoke English and the upper classes spoke French.

The centuries after the Norman Conquest witnessed enormous changes in the English language. In the course of the Middle English period, the fairly rich inflectional system of Old English broke down. Old English showed a tendency to find native equivalents for foreign words and phrases, whereas Middle English acquired the habit that modern English retains today of readily accommodating foreign words. One only has to flick through the etymologies of any English dictionary to get an impression of the huge number of words entering English from French and Latin during the later medieval period. This trend was set to continue into the early modern period with the explosion of interest in the writings of the ancient world, although in the 14th century English became dominant in Britain again.

The most famous example of Middle English is Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

3) Modern English

Early Modern English (1500-1800)

Early modern period saw a fairly steady process of standardization in English south of the Scottish border. The written and spoken language of London continued to evolve and gradually began to have a greater influence in the country at large. "London standard" began to dominate, especially through the new technology of printing invented by William Caxton in 1476, that the other regional varieties of the language began to be seen as different in kind. As "the London standard" became used more widely, especially in more formal contexts and particularly amongst the more elevated members of society, the other regional varieties came to be stigmatized, as lacking social prestige and indicating a lack of education.

In the same period a series of changes also occurred in English pronunciation (though not uniformly in all dialects), which go under the collective name of the "Great Vowel Shift". These were purely linguistic sound changes which occur in every language in every period of history. The changes in pronunciation weren't the result of specific social or historical factors, but social and historical factors would have helped to spread the results of the changes. As a result the so-called pure vowel sounds which still characterise many continental languages were lost to English. The phonetic pairings of most long and short vowel sounds were also lost, which gave rise to many of the oddities of English pronunciation, and which now obscure the relationships between many English words and their foreign counterparts.

Another remarkable event of this period is the publishing of the first English dictionary Table Alphabeticall in 1604. [8, p. 24]

Late Modern English (1800-Present)

The principal distinction between early- and late-modern English is vocabulary. Pronunciation, grammar, and spelling are largely the same, but Late-Modern English has many more words. These words are the result of two historical factors. The first is the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the technological society. This necessitated new words for things and ideas that had not previously existed.

The second was the British Empire. At its height, Britain ruled one quarter of the earth's surface. The complex processes of exploration, colonization and overseas trade that characterized Britain's external relations for several centuries became agents for change in the English language. This wasn't simply through the acquisition of loanwords deriving from languages from every corner of the world, which in many cases only entered English via the languages of other trading and imperial nations such as Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands, but through the gradual development of new varieties of English, each with their own nuances of vocabulary and grammar and their own distinct pronunciations. More recently still, English has become a "lingua franca", a global language, regularly used and understood by many nations for whom English is not their first language.

1.2 Origins of English as global language

The first significant step in the progress of English towards its status as a global language took place at the end of the sixteenth century. At that time, the number of mother-tongue English speakers in the world is thought to have been between 5 and 7 million, almost all of them living in the British Isles. “Between the end of the reign of Elizabeth I (1603) and the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth II (1952), this figure increased almost fiftyfold, to some 250 million, the vast majority living outside the British Isles... And the first fresh dimension being added to the history of the language is North America.” [4, p.55]

The first expedition from England to the New World was commissioned by Walter Raleigh in 1584, and proved to be a failure. A group of explorers landed near Roanoke Island, in what is now North Carolina, and established a small settlement. Conflict with the native people followed, and it proved necessary for a ship to return to England for help and supplies. By the time these arrived, in 1590, none of the original group of settlers could be found.

The first permanent English settlement dates from 1607, when an expedition arrived in Chesapeake Bay. The colonists called their settlement Jamestown (after James I) and the area Virginia (after the `Virgin Queen', Elizabeth). Further settlements quickly followed along the coast, and also on the nearby islands, such as Bermuda. Then, in November 1620, the first group of Puritans, thirty-five members of the English Separatist Church, arrived on the Mayflower in the company of sixty-seven other settlers. Prevented by storms from reaching Virginia, they landed at Cape Cod Bay, and established a settlement at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was a successful settlement, and by 1640 about 25,000 immigrants had come to the area.

The two settlements - one in Virginia, to the south, the other to the north, in present-day New England - had different linguistic backgrounds.

During the seventeenth century, new shiploads of immigrants brought an increasing variety of linguistic backgrounds into the country. Pennsylvania, for example, came to be settled mainly by Quakers whose origins were mostly in the Midlands and the north of England. People speaking very different kinds of English thus found themselves living alongside each other. As a result, the sharp divisions between regional dialects gradually began to blur.

