Linguistics Lecture Review example

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Linguistics Lecture Review

In his lecture “Why English is Not Enough” given in Stony Brook University's Center for Italian Studies Nigel Vincent, professor Emeritus from the university of Manchester, England, talked about importance of
learning other languages besides English for Anglophones and decline of language learning status. He used findings of Manchester university language projects, examples from popular culture, historical and current
events to corroborate his statements. His lecture showed that knowledge of languages was essential to operate in new global community.

Presently, English-speaking people of this community suffer from high level of linguistic complacency, firmly believing that everyone can speak English and so not bothering much with studying foreign languages. This
complacency is supported by popular culture, for example, the film “Imitation game” shows five genius mathematicians led by Alan Turing cracking Enigma code during WW2, but never mentions the fact that the coded messages were sent in German, so linguists and not mathematicians only were needed to crack it (Vincent). After watching this movie English-speaking people levels of linguistic complacency must have soared up.

Such complacency produced a decline in status of languages in education. As a result, it's difficult to recruit people with language skills in the UK though, according to Manchester studies, 60 % of businesses would have
liked to (qtd. in Vincent). If a business needs a German speaking employee, they would more likely hire a German with good knowledge of English because it would not be possible to find a British person with the same level of fluency in German. This deficiency often compels businesses to voluntarily contract and they simply avoid doing business abroad (Vincent). In Britain, diplomats who speak a foreign language can ask for higher salary. Out of nineteen thousands of them only 5 % do. British diplomatic missions abroad outscore this problem and use interpreters and translators. It means that they are dependent on other people for dealing with local issues, which is harmful to the understanding of foreign countries, people and policies.

Luckily, the situation is improving, for example, the British army made language skills an essential part of promotional criteria. From private to general, all service men and women have to learn a foreign language. More
people are studying foreign languages as a part of a “sandwich degree”, learning a foreign language and another subject, according to the university of Manchester study (Vincent). There are also untapped
resources in the UK: large communities of non-British children whose parents came to live in Britain and who study English in school. These are potential bilingual people but the way to apply their skills to real life
needs to be found. The topic of the lecture was of great interest to me, but I did not like the lecture itself very much. Professor Vincent kept starting an argument and then dropping it without reaching a conclusion, …

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