|Title:||From English to Banglish: Loanwords as opportunities and barriers?|
|Linguistic Field:||Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics|
|Abstract:||As a mother tongue English is the second most spoken language in the world. Chinese is the first, but English is far more widely spoken around the world. ‘Today English is spoken or written, with varying levels of fluency, by a third of the world's population’ (Crystal, 2010: 8). It has been accepted as the most common means for international communication worldwide. Hence, it occupies a special position as the international language of communication in almost all the countries of the world. Before 1971 in Bangladesh, English was used as a second language. It was first introduced when the country was a part of India when British imperialists mandated the teaching of English in 1835 throughout India. After its introduction in the curriculum, English consolidated its position as the language of the ruling class. It became the most important subject of study in the curriculum. Its dominance increased when it replaced Persian as the official and court language in 1837 and even further in 1844 when Lord Harding announced that Indians who had received an education in English would receive preference in all government appointments. However, towards the end of the British rule, a reaction arose against English education and the use of English generally. With the departure of the British rulers in 1947, English lost its earlier prominence and prestige. During the Pakistan period, when Bangladesh became a part of Pakistan (1947–1971), English retained its position as an essential subject of study. Learning English was still considered indispensable for social, intercultural and international communication, educational advancement, professional success and progress in life. In independent Bangladesh, English occupies the place of being the most important foreign language. It is taught and learned as a compulsory subject alongside Bangla, the first language, from the primary level up to the highest level of study.|
This article appears in English Today Vol. 28, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site .
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