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English: Language of controversy: Track 1

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Is English a force for good? What have been the ramifications of this language’s dominance in ex colonies and also throughout the world?
We debate how local languages have suffered as a result of the spread of English and investigate the consequences of its influence on indigenous communities. Language campaigner Neville Alexander provides a South African perspective on the negative aspects of a language when it begins to represent economic and political power and a panel of linguists debate some of the controversies caused by English and whether they believe it still has a future.

By: The iTunes U team (The Open University,)

  • Duration 1 hour
  • Updated Friday 12th August 2011
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Languages
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Track 1: Language choice in South Africa

Neville Alexander explains how his experience in Robben Island turned him into a campaigner for language rights.


© The Open University 2011


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Language choice in South Africa    Neville Alexander explains how his experience in Robben Island turned him into a campaigner for language rights. Play now Language choice in South Africa
2 The politics of learning languages in South African society    Neville Alexander discusses his role in English language planning in South Africa. Play now The politics of learning languages in South African society
3 Why has the rise of English caused so much controversy?    English is championed as an essential tool for participation yet is criticized for causing real social harm. Play now Why has the rise of English caused so much controversy?
4 The position of English today    A panel of Linguists discuss place of English in an increasingly globalized world. Play now The position of English today