English as a global language in the Asia-Pacific region. David Nunan The English Centre University of Hong Kong. Overview. Background: The emergence of English as a global language The Asia-Pacific Study Results and implications. English in an era of globalization.
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The English Centre University of Hong Kong
The flexibility and adaptability of English
Example: English is about to acquire its millionth word
(Global Language Monitor)
Example: Over an 18 month period the number of respondents who said English was critical for their jobs rose from 50% to 80%. Only 9% said that their English was sufficient to do their job.
Explosion in general demand for English.
Example: In China, estimated 600, 000 new enrolments in private conversation schools every four to six months.
In all countries surveyed, English has become compulsory at the elementary level.
Example: In Korea, up to 30% of household income is spent on private tutoring
Example: Lack of training and low levels of proficiency on the part of English teachers Decline in the percentage of qualified. English teachers in public schools in places such as Hong Kong.
Example: The ‘English on demand’ voucher system in Japan
Example: In some Chinese universities, up to 30% of content instruction is supposed to be delivered in English
Example: In some multinational firms, senior managers spend up to 15 hours a week redrafting junior colleagues’ written English.
Example: In all countries investigated, there was a major mismatch between official policy and classroom practice.
A ‘bipolar’ distribution of language learners/users.
Persistence of the younger = better myth
"For me, learning English is like a bath - you have to soak in it a long time.“
"When I was a kid, I didn't know it was England's language. I thought the world only had two languages - English and Chinese.“
"In secondary school, we had many exams, and I became afraid of English. It was like floods and beasts."
"In Year 7, I got an Australian teacher, and my English became bad. She couldn't speak properly."
"We got no reason to speak English. It is ridiculous. Nobody speaks English in Hong Kong.”
"In Hong Kong, just lift your head and you can learn English."
"My favorite teacher taught us to speak. He didn't emphasize grammar. The other teachers thought he was lazy, but I thought it was a really good way to learn English."
"I went to English camp in China. We were supposed to speak English all the time. I got caught speaking Chinese and had to work like a slave to clean the toilets. This really improved my English."
Nunan, D. 2002. The role of language and culture within the accountancy workplace In C. Barron, N. Bruce and D. Nunan (Eds.) Knowledge and Discourse: Towards and Ecology of Language. London: Longman/Pearson.
Nunan, D. 2003. The impact of English as a global language on educational policies and practices in the Asia-Pacific region. TESOL Quarterly, 37, 4, 2003, 589 – 613.
Nunan, D. 2005. The Evolution of Technology and Value of Online English Language Learning. While paper. San Francisco: GlobalEnglish.