American, Australian and Slovenian students debate the global hegemony of English

English is, far and away, the world’s most hegemonic language. This is true inasmuch as anyone who wants to rise to the top of global domains of power such as business, technology, science, higher education and law, pretty much has to learn English, typically to a very high degree of fluency.

Below is an abstract for a paper that examines the way in which the global hegemony of English privileges Anglo-Americans. The paper is based on a critical textual analysis of online discussion board exchanges about this topic among American, Australian and Slovenian university students. The global hegemony of English is central to American Cultural Insularity in the Center (ACIC) because it allows mother tongue speakers of English in the U.S. to get away without learning another language and therefore places a significant linguistic blinder on them. It also causes them to be more inward looking inasmuch as so few English-mother tongue speakers in the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, etc. expand their linguistic horizons in any meaningful or deep way. A failure to expand these horizons means, of course — and this is redundant, I know — that their cultural and linguistic horizons are smaller and more inward pointing that members of other language groups all of who pretty much are required to learn English.

Debating English’s Hegemony: American, Australian and Slovenian Students Discuss “The” Global Language

This article looks at how mother-tongue English speakers and those who do not have English as a mother tongue discuss the complex questions that swirl around the global hegemony of English when given an opportunity to discuss these directly with one another. The article does so via an analysis of a series of online exchanges about English’s global rise among American, Australian, and Slovenian university students. The analysis reveals that English’s global expansion can look and feel quite different, and in fact is quite different, to different social actors, all of them situated differently vis-à-vis this social phenomenon along a variety of different social, cultural, national and, most notably, linguistic axes.

Link to Full Article, published in Critical Inquiry in Language Studies: