Who owns English?

 Photo from Creative Commons user: OZinOH

Photo from Creative Commons user: OZinOH

This is part of a series of short posts framing adult English language learning experiences for volunteers at a local English class in my city. 

Some facts: English is an official language in more than 70 countries and is taught as a foreign language in more than 100 countries AND there are more non-native speakers than native speakers of English. So this brings up the question of who owns English? Or said in a different way – do native speakers of English own English? Are they the ones who should teach it and should determine how it is spoken? The facts above highlight the fact that English is really a global language, rather than an American or British language. And the fact that it is global may mean revisiting who counts as a good English teacher and what counts as good English – something we’ll revisit in the next few tips!

For more information on global English check out this book “English as a global Language” by linguist David Crystal (available online):  http://culturaldiplomacy.org/academy/pdf/research/books/nation_branding/English_As_A_Global_Language_-_David_Crystal.pdf