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'English as the Second Official Language of Japan?': Globalization, Hegemony of English, and Japanese National Identity
Unformatted Document Text:  English as the second official language 9 States contributed 11 billion dollars to the U.S. economy (Economist Global Agenda, 2002, May 21). In the year 2000, the five top countries in terms of the number of international students in the United States are all from Asia: China 59,939; India, 54,664; Japan, 46,497; Korea; 45,685; Taiwan; 28,566 (Clayton, 2001, December 18). The data from the U.S. Department of Commerce indicate that higher education is the fifth-largest service sector “export” for the United States (Economist Global Agenda, 2002, May 21). The amount will be much higher if the additional contribution of “literally thousands of United States citizens—mostly young—teaching English to speakers of most of the world’s other languages” (Kaplan, 2001, p. 4) is added. English is the global dominant language on the Internet, in international politics, in academia, in business, and in entertainment. According to Funbashi (2000), more than 80 percent of Internet content is in English, whereas 44 percent of the Internet users are non-native English speakers (p. 65). The data gathered by Crystal (1997) indicate that 85 percent of international organizations made official use of English (p. 79), and academic journals with international readership are published predominantly in English (p. 87). The mass media play a key role in spreading English via Hollywood movies, MTV, CNN, and TIME magazine among many others. The U.S. film industry controls about 85 percent of the world film market (Crystal, 1997, p. 91). International business is most likely to be conducted in English (Warschauer, 2000). The spread of English poses a threat against the speakers of other languages. It is, however, also the case that people choose to learn English and demand more and better English education. The spread of English is criticized as linguistic imperialism (Phillipson, 1992). In Cyprus, the influence of English on the Greek language is seen as invasion or contamination (Papapavlou, 2001). On the other hand, in Cambodia, students held demonstrations to demand that English classes should be offered when the college attempted to return to French as the

Authors: Kawai, Yuko.
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English as the second official language 9
States contributed 11 billion dollars to the U.S. economy (Economist Global Agenda, 2002, May
21). In the year 2000, the five top countries in terms of the number of international students in
the United States are all from Asia: China 59,939; India, 54,664; Japan, 46,497; Korea; 45,685;
Taiwan; 28,566 (Clayton, 2001, December 18). The data from the U.S. Department of Commerce
indicate that higher education is the fifth-largest service sector “export” for the United States
(Economist Global Agenda, 2002, May 21). The amount will be much higher if the additional
contribution of “literally thousands of United States citizens—mostly young—teaching English
to speakers of most of the world’s other languages” (Kaplan, 2001, p. 4) is added.
English is the global dominant language on the Internet, in international politics, in
academia, in business, and in entertainment. According to Funbashi (2000), more than 80 percent
of Internet content is in English, whereas 44 percent of the Internet users are non-native English
speakers (p. 65). The data gathered by Crystal (1997) indicate that 85 percent of international
organizations made official use of English (p. 79), and academic journals with international
readership are published predominantly in English (p. 87). The mass media play a key role in
spreading English via Hollywood movies, MTV, CNN, and TIME magazine among many others.
The U.S. film industry controls about 85 percent of the world film market (Crystal, 1997, p. 91).
International business is most likely to be conducted in English (Warschauer, 2000).
The spread of English poses a threat against the speakers of other languages. It is,
however, also the case that people choose to learn English and demand more and better English
education. The spread of English is criticized as linguistic imperialism (Phillipson, 1992). In
Cyprus, the influence of English on the Greek language is seen as invasion or contamination
(Papapavlou, 2001). On the other hand, in Cambodia, students held demonstrations to demand
that English classes should be offered when the college attempted to return to French as the


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