Then, in the eighteenth century, there was a vast wave of immigration from northern Ireland. The Irish had been migrating to America from around 1600, but the main movements took place during the 1720s, when around 50,000 Irish and Scots-Irish immigrants arrived. By the time independence was declared (1776), it is thought that one in seven of the colonial population was Scots-Irish. Many stayed along the coast, especially in the area of Philadelphia, but most moved inland through the mountains in search of land. They were seen as frontier people, with an accent which at the time was described as `broad'. The opening up of the south and west was largely due to the pioneering spirit of this group of settlers.

By the time of the first census, in 1790, the population of the country was around 4 million, most of whom lived along the Atlantic coast. A century later, after the opening up of the west, the population numbered over 50 million, spread throughout the continent. The accent which emerged can now be heard all over the so-called Sunbelt (from Virginia to southern California), and is the accent most commonly associated with present-day American speech.

It was not only England which influenced the directions that the English language was to take in America, and later the USA. The Spanish had occupied large parts of the west and south-west. The French were present in the northern territories, around the St Lawrence River, and throughout the middle regions (French Louisiana) as far as the Gulf of Mexico. The Dutch were in New York (originally New Amsterdam) and the surrounding area. Large numbers of Germans began to arrive at the end of the seventeenth century, settling mainly in Pennsylvania and its hinterland. In addition, there were increasing numbers of Africans entering the south, as a result of the slave trade, and this dramatically increased in the eighteenth century: a population of little more than 2,500 black slaves in 1700 had become about 100,000 by 1775, far out-numbering the southern whites.

The nineteenth century saw a massive increase in American immigration, as people fled the results of revolution, poverty, and famine in Europe. Large numbers of Irish came following the potato famine in Ireland in the 1840s. Germans and Italians came, escaping the consequences of the failed 1848 revolutions. And, as the century wore on, there were increasing numbers of Central European Jews, especially fleeing from the pogroms of the 1880s. In the first two decades of the twentieth century, immigrants were entering the USA at an average of three-quarters of a million a year. In 1900, the population was just over 75million. This total had doubled by 1950.

Within one or two generations of arrival, most of these immigrant families had come to speak English, through a natural process of assimilation. Grandparents and grandchildren found themselves living in very different linguistic worlds. The result was a massive growth in mother-tongue use of English.

According to the 1990 census, the number of people (over five years of age) who spoke only English at home had grown to over 198 million - 86 per cent of the population. This figure increased to 215million in the 2000 census (though representing a fall to 82 per cent of the population). This is almost four times as many mother-tongue speakers as any other nation. [3, p. 61]

Meanwhile, the English language was making progress further north. The first English-language contact with Canada was as early as 1497, when John Cabot is thought to have reached Newfoundland; but English migration along the Atlantic coast did not develop until a century later, when the farming, fishing, and fur trading industries attracted English-speaking settlers. There was ongoing conflict with the French, whose presence dated from the explorations of Jacques Cartier in the 1520s; but this came to an end when the French claims were gradually surrendered during the eighteenth century, following their defeat in Queen Anne's War (1702-13) and the French and Indian War (1754-63). During the 1750s thousands of French settlers were deported from Acadia (modern Nova Scotia), and were replaced by settlers from New England. The numbers were then further increased by many coming directly from England, Ireland, and Scotland.

The next major development followed the US Declaration of Independence in 1776. Loyalist supporters of Britain (the `United Empire Loyalists') found themselves unable to stay in the new United States, and most left for Canada, settling first in what is now Nova Scotia, then moving to New Brunswick and further inland. They were soon followed by many thousands (the so-called `late Loyalists') who were attracted by the cheapness of land, especially in the area known as Upper Canada (above Montreal and north of the Great Lakes). Within fifty years, the population of this province had reached 100,000. Over 31 million were estimated in 2001, with two-thirds claiming English as a native or home language.

Because of its origins, Canadian English has a great deal in common with the rest of the English spoken in North America, and those who live outside Canada often find it difficult to hear the difference. Many British people identify a Canadian accent as American; many Americans identify it as British. Canadians themselves insist on not being identified with either group, and certainly the variety does display a number of unique features. In addition, the presence of French as a co-official language, chiefly spoken in Quebec, produces a sociolinguistic situation not found in other English-speaking countries. [2, p. 78]

During the early years of American settlement, the English language was also spreading in the south. A highly distinctive kind of speech was emerging in the islands of the West Indies and the southern part of the mainland, spoken by the incoming black population. This was a consequence of the importation of African slaves to work on the sugar plantations, a practice started by the Spanish as early as 1517.

