An Overview of the Social and Cultural Impact of the English Language

The social and cultural impact of English as International Language is a wide field covering many issues, especially related to the advantageous or disadvantageous to former colonies, and whether this continues to be the case at present with unprecedented globalization. As we know, the impact of globalization has improved access of technological latecomers to advanced technologies. Thus, the spread of English as a global language cannot be denied. It will increase the needs of English teacher in undeveloped countries where English is spoken as a foreign language.

Then, there is an issue whether the identity of a teacher will also influence the successfulness to teach EIL to the students in undeveloped countries especially in Asian countries.

Taking Vietnam as the context in TESOL program, Phan Le Ha (2008) stated that the relation between language, culture and identity is closely interlinked. It shows that there is a constant process of how the identity being formed. Related to the identity of EIL teacher, Phan Le Ha observes that there is a tendency from western society to attributes eastern cultures through the notion of orientalism.

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From this point, there is an assumption that the competence of English teacher in expanding circle country is quite different from the inner circle country. To defend this notion, Phan Le Ha uses dichotomy between ‘the superior Self’ and ‘the inferior Other’ in the light of politics (p. 75).

As the spread of English is inseparable from the spread of its teaching, there must be acknowledged the disadvantages of those who learn English as a foreign language compared to native speakers.

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In reality, when Vietnamese teachers have been trained in English- speaking countries, they soon consider the English native-speakers and their methods as superior to what they had learned in Vietnam. It raises a critic, according to Phan Le Ha, that the TESOL programs only focus on specific knowledge of the language, instead of trying to enhance the teacher’s ability to use the language that usually fails to meet the needs of the learner (p.85). What is seen as communicative in the western world, may be considered as disrespectful in Asian context. This conflict of values at least needs to be reconsidered in the complexity of each cultural context.

In conclusion, the identity formation of EIL teachers’ in expanding circle countries depending on the social and cultural contexts which also shaped by the context within the learning and study activity occurred (p. 176). English teachers in non-native country want to be able to speak English on a native level of competency without being obliged to be an English person and alter their original identity. Thus, the difference of identity does not merely a main factor to weaken the competent of TESOL program held by non-native teachers in expanding circle country.

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An Overview of the Social and Cultural Impact of the English Language. (2023, Mar 27). Retrieved from

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