By Jorge Garro - Student of English Teaching and Translation
"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." - John Cotton Dana
The English language is the main catalyst for the globalization that we are experiencing today. Without its implementation at a global level, we would not have the efficiency to reach the cultural and scientific advances that we, as a society, have achieved. Enough has been said about the benefits that being a user of the lingua franca can bring to someone’s life. We live in a world that speaks English everywhere you go.
You can trace the influence that the language has had in many cultures and in the way that we communicate. Long past are the days where being bilingual was considered a novelty and enough reason to stand out; as globalization continues its expansion bringing new business opportunities and strengthening ties between nations, the necessity of establishing a Global Language began to emerge. Some people may even argue that their native languages should be preserved, which indicates that, in many languages, English has crept in and begun to grow its roots. The use of English can position someone to the status of citizen of the world, being able to travel to any country, having greater access to information, being able to share with other cultures and choose a better job. These are just some of the advantages of mastering the language of the world.
The proliferation of technology has, undoubtedly, brought people together; the advent of social media at the beginning of the century gave the individual the ability to have a voice in society. Suddenly, any social problem could be visible in seconds, any answer to any academic or cultural question could be answered instantly, and communication became more instantaneous and interactive. We could say that the foundation for globalization resides in our inner ability to communicate and express thoughts with others. In this world of communication, if you want your voice to reach the masses and have an impact on the majority of people: you must deliver your message in the most common language.
David Crystal (2003) argues that “a language can be called a global one when it plays an important role in the daily life of a big number of countries, whether in politics, commerce, internet, news and every aspect of life”. Both in the field of academics, as well as in the workplace, bilingual skills, are still some of the most sought-after competencies; by generating a need for language acquisition, demand is also created in the educational sector. More teachers, who master the language, are needed to prepare future generations for a globalized world in which speaking English is, almost as important, as knowing how to use a computer. Степура (2010, p. 3) indicates that "due to the fact that English has been used for developing communication, technology, programming, software, etc., it controls the web. 70% of all information stored electronically is in English”.
For people of all ages, but mostly for adults, learning a new language represents a fascinating journey, one that makes us understand ourselves better as humans, it also represents a gratifying feeling to be able to communicate in a language other than our own. This journey is long and demands dedication, as well as plenty of motivation to overcome frustration. ESL students constantly face the obstacles of learning new grammar and vocabulary. But no language limitation can compare to the greatest challenge a student must overcome which is not frustration, but the loss of interest.
For a great percentage of people, the language barrier is the only factor keeping them from better study and work opportunities. Nevertheless, in many of these cases, there has been a great interest on the part of these people in learning English. However, that interest was diluted at some point, this leads us to analyze the countless cases of students who claim to have studied the English language for many years, without being able to achieve the necessary fluency to be able to use the language effectively.
There can be many reasons why a student's effort may be “cut short” before reaching a goal. Unfortunately, many of these causes respond either to lack of preparation of the academic staff or lack of government resources to provide appropriate infrastructure for the teaching of the English language. This panorama brings with it a great challenge for future English teachers, who have the responsibility of keeping the interest in learning new languages alive, becoming banners that show the world the importance of global communication. In this way, as the next educators we will become, our English will help change the world for the better.
A language teacher must not only be an expert in the area he or she teaches, but they must also be able to generate motivation in the students, using, at all times, examples that illustrate the importance and benefits that mastering another language can bring to their lives. During our preparation as educators, we have been trained to face the innate challenges of teaching, as well as the ability to function fluently in any circumstance that puts our knowledge to the test.
This new generation of teachers has invaluable experience having transitioned from the classroom environment to the virtual modality. It also knows to implement technology in teaching, thus achieving a greater rapport with the youngest. Soon the time will come when we must use our English to prepare the future workforce of the country and lead the field of education, demonstrating that, to be a teacher, you need to love the profession, be flexible, but above all, be passionate towards our career.
A teacher can be a role model for many, when a job is done with dedication, the same enthusiasm can change people's lives. We now have the opportunity to use our language skills to encourage future generations to achieve their goals. Learning English will become for our students the most valuable knowledge of their lives. We possess not only the ability to correct mistakes and help people to improve, but also to serve as an example of how far you can get in life if you master the lingua franca.
MOXIE es el Canal de ULACIT (www.ulacit.ac.cr), producido por y para los estudiantes universitarios, en alianza con el medio periodístico independiente Delfino.cr, con el propósito de brindarles un espacio para generar y difundir sus ideas. Se llama Moxie - que en inglés urbano significa tener la capacidad de enfrentar las dificultades con inteligencia, audacia y valentía - en honor a nuestros alumnos, cuyo “moxie” los caracteriza.
Crystal, D. (2003). English as a global language (2nd Ed). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Степура С. Н. (2010). The English language in the 21st century. https://moluch.ru/archive/15/1351/MOHAMADSAID, A.; RASHEED, S.
Can English Considered to be a Global Language?OnlineSubmission. [s. l.]: Online Submission, 2019. Disponível em:http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=ED608887&lang=es&site=ehost-live.Acesso em: 15 jul. 2021