Why English? In a single word: Opportunity. Opportunity for a better life, a job, to be able to pay for school, or put better food on the table.
English is becoming the language of problem solving.
ネイティブな言語としての自国語はいつまでも文化や生活の基盤としての第一言語であり、英語はあくまで第二言語である。しかし同時にグローバルな言語としての英語は、グローバルな問題を解決するための共通の言葉”the language of problem solving”としての位置をつくであろうと考えているようです。
Let's talk about manias. Let's start with Beatle mania. Hysterical teenagers, crying, screaming, pandemonium. Sports mania. Deafening crowds. All for one idea. Get the ball in the net. Okay, religious mania. There's rapture. There's weeping. There's visions. Manias can be good. Manias can be alarming. Or manias can be deadly.
The world has a new mania. A mania for learning English. Listen as Chinese students practice their English by screaming it.
Teacher: ... change my life!
Students: I will change my life.
T: I don't want to let my parents down.
S: I don't want to let my parents down.
T: I don't ever want to let my country down.
S: I don't ever want to let my country down.
T: Most importantly ... S: Most importantly ...
T: I don't want to let myself down.
S: I don't want to let myself down.
Jay Walker: How many people are trying to learn English worldwide? Two billion of them.
Students: A t-shirt. A dress.
JW: In Latin America, in India, in Southeast Asia, and most of all in China. If you are a Chinese student you start learning English in the third grade, by law. That's why this year China will become the world's largest English speaking country. (Laughter) Why English? In a single word: Opportunity. Opportunity for a better life, a job, to be able to pay for school, or put better food on the table. Imagine a student taking a giant test for three full days. Her score on this one test literally determines her future. She studies 12 hours a day for three years to prepare. 25 percent of her grade is based on English. It's called the Gaokao. And 80 million high school Chinese students have already taken this grueling test. The intensity to learn English is almost unimaginable. Unless you witness it.
Teacher: Perfect! Students: Perfect!
T: Perfect! S: Perfect!
T: I want to speak perfect English.
S: I want to speak perfect English.
T: I want to speak -- S: I want to speak --
T: perfect English. S: perfect English.
T: I want to change my life!
S: I want to change my life!
JW: So is English mania good or bad? Is English a tsunami, washing away other languages? Not likely. English is the world's second language. Your native language is your life. But with English you can become part of a wider conversation. A global conversation about global problems. Like climate change or poverty. Or hunger or disease. The world has other universal languages. Mathematics is the language of science. Music is the language of emotions. And now English is becoming the language of problem solving. Not because America is pushing it. But because the world is pulling it. So English mania is a turning point. Like the harnessing of electricity in our cities, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, English represents hope for a better future. A future where the world has a common language to solve its common problems.
Presenter:The Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly, said she is leaving her job - the second ministerial resignation in just over a week. Ms Kelly says it's a hard decision but her family are growing up and she wants to spend more time with her children. We'll be joined by her momentarily but first, our political correspondent, Nick Robinson, is here. Nick, is there more to this than meets the eye?
Correspondent: Ruth Kelly asked to leave the cabinet several months ago - so in a way, there's no surprises here. But what is odd is the way the news has been broken: in the early morning, before her conference speech. Between you and I, it looks like No 10 were trying to mitigate against a dramatic departure - in affect, putting out a spoiler.
Presenter: It had been rumoured that Ruth Kelly might be the leader of a mass resignation or at least, partner with one other minister - is that no longer a possibility?
Correspondent: You're right - one minister in particular, inferred to me that he would be off but has since changed his mind. While he'd be loath to admit it, the current financial crisis has effectively done the PM a favour. None of his other ministers are planning to try and move against his or her leader at such a crucial time and so no, I don't think he'll have to face up to a revolt. Meanwhile, he has one less opponent in the cabinet, so Mr Brown's position may even be stronger as a result of this, particularly if his speech receives fulsome praise.
Presenter: Is the subject of the leadership likely to receive less attention, then?
Correspondent: Well, I wouldn't go that far. Ministers sung from the same hymn sheet in public but behind the scenes at conference, it was a different story. There certainly are people who say Mr Brown's not the right man to lead Labour into the next general election - an assertion that No 10 refutes, of course. The public might be bored of speculation but the question of Gordon Brown's leadership is not likely to go away, given the enormity of the subject, no matter how many people are disinterested in it.