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Helping With Assignment: English in other countries
#1
Hey guys, if you're willing, I'd like help on an assignment from my online English class.  I'm supposed to do research on another country to answer specific questions each week, then write an essay using my notes for my final.

It's an alternate assignment from doing video chat discussions with a student from another country who is taking the same class, but is not fluent and needs practice speaking English.  The purpose of the assignment, from my perspective, is to learn the importance of English in other countries and the world generally.

I used the Food and Festivals threads to answer 2 week's worth of questions.  They were good sources, so I figured I should be proactive and create my own sources with your guy's help.

So, at the beginning of each week, I'll ask a new question(s).
Please respond to the week's current question.
I only have a few more weeks left in the class, but if this thread is successful, I may go through them all.  I have about 20 questions total.

The first week's question is:
Why would it be important for someone in your country or culture to learn English?

The country I've chosen to focus on is Brazil, but anyone is free to discuss here about their country.  I might even change which country I write about for my final.  
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#2
Due to the nature of America being the current hegemony of the world, it is only natural that the universal language spoken is that of the hegemony. This is the reason why French and Latin, as ancient it's former glorious empires were, is still widely learned by diplomats around the world. All of these languages have histories of being a hegemony.

Not to mention, the dollar bill has also been largely established as the most stable currency in the world. Contrary to popular belief, the dollar bill is really the only safe option to invest in. This is why China, of all places, has placed a lot of investment in paying into the dollar in order to keep America afloat. Without the central American dollar to hold the economy in place, the entire structure of the world economics would collapse under it.

This all goes back to the concept of language itself. Language is more than a means to an end of communication. Language itself is an ever so evolving form that reflects our very culture. Foreigners learn English in order to understand Anglo-Saxon culture, and, with understanding, comes a greater ability for diplomacy. Understanding how to maneuver around America is important because America is a hegemony. Whether your country considers America friend or foe, knowing the most powerful country in the world is a heavy asset.

Over here, in America, there is no emphasis on learning any foreign language. Most students here only take language to fulfill a humanities course, and usually it's Spanish because of the large amount of Hispanic immigration here. However, if I were to gander a guess on what the other languages people find most important, it would probably be Japanese and Chinese. This is simply because Asia is a growing force that America is forced to interact with due to their growing economic power.

So... tl;dr learning english helps you communicate with the strongest world superpower. (I hope I didn't offend anyone, dear god please don't argue over what I say)
I don't recall calling myself a hero, nor have I ever cared for justice.
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#3
This looks like Panta's thread with the periodic question thing hahaha.

Answer:
Well Venezuela people used to learn good english on schools before the fake socialism happened. Right now is really important since it is our main tool to defend ourselves right after we graduate and run to Panama or the US. The only choices a young person from our country have to choose from are to run away from here or survive the calamities. I'm doing the best to survive, and after I graduate I plan to run to Mexico or the UK.


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#4
People here always say you need to learn English to have a better job/apply for a scholarship anywhere in the world to have a better CV and, of course, communicate with the rest of the world. Brazilians in general still struggles to have a reasonable english, even with lots of [expensive] english schools here. If you turn on the TV, you can see a bunch of ads about different english schools, saying you need to learn English in a professional scenario. They don't say about speaking English to make things easier abroad, it's always about work.

The main problem is the price. English classes are the least expensive. I'm having French classes this year and I can see that. lol

It's like: 'Brazil wants to participate more in international scenario, but still lacks the basic condition for that: speak English'. It's changing, but there's a lot of work to do.

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#5
Honestly, I don't think most of Indonesian people realize how important to learn and master English.
But when it comes to several "successful people" in my country, English is like one of the requirements to success.

For example, if there's a businessman who'd like to expand their business overseas, the 1st thing they do is to communicate and look for acquaintances as many as he can. Then what language will he use to communicate? English of course.

2nd example, if there are students who'd like to get scholarship in top overseas universities, English is also the 1st thing that comes up to their mind (Except if they're going to China, etc).
Am I good enough to communicate in English that others wouldn't misunderstand me?
Am I good enough to present those English research proposals and reports to my lecturers?
Am I good enough to do an English presentation about my project?
Am I good enough to understand what are those genius proffessors talking about in my class?

If someone asked "why are you going overseas? why don't you stay in your country?"
Well, it's not like I want to make my country looks bad. But it's a common fact for our people that Indonesia has many political issues. Those political issues affect other fields such as education, economy, culture, religion, etc.
Indonesia will never grow if those issues are still around. In order to fix that, we, the young generations must learn from other big countries and open up our mind. Learning English is the 1st step towards that.
From all lies that I've heard, "I love you" was my favourite.
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#6
Just adding to what Celov said, english is taught in schools but in a very low level and with focus on writing instead of conversation.
Also, fun fact about the price of english classes: Many companies hire people with good english and teach them a new profession because it's way cheaper than hire a professional of the area and pay for his english classes.
[Image: sigkantaitos3.png]
The Way of the Bow
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#7
Wow, these are amazing responses, guys.  I already feel like I'm getting a clearer picture about this subject.

