There is a well-known model in which three circles of the English language spread: the inner circle, the outer ring, and the expanding circle. Countries of the inner circle are the states in which English is the official and native language for the vast majority of the population. However, even today, in the UK and the USA, there are fewer and fewer native English speakers due to an increase in the number of immigrants. For them, English remains their second language, and these users are not the ones who set the language standard. The outer circle includes countries that used to be under British rule. In these regions, English has historically performed and continues to be the second official language such as India, Singapore, the Philippines, and Tanzania. 30-40 years ago, in these countries, the representatives of the middle class were practically bilingual, and today, this position has been largely lost. But in the third circle countries, the English language study is going at an accelerated pace. A whole industry of teaching English has emerged, which is a path to the world of business, science, innovative technologies, and politics.
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English as an international language is spreading rapidly across the globe. In this regard, many teachers and even linguists believe that there is no need to force students to imitate the speech patterns of native speakers. In South Africa, it is customary for a particular segment of the population with a high educational level and social status to speak English including elements of the Hausa language. In the countries of the outer circle, attention should be paid to the commercialization of English-language training. The lack of native speakers from first-circle countries forces Chinese families to invite English-speaking governesses from second-circle countries. In the future, their children will be able to get higher education in English and find work in prestigious international companies. At the same time, it is doubtful that native speakers of New English can do this just as quickly. However, for them, the period of language adaptation will be much shorter than for people who do not initially speak the English language. The processes described above are taking place in Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Latin America. Inhabitants of these regions are striving, through mastering the English language, to integrate into a new world of globalization.
The scheme of dividing countries into circles is beneficial for analyzing the English language’s degree of prevalence globally, and not all countries fit into it. In Roman-speaking countries, the French are strictly opposed to the English language invasion, seeking to preserve their language identity. Spaniards, Portuguese, and Italians also prefer to communicate with foreigners in their languages. Political events play an essential role in the popularity or rejection of a particular foreign language. Thus, Belgrade’s bombing did not increase the English language’s popularity in Serbia, especially its American version. Speaking of English as a worldwide contact language, people signify its communicative status as a means of communication in limited areas of social contact. Therefore, the provided model does not consider the political or cultural features which may affect the usage of the English language in some specific regions.
|Inner circle||Countries where people use English as a native language||Great Britain, USA|
|Outer circle||States which used to be colonies of Great Britain and have English as the second official language||India, New Zealand|
|Expanding circle||Countries where English is considered as a foreign language||China, Egypt|