Eil 1010 Essay

English is now the most widespread language in the world. It is no longer the property of the so-called inner-circle countries, such as the United States and United Kingdom. There has been a significant increase of the number of English speakers living in different parts of the world, especially in countries that do not claim English as their mother tongue. Thus, the background of today’s English speakers varies. As each group of English speakers speak in their own way, communication among different groups of today’s English speakers becomes complex.
While investigating how language, identity, and worldview interrelate with one another, it is impossible to separate them from culture. “Culture is a system of techniques for giving shape and power to human capacities; the values, tools, and ways of knowing of a culture equip members of a society with amplification systems” (Hamers & Blanc, 2000). Language is both the component and product of culture, since they are mutually affected. According to Bloomfield, language is a system of vocal symbols. He suggested that language is a cultural system. Thus, each language may have its unique expression and special way to describe certain objects or ideas according to a particular culture (Bloomfield, 1935).
Identity can be organized into several categories, including social, cultural, and ethnic identity. “Ethnolinguistic identity can be viewed as a subjective feeling of belonging to a particular group for which the language spoken by the group is an important characteristic” (Hamers & Blanc, 2000). World view is a set of beliefs about fundamental aspects of reality that grounds and influences all of one’s perception, thought, knowledge, and actions regarding the world (Funk, 2001).
As previously stated, language plays an important role in defining one’s identity. This point can be illustrated in the case of post-colonial Hong Kong. “Knowledge of English distinguishes Hong Kongers from their counterparts in the...