Paper Title
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN A GLOBALIZED ECONOMY
Author
Prof. Sam Onuigbo
Section
Arts, Language, and Communication
Abstract

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Keywords
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Introduction

The universe is a place with many possibilities and potentials and man is a creature with many sides. God created man in His own image to have dominion over all other creations. As Santrock (2005:1) put it, the entire world is a stage and all the men and women have their entrances and their exits but each man in his time plays many parts. The rhythm and meaning of people’s lives are shrouded in mysteries and many try to gain mastery over these mysteries. Just as the rhythm and meaning of lives involve biological foundations, the knowledge and control of human lives involve wisdom and manipulation of human situations. Knowledge is surely an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity. People want to know and understand the world around them. Everybody has the potential to know and many are remarkable for their use of language to make sense out of chaos. Our generation depends on the creative ability of individuals to face the world. The whole universe is split into halves: me and you, builders and destroyers, and in all these, language remains the weapon of creation and destruction, a weapon of offence and defence. Just as there are different people with different ways of saying the same thing, there are also different languages with different potentials for creativity. But in all language is a universal phenomenon for shaping the world and people of the world.

Employees and equipment provide the required creative spark for effective functioning of human resources in organizations but language provides the medium through which the processes and results are projected. International competition in domestic and foreign markets explain the emergence of globalization in commodity chain but international marketing of foreign and domestic goods underscore the emergence of globalization in language. People design and produce goods and services but market forces and quality control strategies allocate financial equivalents in marketing the products. In the remote past, it was trade by batter but in recent times, it is trade by bargain. And the success of the bargain depends much on the power of bargain and medium of its transaction. In all these situations, language remains the most powerful weapon of bargain and interaction.

Employers and employees who are involved in international operation are required to be in compliance with the laws of the nations in which they operate and since these laws are usually encoded in international languages, the operators must be in compliance with the relevant language to access the tenets of the law.

Milkovich and Boudreau (1991) use a scientific concept in quantum physics to explain how to measure management. Just as the effects of laser light on ions affect how the ion behaves, the reaction of people in specific issues depends on how their behavior is measured. While it is important to know who measures the performance, it is more important to know how the information is communicated and language is the medium of this communication. The portrait of global interconnections with the long reach of international market and commodity chain occupies the centre of international discourse in globalization but the relevance of language in international politics and commerce demands a unique attention because of its centrality in capturing the commonalities and peculiarities of transactions (Onuigbo, 2013). Just as the power of life and death is in the mouth, the success or failure of political and commercial enterprises depends on the language of interaction. [That is why this paper examines the place of English Language in a globalized economy with a view to projecting its centrality in information storage, conveyance and exploitation]. One may wonder why, in doing this, the paper dwells much on human resource management and production but the following discussion will explain why.

According to McMichael (2000) it is in our bid to make sense of our dramatically changing world that most governments are opening their economies to global competition. And for business and political elites across the world, development and globalization are becoming synonymous. Today’s world holds a complex network of interdependencies among her people especially as it concerns her technology and processes of production. One other interesting thing is that the global workforce is spread among the production links of the world commodity chain and their modes of operation are captured in language.

Everyone knows that we live in a world without boundaries, a world where everyone seems to speak the same language. And this is a world held together by the tender net of technologies that can snap any time. But there is something, a strong phenomenon that tends to grow stronger with every passing day and that is the language of the age. That language is the English Language. The French village and its growing patronage in the scheme of academics of the foreign users today cannot achieve the same level of grip on the people. The Chinese Confucius Institutes and its Centers of linguistic awareness as well as the lavish incentives to her new found friends cannot equal the firm grip of English language on the people. The Chinese technologies and its aggressive political and economic evangelism cannot destabilize the frontiers of world Englishes nor can it compare with the deep-rooted competences in English linguistics. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, one distinctive feature of the 21st Century is the emergence of a powerful apparatus of communication with a universal appeal. Even at the risk of repetition, I dare say that the continents and the people of the world have always been connected through exchange of ideas and goods but there has never been a stronger cord of interdependencies and interrelationship than that fostered by the recent communication revolution (Onuigbo, 2013). The emergence of the world-wide-web and its dragnet has affected and is affecting the structure of people’s lives and their activities. If one is not caught in the internet fraud, one is affected by the web-pollution. The crucial question which this paper tries to address, therefore, is: how the English Language came into the scheme of affairs and how this affects the global economy.

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Refrences

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Milkovich, G. T. and Bourdreau, J. W. (eds.) (1991). Human resource management. Boston: Irwin Inc.

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