044si The triumph of the industrial consumer paradigm and English as the global language

Joel Spring


This article considers the role of English as the global language within the industrial-consumer paradigm. In the 21st century, the English language plays a different function in the global economy than it did during the 19th century when it was used as an instrument of cultural imperialism. Today, English serves as a vehicle for participation in the global economy. It is now chosen as a language to learn rather than it being imposed by outside forces. Also, it is often adapted to local linguistic traditions creating a world of Englishes. The author traces the trends of English within the industrial-consumer paradigm, and concludes by suggesting the biospheric paradigm offered by progressive educators as a possible alternative model to the current educational security state.