1 Languages in the world
This section aims to make you aware of a world beyond your current sphere of knowledge.
Activity 1 English in the world
Where is English spoken as an official language? Look at the map below, and highlight the countries where you think English is the official language. What can you notice? What language do you feel would be important to get by in?
This map shows countries that have English as their official language
On this map, you can see the countries using English as their main language shaded in grey.
Countries in which English is the first language of a large fraction of the population are shown in blue. The light blue shading shows countries where a substantial proportion of the population have adopted English as their main language. You will also see a list of which countries are included.
Activity 2 Foreign words in the English language
Think about the words you use in everyday life, and try to make a list of about 3 words, with their origins, for example, pizza, kebabs etc.
Pizza – Italian
Kebab – Arabic
Activity 3 Official language
In the table below, you will see a list of ten countries. Note down what you think the official language is in these countries.
|3||South Africa||Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swati, Tsongo, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu|
|4||Switzerland||German, French, Italian and Romansh (descending from Vulgar Latin)|
Activity 4 Most spoken languages in the world
The image below shows a list of the most spoken languages around the world. Try to put them in order of popularity and estimate the number of native speakers.
|Position||Language||No. of speakers (in millions)|
Activity 5 English words of international origin
The following list of words comes from what could be called “common languages”, as opposed to obscure ones. Think about the possible origins of each word, and note down what language you think they come from. In total you will there are 5 different languages.
Activity 6 Reflection
Note down a couple of sentences about what you have learnt about languages and English in the world. You may wish to share your thoughts in the Comments section below.