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ERIC Number: EJ813701
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISSN: ISSN-0010-8146
The Hegemony of English as a Global Language: Reclaiming Local Knowledge and Culture in China
Guo, Yan; Beckett, Gulbahar H.
Convergence, v40 n1-2 p117-132 2007
English has become the dominant global language of communication, business, aviation, entertainment, diplomacy and the internet. Governments as well as some scholars appear to be accepting such a spread of English uncritically. However, we argue that the increasing dominance of the English language is contributing to neocolonialism by empowering the already powerful and leaving the disadvantaged further behind, an issue that needs attention. Specifically, we discuss how English as a dominant language worldwide is forcing an unfamiliar pedagogical and social culture on to its learners, along the way socio-psychologically, linguistically and politically putting them in danger of losing their first languages, cultures and identities, and contributing to the devaluation of local knowledge and cultures. Drawing on the work of critical theorists who have drawn our attention to the close relationship between language and power, we show how the global spread of English is not only a product of colonialism, but also the most potent instrument of cultural control and cultural construct of colonialism. We call for more inclusive and egalitarian language policies and practices and suggest some new strategies that may be used to develop policies and practices that enrich rather than replace local knowledge in China in this global era.
National Institute of Adult Continuing Education. Renaissance House, 20 Princess Road West, Leicester, LE1 6TP, UK. Tel: +44-1162-044200; Fax: +44-1162-044262; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Primary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China