A Global Language

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language and identityA Global Language is a lesson that provides you with the opportunity to consider what extent is language and culture part of who we are and the advantages and disadvantages of English as a global language. This lesson is centred around the theme Identities from the IB Language B curriculum which provides students with an opportunity to discover their interests, values, belief and culture. In this lesson, we will practice our listening and reading skills by learning about how language can affect culture, identify and belief.

Exercise 1Exercise 2Exercise 3Word ListExtension
Watch a video introducing the Endangered Languages Project. It is a website for people to find and share the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about the over 3,000 endangered languages of the world. What does preserving a local language help tp support in that community?

Click here to reveal the answer and transcript.
Answer
1. their cultural identities
2. their values
3. their heritage

Language is the means by which we pass on our ideas, knowledge and identity from one generation to the next. But, of the seven thousand languages currently spoken, it is expected that 50% will not survive the turn of the century. And when the last fluent speaker of a language dies, we lose the centuries of knowledge and traditions that have helped shape who we are. Language loss is often related to oppression and injustice. For these communities preservation of their language is about the restoration of their cultural identities, their values and their heritage. Google is working together with trusted organizations to help stop their disappearance. The Endangered Languages Project is an online space designed for speakers of endangered languages and those passionate about their preservation. It features the most comprehensive information, the option to upload video audio or documents and share your knowledge and experiences.
And this is just the beginning… Start exploring at www.endangeredlanguages.com

Watch the film trailer for the documentary Sound and Fury. The film follows the developing conflict between members of a family in New York which includes several deaf people.

Click here to view transcript and answers
A hearing person really can’t understand how you could be happy if your child is born deaf.

Why is it so important to be deaf?

Yes, deaf people have beautiful language but you miss out on so many other beautiful things in the world like music

I don’t care about music I can’t hear it.

I really am happy being deaf it’s very peaceful who would want to change that.

Why do you want a cochlear implant now?

Because I want to hear everything.

Forget deaf, you are a mother first and you’re a father first you do what’s right that child.

If your child was blind and there was a surgery to give him eyesight would you do it?

With a cochlear implant, the child will be able to hear.

Can you hear a house collapse?

I never thought I do that do.

We think the implant can kill deaf culture yes or no.

Yes yes, deaf culture is wonderful.

Grandma, she says I want to communicate. Is that what she says?

I never knew that you really didn’t accept deafness until now

[Music]

Heather is my child and I am NOT being close-minded hearing people have their own way of looking at things I have a deaf family that is my life.

Answers
1. happy
2. music
3. what’s right for the child
4. killed
5. accept his deafness

Read the text about why English should not be the international language of the world.

Adapted from Why English should not be the International Language of the World by Robert Neilsen.

Here are the words and phrases covered in this lesson about a global language:

  • cochlear implant
  • colonised
  • cultural identities
  • disdain
  • diversity in the world
  • elite club
  • endangered languages
  • global language
  • injustice
  • native speaker
  • oppression
  • primitive
  • restoration
  • suppressed
  • surrendering
  • trusted organizations
  1. Watch the film Sound and Fury or watch Heather Artinian’s TED Talk to see how important language and culture are in relation to her identity.
  2. Imagine your school has developed a new policy with the aim of improving students’ language skills that says students should speak English at school, both in class and social situations. How would you feel if you were forced to use only English at school? Write a social media post to your friends describing your feelings about the new policy.
We add activities and exercises regularly on various themes, so why not bookmark our site, so you can come back to practice anywhere or at any time of the day.

This topic provides students with an opportunity to discover their interests, values, belief and culture.

This topic provides students with an opportunity to consider how events which take place impact an individual's life.

This topic provides students with an opportunity to explore the sciences, technology and creativity.

This topic provides students with an opportunity to explore the way in which groups of people organise themselves through common systems or interests.

This topic provides students with an opportunity to look at the challenges and opportunities faced by individuals and communities in the modern world.

Here you will find exercise to practice for the different sections of IB English B examination for either the Standard (SL) or Higher Level (HL) papers.
Learning English requires not just a good vocabulary, but a strong foundation of English grammar to communicate effectively.

Word puzzles require not just a good vocabulary and a knack for spelling, but the ability to think logically and strategically.
Levels Links:
 This free material is for students at an advanced level of English. This will probably be suitable for students in their fifth or sixth year of English studies. We add exercises on grammar and vocabulary as well as whole text activities on a regular basis. In addition, we provide test practice activity for students who are preparing for the C1 Advanced which is part of the Cambridge Assessment English Main Suite as well as the English Language B for the IB Diploma. The material will also support students studying for the Cambridge Advanced courses.

We also provide free resources across the full range of levels to provide the tools to communicate in English well.

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