ERIC Number: ED319368
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
The Growth of English as the Language of Global Satellite Telecommunications.
DeStefano, Johanna S.
Space Communication and Broadcasting, v6 p461-74 1989
Satellite telecommunications are part of an integrated grid of technologies that make possible what many call the Information Age. The English language is the dominant language of this age and of global telecommunications, based in part on its already clear role as the major "universal" language, especially in science and technology. English currently has widespread acceptance as the primary "link language" in the world, being no longer tied predominantly to native speakers of the language. The impact of its spread into the Third World and developing countries via global satellite technology is discussed, especially as the spread has been accelerated by these countries' desire for development and modernization. The emphasis on national sovereignty in many countries (with an attendant emphasis on indigenous languages) is also discussed as running counter to the spread of English. Three images are presented for the spread of English: (1) the kaleidoscope image, in which message transmission is viewed as the transmission of poorly articulated values of dominant cultures; (2) the window image, in which the language itself is seen to be a transparent, neutral vehicle for communication; and (3) the mirror image, in which the language reflects the values of British and American cultures. It is concluded that English serves as a mirror and kaleidoscope in some contexts, but that most frequently it serves as a window. (46 references) (Author/GL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A