(03-15-2015, 09:25 PM)Oriceles Wrote: This looks like Panta's thread with the periodic question thing hahaha.

Answer:
Well Venezuela people used to learn good english on schools before the fake socialism happened. Right now is really important since it is our main tool to defend ourselves right after we graduate and run to Panama or the US. The only choices a young person from our country have to choose from are to run away from here or survive the calamities. I'm doing the best to survive, and after I graduate I plan to run to Mexico or the UK.
His thread was one of the things that gave me this idea.
And learning English so you can get away from your country?  I had no idea.  Sad

(03-16-2015, 05:07 AM)ShiroOu Wrote: Just adding to what Celov said, english is taught in schools but in a very low level and with focus on writing instead of conversation.
Also, fun fact about the price of english classes: Many companies hire people with good english and train them for a new function because it's way cheaper than hire a professional of the area and pay for his english classes.
Does that mean you have better qualifications than other people only because you write English well? Wink
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#8
Now this is odd, but I also hear in China there are classes to learn "natural english" which is apparently the way they refer to our accent (American accent). You know... since we don't really have an actual accent to our language, we just talk however the... heck we want. But yeah, apparently there are classes to LEARN OUR DUMB ACCENT. I mean, if you wanted an accent, British accents sound smarter... but people want our accent apparently :I

One tip for you all, just keep saying the word "freedom" and eventually you'll channel America.
I don't recall calling myself a hero, nor have I ever cared for justice.
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#9
(03-16-2015, 04:58 AM)Erokhi Wrote: Honestly, I don't think most of Indonesian people realize how important to learn and master English.
But when it comes to several "successful people" in my country, English is like one of the requirements to success.

For example, if there's a businessman who'd like to expand their business overseas, the 1st thing they do is to communicate and look for acquaintances as many as he can. Then what language will he use to communicate? English of course.

2nd example, if there are students who'd like to get scholarship in top overseas universities, English is also the 1st thing that comes up to their mind (Except if they're going to China, etc).
Am I good enough to communicate in English that others wouldn't misunderstand me?
Am I good enough to present those English research proposals and reports to my lecturers?
Am I good enough to do an English presentation about my project?
Am I good enough to understand what are those genius proffessors talking about in my class?

If someone asked "why are you going overseas? why don't you stay in your country?"
Well, it's not like I want to make my country looks bad. But it's a common fact for our people that Indonesia has many political issues. Those political issues affect other fields such as education, economy, culture, religion, etc.
Indonesia will never grow if those issues are still around. In order to fix that, we, the young generations must learn from other big countries and open up our mind. Learning English is the 1st step towards that.

Also many universities, like mine, has TOEFL score as its requirement.
Maybe it's just one of the effects of globalization, if not probably our (Indonesian) second language will be dutch. One language that is used on many countries will be used (since England has colonies almost everywhere across the globe) since it's easier to get the minorities to follow the majorities
İmage
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#10
(03-16-2015, 05:37 AM)SteelCrow Wrote: (...)
His thread was one of the things that gave me this idea.
And learning English so you can get away from your country?  I had no idea.  Sad
Ohh I see haha.

Yes you can read a bit about our background from 2000 to present, I posted some notes on the last post wins thread. We have the worst economy in the world, this year we surpassed Africa. Also we are #1 in crime, death rate, narcotraffic, and unemployment. 1$ is 250 bs.F at the black market, and the minimum salary is around 5.000 bs.F at month... most jobs pay around that, me as tv producer earn 10.000 bs.f at month (yeah I earn 40$ at month Big Grin that is why I can't buy anything on steam, also dollar based accounts are forbidden inside the country and you only can buy dollars from the government once every year at the limit of 300$). An old used car think of a Chevrolet Malibu is worth around 500.000 Bs.F. Socialism is a plague that is why I was hoping for Obama to really invade us, at least I'm happy to know he consider us a "threat" so in a future war can happens anyway.

And you know what is the worst part?, on an average of 8/10 venezuelans that leaves to panama or other countries succeed, since we leave with at least 2 courses + university. That is why we don't see the light here. We only hope to get overseas and do our best where we land since foreigners usually have to do extra work, but still the extra work is nothing compared to the things you have to do here to survive over the fake socialism.


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