From the early seventeenth century, ships from Europe travelled to the West African coast, where they exchanged cheap goods for black slaves. The slaves were shipped in barbarous conditions to the Caribbean islands and the American coast, where they were in turn exchanged for such commodities as sugar, rum, and molasses. The ships then returned to England, completing an `Atlantic triangle' of journeys, and the process began again. The first twenty African slaves arrived in Virginia on a Dutch ship in 1619. By the time of the American Revolution (1776) their numbers had grown to half a million, and there were over 4 million by the time slavery was abolished, at the end of the US Civil War (1865).

The policy of the slave-traders was to bring people of different language backgrounds together in the ships, to make it difficult for groups to plot rebellion. The result was the growth of several pidgin forms of communication, and in particular a pidgin between the slaves and the sailors, many of whom spoke English.

Once arrived in the Caribbean, this pidgin English continued to act as a means of communication between the black population and the new landowners, and among the blacks themselves. Then, when their children were born, the pidgin gradually began to be used as a mother tongue, producing the first black creole speech in the region.

It is this creole English which rapidly came to be used throughout the southern plantations, and in many of the coastal towns and islands. At the same time, standard British English was becoming a prestige variety throughout the area, because of the emerging political influence of Britain. Creole forms of French, Spanish and Portuguese were also developing in and around the Caribbean, and some of these interacted with both the creole and the standard varieties of English. The Caribbean islands, and parts of the adjacent Central and South American mainland, thus came to develop a remarkably diverse range of varieties of English, reflecting their individual political and cultural histories. [3, p. 71]

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, the continuing process of British world exploration established the English language in the southern hemisphere.

Australia was visited by James Cook in 1770, and within twenty years Britain had established its first penal colony at Sydney, thus relieving the pressure on the overcrowded prisons in England. About 130,000 prisoners were transported during the fifty years after the arrival of the `first fleet' in 1788. `Free' settlers, as they were called, also began to enter the country from the very beginning, but they did not achieve substantial numbers until the mid-nineteenth century. From then on, immigration rapidly increased. By 1850, the population of Australia was about 400,000, and by 1900 nearly 4 million.

The British Isles provided the main source of settlers, and thus the main influence on the language. Many of the convicts came from London and Ireland (especially following the 1798 Irish rebellion), and features of the Cockney accent of London and the brogue of Irish English can be traced in the speech patterns heard in Australia today. On the other hand, the variety contains many expressions which have originated in Australia (including a number from Aboriginal languages), and in recent years the influence of American English and of a growing number of immigrant groups has been noticeable, so that the country now has a very mixed linguistic character. [11]

In New Zealand the story of English started later and moved more slowly. Captain Cook charted the islands in 1769-70, and European whalers and traders began to settle there in the 1790s, expanding the developments already taking place in Australia. Christian missionary work began among the Maori from about 1814. However, the official colony was not established until 1840, following the Treaty of Waitangi between Maori chiefs and the British Crown. There was then a rapid increase in European immigration - from around 2,000 in 1840 to 25,000 by 1850, and to three-quarters of a million by 1900. As early as the turn of the century visitors to the country were making comments on the emergence of a New Zealand accent.

Three strands of New Zealand's social history in the present century have had especial linguistic consequences. Firstly, in comparison with Australia, there has been a stronger sense of the historical relationship with Britain, and a greater sympathy for British values and institutions. Many people speak with an accent which displays clear British influence. Secondly, there has been a growing sense of national identity, and in particular an emphasis on the differences between New Zealand and Australia. This has drawn attention to differences in the accents of the two countries, and motivated the use of distinctive New Zealand vocabulary. Thirdly, there has been a fresh concern to take account of the rights and needs of the Maori people, who now form over 10 per cent of the population. This has resulted in an increased use of Maori words in New Zealand English.

