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

Joel Spring

Abstract


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.