Teaching English as a ‘global’ language?
Posted by Kati Sule here:

Do you remember one of our very fisrt posts, back in February "Teaching a Foreing Language? Best Teach in the accent of the Listener" ??
Now the question is Should English be taught as a ‘global’ language.??

A new video by David Crystal , answers the question:

Now it is up to you: do you agree with Mr. Crystal?

Should English be taught as a ‘global’ language?

Share your opinions with us.
--David Crystal is a writer, editor, lecturer, and broadcaster. Born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland in 1941, he spent his early years in Holyhead. He read English at University College London (1959-62), specialised in English language studies, did some research there at the Survey of English Usage under Randolph Quirk (1962-3), then joined academic life as a lecturer in linguistics, first at Bangor, then at Reading. He published the first of his 100 or so books in 1964, and became known chiefly for his research work in English language studies, in such fields as
intonation and stylistics, and in the application of linguistics to religious, educational and clinical contexts, notably in the development of a range of linguistic profiling techniques for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.


  1. Paloma Blanco5/5/10, 9:10 PM

    If I am not wrong he says that in terms of comprehension, global English changes everything.It depends on the aim of the English teaching: the main impact is in the teaching listening comprehension and reading comprehension. I think we have to get use to different accents although we probably have a clear preference. And it is truth that we don´t need to get abroad to listen different accents, just strolling in a street in whatever big city of Uk and we can hear and distinguish very different accents. I agree with him in the thing that we can´t avoid to learn global English if we want to feel confidents with English.

  2. Inma Morales5/13/10, 7:34 PM

    I absolutely agree with him. I still remember how frustrated I felt the first time I visited Ireland and couldn't understand a word because the people there spoke such different English from the one on the recordings at school.

  3. David Crystal is absolutely right when he says that we needn´t worry about production but rather comprehension. As an English language teacher myself, I found that my students in London really appreciated our trips out of the English language classroom where they could encounter a wide variety of different accents in many different contexts, including those heard on Oxford St itself as it was right on the doorstep of the language academy where I used to teach. I must say, however, that I do dislike the use of the word "global" as applied to language learning as I think all languages and not only English should be learnt by different peoples all over the globe!!....

  4. I do agree with him, he is completely right. After I finished my degree in Tourism I moved to Sctottland, and I remember how frustrating it was for me to realize that I couldn´t understand a word, for a week I thought that for the previous twelve years I had learnt nothing.
    It took me a couple of months to communicate properly and a year to communicate fluently.
    It was a great experience, because now I teach at home to some students, I only provide conversational classes for adults who are tired of grammar and want to improve their speaking. I try to teach them different accents and I add specific vocabulary.
    I think in schools they should do the same, they should teach global English.

  5. pedro said
    In my opinion I agree with him in general terms. Focusing on educational purposes, the more accents you are exposed the more open to understanding you will be.Yet, to be realistic it is very complicate to make students listen and read varied and different accents and dialects. I think it is too difficult to make students learn a language so it is even more complicated to make them learn using varied accents. In conclusion, the idea of learning and receiving the most different accents as possible is goog but not very easy to be carried out.