Although Dutch colonists arrived in South Africa as early as 1652, British involvement in the region dates only from 1795, during the Napoleonic Wars. British control was established in 1806, and a policy of settlement began in earnest in 1820, when some 5,000 British were given land in the eastern Cape. English was made the official language of the region in 1822, and there was an attempt to anglicize the large Afrikaans-speaking population. English became the language of law, education, and most other aspects of public life. Further British settlements followed in the 1840s and 1850s, especially in Natal, and there was a massive influx of Europeans following the development of the gold and diamond areas in the Witwatersrand in the 1870s. Nearly half a million immigrants, many of them English-speaking, arrived in the country during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

The English language history of the region thus has many strands. There was initially a certain amount of regional dialect variation among the different groups of British settlers, with the speech of the London area prominent in the Cape, and Midlands and northern British speech strongly represented in Natal; but in due course a more homogeneous accent emerged - an accent that shares many similarities with the accents of Australia, which was also being settled during this period.

At the same time, English was being used as a second language by the Afrikaans speakers, and many of the Dutch colonists took this variety with them on the Great Trek of 1836, as they moved north to escape British rule. An African variety of English also developed, spoken by the black population, who had learned the language mainly in mission schools, and which was influenced in different ways by the various language backgrounds of the speakers. In addition, was also adopted by the many immigrants from India, who were brought to the country from around 1860.

English has always been a minority language in South Africa, and is currently spoken as a first language only by about 3.7 million in a 2002 population of over 43.5million. Afrikaans, which was given official status in 1925, was the first language of the majority of whites, including most of those in power, and acted as an important symbol of identity for those of Afrikaner background. It was also the first language of most of the coloured population. English was used by the remaining whites (of British background) and by increasing numbers of the (70 per cent majority) black population. There is thus a linguistic side to the political divisions which marked South African apartheid society: Afrikaans came to be perceived by the black majority as the language of authority and repression; English was perceived by the Afrikaner government as the language of protest and self-determination. Many blacks saw English as a means of achieving an international voice, and uniting themselves with other black communities.

The 1993 Constitution names eleven languages as official, including English and Afrikaans, in an effort to enhance the status of the country's indigenous languages. The consequences of such an ambitious multilingual policy remain to be seen, but the difficulties of administering an eleven-language formula are immense and it is likely that English will continue to be an important lingua franca. Enthusiasm for the language continues to grow among the black population: in 1993, for example, a series of government surveys among black parents demonstrated an overwhelming choice of English as the preferred language in which children should receive their education. And in the South African Parliament in 1994 the language continued to dominate the proceedings, with 87 per cent of all speeches being made in English. [7, p. 46]

South Asia holds about a fifth of the world's population. Several varieties of English have emerged throughout the subcontinent, and they are sometimes collectively referred to as South Asian English. These varieties are less than 200 years old, but they are already among the most distinctive varieties in the English-speaking world.

The origins of South Asian English lie in Britain. The first regular British contact with the subcontinent came in 1600 with the formation of the British East India Company - a group of London merchants who were granted a trading monopoly in the area by Queen Elizabeth I. The Company established its first trading station at Surat in 1612, and by the end of the century others were in existence at Madras, Bombay and Calcutta. During the eighteenth century, it overcame competition from other European nations, especially France. As the power of the Mughal emperors declined, the Company's influence grew, and in 1765it took over the revenue management of Bengal. Following a period of financial indiscipline among Company servants, the 1784 India Act established a Board of Control responsible to the British Parliament, and in 1858, after the Indian Mutiny, the Company was abolished and its powers handed over to the Crown.

During the period of British sovereignty, from1765until independence in 1947, English gradually became the medium of administration and education throughout the subcontinent. The language question attracted special attention during the early nineteenth century, when colonial administrators debated the kind of educational policy which should be introduced. A recognized turning-point was Lord William Bentinck's acceptance of a Minute written by Thomas Macaulay in 1835, which proposed the introduction of an English educational system in India. When the universities of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras were established in 1857, English became the primary medium of instruction, thereby guaranteeing its status and steady growth during the next century.

In India, the bitter conflict between the supporters of English, Hindi, and regional languages led in the 1960s to a `three language formula', in which English was introduced as the chief alternative to the local state language. It now has the status of an `associate' official language, with Hindi the official language. It is also recognized as the official language of four states (Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura) and eight Union territories.

English has, as a consequence, retained its standing within Indian society, continuing to be used within the legal system, government administration, secondary and higher education, the armed forces, the media, business, and tourism. It is a strong unifying force.

