Something I’ve been thinking about on and off recently is something that, in my mind, I’ve been calling “language imperialism”; the necessity of developing countries to train their businessmen, development workers, government officials, etc in English. It’s a double-edged sword as the saying goes. Having the ability to speak English is a requirement for any kind of international work, but sometimes I think that it perhaps is unfairly forced upon other countries. English certainly isn’t the easiest language to master, but here it is, the lingua franca of the modern world. I think I heard that even at the ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) summits, the languages spoken is English (I guess English is one of the official languages of Singapore…). I don’t think I can articulate my thoughts very clearly without a prolonged ramble, but I guess it comes down to a simple question: Is it fair? Is it fair that my students, who all love their country and want it to develop and prosper, have to go through the drudgery known as learning English?


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