A few weeks ago, I recommended an article where the writer claimed the English language was a “bully,” elbowing out other languages and dialects. While I don’t agree with the descriptor “bully,” I did think the writer made some interesting points and had a good take on the issue.
Here’s another article about the position of English in the world — and what effect it has on people (like me) who speak only English. Writing Bryon Lufkin, writing for the BBC website says:
. . . over the last century, the English language has been the currency of global trade and communications. A 2013 Harvard University report found that English skills and better income go hand-in-hand, and that they lead to a better quality of life. Adults and children all over the world spend years, and invest a lot of money, in studying English as a second language.
The problem for those of us who speak English from the cradle is that we forget how easy we have it. Source: BBC – Capital – What is the future of English in the US?
While most Americans have never felt a need to learn another language, the future may see something differed, Lufkin argues. The changing demographics of America will probably mean that there’s an economic and cultural advantage to those who have at least a passable understanding of something other than English.
Some companies have ramped up the search more than others – a full third of job openings posted by Bank of America in 2015, for example, were for bilingual workers who could speak languages like Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic. The report noted that the fastest growth in bilingual listings were for “high prestige jobs” like financial managers, editors and industrial engineers.
Lufkin makes some other valid points that are worth considering.
The Tennessee Journalism Series has added another title to its collection: British Media by Mark Harmon.
The book, like all other titles in the series, is a multimedia, interactive text that is available on the iBookstore.
The book also is available on CreateSpace, Amazon, and Kindle.
Here’s the introductory copy for the book:
British Media by Mark D. Harmon gives readers an in-depth, up-today look at the media systems and entities of Great Britain.
Drawing upon both experience and a series of recent interviews, Harmon explains the structure of the press, the place of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the minds of the British People, and the role of the Press Complaints Commission in trying to assure a fair and honest dissemination of the day’s news.
Among the other topics covered in the book are
- the British magazine and book industry
- the development of radio and television
- some of the recent scandals involving the BBC
- the role of public opinion in the British political environment
- the relationship of journalists and politicians
- the United Kingdom’s film industry
Harmon explains much in the book with a reliance of videos from experts in various aspects of the British media.
Among Dr. Harmon’s observations:
“Heritage and tradition are a significant part of UK media messages, and these moments of popular history both define and perpetuate a national character. Winston Churchill called this phenomenon “Long History” and others have called it “Deep England.” Mostly those messages have been about England, but content has expanded recently to include Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. One can get a good discussion going when one compares the mythology of a people transmitted over generations to the remaining historical record of events. Another good discussion topic is whether cultural identity mythology also carries certain power relationship assumptions; it subtly says what matters and who matters.”
Dr. Mark Harmon is a professor of journalism and electronic media at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.