In Pakistan it is an associated official language. It has no official status in the other countries of South Asia, but throughout the region it is universally used as the medium of international communication. Increasingly it is being perceived by young South Asians as the language of cultural modernity. [15]

The English began to visit West Africa from the end of the fifteenth century, and soon after we find sporadic references to the use of the language as a lingua franca in some coastal settlements. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the increase in commerce and anti-slave-trade activities had brought English to the whole West African coast. With hundreds of local languages to contend with, a particular feature of the region was the rise of several English-based pidgins and creoles, used alongside the standard varieties of colonial officials, missionaries, soldiers, and traders.

British varieties developed especially in five countries, each of which now gives English official status:

Sierra Leone - The settlement became a Crown Colony in 1808, and was then used as a base for anti-slave-trading squadrons, whose operations eventually brought some 60,000 `recaptives' to the country. The chief form of communication was an English-based creole, Krio, and this rapidly spread along theWest African coast.

Ghana (formerly Gold Coast) - Following a successful British expedition against the Ashanti to protect trading interests, the southern Gold Coast was declared a Crown Colony in 1874. Ghana

achieved independence in 1957. Its population was nearly 19 million in 2002, about 1.5million of whom use English as a second language.

Gambia - A period of conflict with France was followed in 1816 by the establishment of Bathurst (modern Banjul) as a British base for anti-slaver activities. The capital became a Crown Colony in 1843, the country an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1965and a republic in 1970. It had a population of 1.4 million in 2002. Krio is widely used as a lingua franca.

Nigeria - After a period of early nineteenth-century British exploration of the interior, a British colony was founded at Lagos in 1861. It is one of the most multilingual countries in Africa, with some 500 languages identified in the mid-1990s. Its population in 2002 was over 126 million. About half use pidgin or creole English as a second language.

Cameroon - This region was divided between France and Britain in 1919. After some uncertainty, the two areas merged as a single country in 1972, with both French and English remaining as official languages.

There was also one American influence in the region:

Liberia - Africa's oldest republic was founded in 1822 through the activities of the American Colonization Society, which wished to establish a homeland for former slaves. Within fifty years it received some 13,000 black Americans, as well as some 6,000 slaves recaptured at sea. The settlement became a republic in 1847, and adopted a constitution based on that of the USA. It managed to retain its independence despite pressure from European countries during the nineteenth century `scramble for Africa'. Its population in 2002 was some 3.2 million, most of whom use pidgin English as a second language.

Although English ships had visited East Africa from the end of the sixteenth century, systematic interest began only in the 1850s, with the expeditions to the interior of such British explorers as Richard Burton, David Livingstone and John Speke. The Imperial British East Africa Company was founded in 1888, and soon afterwards a system of colonial protectorates became established, while other European nations (Germany, France, and Italy) vied with Britain for territorial control.

Several modern states (Botswana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe), each with a history of association with Britain, gave English official status when they gained independence, and British English has thus played a major role in the development of these states, being widely used in government, the courts, schools, the media, and other public domains. It has also been adopted elsewhere in the region as a medium of international communication, such as in Rwanda, Ethiopia and Somalia.

The kinds of English which developed in East Africa were very different from those found in West Africa. Large numbers of British emigrants settled in the area, producing a class of expatriates and African-born whites (farmers, doctors, university lecturers, etc.) which never emerged in the environmentally less hospitable West African territories. A British model was introduced early on into schools, reinforcing the exposure to British English brought by the many missionary groups around the turn of the century. The result was a range of mother-tongue English varieties which have more in common with what is heard in South Africa or Australia than in Nigeria or Ghana. [12]

The territories in and to the west of the South Pacific display an interesting mixture of American and British English. The main American presence emerged after the Spanish-American War of 1898, from which the USA received the island of Guam (and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean) and sovereignty over the Philippines. Hawaii was annexed at that time also, after a period of increasing US influence. In the 1940s, the US invasion of Japanese-held Pacific islands was followed after World War II by several areas being made the responsibility of the USA as United Nations Trust Territories. The Philippines became independent in 1946, but the influence of American English remains strong. And as this country has by far the largest population of the English speaking states in the region (about 80 million in 2002), it makes a significant contribution to world totals.

