Language loss, Identity, and English as an International Language

Dastgoshadeh, Adel; Jalilzadeh, Kaveh
June 2011
European Journal of Social Sciences;Jun2011, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p659
Academic Journal
Language is inextricably linked with identity and in order to save identity, we need to attempt to save our language. The spread of English as an international language all across the globe has raised issues that need to be taken into account seriously as they affect all aspects of human activity from language in education to international relations. To most, learning English as an international language for the purpose of fulfilling communicative needs is a big threat to national, cultural and even religious identities as learning an international language causes people to lose their own language which is the carrier of all their cultural values- identity. In this paper different reasons are presented to support the claim that learning EIL not only provides the opportunities for social mobility and modernity but also eliminates the probability of losing the national language - the carrier of identity- by helping people to be identified to the whole world as they are given voices. To survive language loss which is also identity loss, getting involved in international interactions and communications is required. Therefore, to be an active participant in global relations necessitates learning the international language, i.e., English. Learning an international language provides opportunities for people to make contributions to the formation and development of that language which, in turn, lead to scientific and cultural independence.


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