British influence began through the voyages of English sailors at the end of the eighteenth century, notably the journeys of Captain Cook in the 1770s. The London Missionary Society sent its workers to the islands of the South Pacific fifty years later. In South-east Asia, the development of a British colonial empire grew from the work of Stamford Raffles, an administrator in the British East India

Company. Centres were established in several locations, notably Penang (1786), Singapore (1819) and Malacca (1824). Within a few months, the population of Singapore had grown to over 5,000, and by the time the Federated Malay States were brought together as a Crown Colony (1867), English had come to be established throughout the region as the medium of law and administration, and was being increasingly used in other contexts. A famous example is the English-language daily newspaper, The Straits Times, which began publication in 1845.

English inevitably and rapidly became the language of power in the British territories of South-east Asia. Hong Kong island was ceded to Britain in 1842 by the Treaty of Nanking, at the end of the first Opium War, and Kowloon was added to it in 1860; the New Territories, which form the largest part of the colony, were leased from China in 1898 for ninety-nine years. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, several territories in the region became British protectorates, the administration of some being later taken over by Australia and New Zealand. Territories with English as part of their heritage, which have become independent in recent decades, include American Samoa, Palau (Belau), Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, North Mariana Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

The introduction of a British educational system exposed learners to a standard British English model very early on. Englishmedium schools began in Penang (now Malaysia's leading port) in 1816, with senior teaching staff routinely brought in from Britain. Although at the outset these schools were attended by only a tiny percentage of the population, numbers increased during the nineteenth century as waves of Chinese and Indian immigrants entered the area. English rapidly became the language of professional advancement and the chief literary language. Soon after the turn of the century, higher education through the medium of English was also introduced. The language thus became a prestige lingua franca among those who had received an English education and who had thereby entered professional society. [2, p. 123]

1.3 The role of English today

Today English is becoming the first world's universal language. It is the mother tongue of 500 million of people in 12 countries of the world. It is, of course, less than about 900 million of people speaking Mandarin. But English is thought to be second language of 600 million of people. About 200 million of people know the English language to some extent. It has official and semi-official status in 62 countries of the world. No doubts that English is much more geographically spread and more universal than Chinese. And the rate of the development of its use is incredible.

Thus, today about 1,5 billion of people that speak English. It is the most taught language, but what is more wonderful, it doesn't replace all the other languages but complement them. [10, p. 17]

Here are some interesting facts about English:

- 300 million of Chinese people (it is more than the population of the USA) learn the English language.

- In Hong-Kong pupils of 9 out of 10 secondary schools learn English.

- In France pupils of all the state secondary schools have to learn English of German for 4 years. However, not less than 85% chooses English.

- In Japan all the pupils should learn English for 6 years up to the graduation from the secondary schools.

- In Norway, Sweden and Denmark the study of English is obligatory one.

- In Netherlands there are more people knowing the English language than in any other European country except Great Britain.

- Since Portugal became the member of the European Union, the demand for English outranked the demand for French.

- In Tokyo there are 1300 English speaking schools, and about 100 schools are established every year.

The English language predominates in the spheres of transport and mass media. English is the language of the travels. All the International airlines use English as the language of communication. Five largest television networks - CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC and CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) - broadcast in English for the audience of about 500 million of people. It is also the language of satellite television.

English is the language if Information Era. More than 80% of computer information is stored in English. 85% of all the telephone conversations are held in English, as well as three fourths of the world's mails, e-mails, faxes and telegrams. Software manuals and the software itself are often available in English only. Earlier German was the language of the science, but today about 85% of scientific works are published in English first. English is the language of the medicine, electronics and space technologies. The Internet is inconceivable without the English Language.

English is the language of international business also. Producer country is usually labeled in English on all the kind of goods: “Made in China”, “Made in Germany”, etc. This language was chosen as the language of communication by many multinational companies. “Toyota” provides the English language courses for the working-staff. “All the candidates for the post in “Tetra Pak” and IBM should know English quite well… And all these facts are just the top of the iceberg.” [6, p. 22]

English has replaced French in the sphere of diplomacy. It is the official language of Oxfam, UNESCO, NATO and UN.

At last, English is the language of the world's youth culture. Throughout the world young people sing the lyrics of The Beatles, U-2, Michael Jackson and Madonna, sometimes not even knowing what these words mean. “Break dance”, “bodybuilding”, “computer hacking” and many other words are included in the youth slang.

english language dialect pupil

II. The varieties of English and importance of their introduction to the pupils

2.1 The difference between British and American English

It goes without saying that American English (variously abbreviated AmE, AE, AmEng and USEng) is the most wide-spread variation of the English language. Approximately two-thirds of native speakers of English live in the United States and consequently speak American English. However British English (BrE) was a kind of base, original source of American English. Generally, it is agreed that no one version is "correct" however, there are certainly preferences in use. And now we will try to point out the principal differences between these two varieties of English. [5, p. 65]

- English and American English Spelling

Here is the table demonstrating the principal differences in spelling between English and American English:

Table 1



Final -l is always doubled after one vowel in stressed and unstressed syllables in English but usually only in stressed syllables in American English

rebel > rebelled

rebel > rebelled

travel > travelled

travel > traveled

Some words end in -tre in English and -ter in American English





Some words end in -ogue in English and -og in American English





Some words end in -our in English and -or in American English





Some verbs end in -ize or -ise in English but only in -ize in American English

realise, realize


harmonise, harmonize


- Differences in grammar

The British use the present perfect to talk about a past action which has an effect on the present moment. In American English both simple past and present perfect are possible in such situations.

I have lost my pen. Can you borrow me yours? (BrE)

I lost my pen. OR I have lost my pen. (AmE)

Other differences include the use of already, just and yet. The British use the present perfect with these adverbs of indefinite time. In American English simple past and present perfect are both possible.

He has just gone home. (BrE)

He just went home. OR He has just gone home. (AmE)

I have already seen this movie. (BrE)

I have already seen this movie. OR I already saw this movie. (AmE)

She hasn't come yet. (BrE)

She hasn't come yet. OR She didn't come yet. (AmE)

The British normally use “have got to show possession. In American English “have (in the structure do you have) and “have got are both possible.

Have you got a car? (BrE)

Do you have a car? OR Have you got a car? (AmE)

In British English it is fairly common to use shall with the first person to talk about the future. Americans rarely use shall.

I shall/will never forget this favour. (BrE)

I will never forget this favor. (AmE)

In offers the British use shall. Americans use should.

Shall I help you with the homework? (BrE)

Should I help you with the homework? (AmE)

In British English needn't and don't need to are both possible. Americans normally use don't need to.

You needn't reserve seats. OR You don't need to reserve seats. (BrE)

You don't need to reserve seats. (AmE)

In American English it is particularly common to use subjunctive after words like essential, vital, important, suggest, insist, demand, recommend, ask, advice etc. (Subjunctive is a special kind of present tense which has no -s in the third person singular. It is commonly used in that clauses after words which express the idea that something is important or desirable.) In British English the subjunctive is formal and unusual. British people normally use should + Infinitive or ordinary present and past tenses.

It is essential that every child get an opportunity to learn. (AmE)

It is essential that every child gets an opportunity to learn. (BrE)

It is important that he be told. (AmE)

It is important that he should be told. (BrE)

She suggested that I see a doctor. (AmE)

She suggested that I should see a doctor. (BrE)

Collective nouns like jury, team, family, government etc., can take both singular and plural verbs in British English. In American English they normally take a singular verb.

The committee meets/meet tomorrow. (BrE)

The committee meets tomorrow. (AmE)

The team is/are going to lose. (BrE)

The team is going to lose. (AmE)

In American English it is common to use like instead of as if/ as though. This is not correct in British English.

He talks as if he knew everything. (BrE)

He talks like/as if he knew everything. (AmE)

In American English it is also common to use were instead of was in unreal comparisons.

He talks as if he was rich. (BrE)

He talks as if he were rich. (AmE)

Americans normally use he/she, him/her, his/her to refer back to one. In British English one is used throughout the sentence.

One must love one's country. (BrE)

One must love his/her country. (AmE)

In American English mid position adverbs are placed before auxiliary verbs and other verbs. In British English they are placed after auxiliary verbs and before other verbs.

He has probably arrived now. (BrE)

He probably has arrived now. (AmE)

I am seldom late for work. (BrE)

I seldom am late for work. (AmE)

- Difference in vocabulary

Probably the major differences between British and American English lies in the choice of vocabulary. Some words mean different things in the two varieties for example:

Mean: (American English - angry, bad humored, British English - not generous, tight fisted)

Pants: (American English - trousers, British English - underwear)

There are many more examples (too many for us to list here). Many vocabulary items are also used in one form and not in the other. One of the best examples of this is the terminology used for automobiles.

American English - hood

British English - bonnet

American English - trunk

British English - boot

American English - truck

British English - lorry

- Equivalent idioms

A number of English idioms that have essentially the same meaning show lexical differences between the British and the American version, for example:

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