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English in the Future

Two English teachers Lynne and Greg are talking about learning English in future.

Question: Lynne, I'd like to ask you first, at what age do people start learning English these days?
LYNNE: Well, in many countries children start learning English when they go to school but I think in some countries they're starting to teach English to much younger children and I think this will become more and more common around the world.
GREG: That's certainly true 'cause I know that in some countries they're even having English lessons for six-year-old children, so they'll certainly be learning as soon as they start school, if not before.

Q: And do you think that English will soon be the universal language?
LYNNE: Oh, I think most adults already speak some English, even if it's only a word or two here and there, because English is very common and very useful.

Q: What about you Greg?
GREG: Well, I think that's right. Because already there are so many words that are in English and that are used internationally, for example, "radio, television, football", these are all international words — English words though. So I think in years to come there'll be very few people who don't speak English.

Q: And, do you think, Lynne, that teachers will start using English to teach other subjects, for instance, geography or science, and that it'll be used in schools all over the world?
LYNNE: Yes, I do. I think that teachers will start experimenting with that. I think in many ways it's the best way of learning English.
GREG: I'm not sure about that actually, I don't think that's right. I think some will be in English certainly, for example, lessons in science, say. But I think quite a lot won't be in English — other lessons.

Q: Now, what about British and American life and habits, institutions, do you think that it's important to know about those?
LYNNE: I don't think that English as a language has anything to do with double-decker buses, and bowler hats, and hamburgers and yellow taxis. It's an international language and it can be used for communication between people who don't know each other's language, as a tool really. So, I don't think that the cultural roots of English are important at all.
GREG: I really do disagree there, because I think you have to understand the culture of a country, simply because there are some words that mean different things to different people depending on what country they're in, for example, the word 'tea' can be a drink to some people in one country and in another country it means an entire meal. The word 'police' means different things to different people. You always have to know a little bit about the background and the culture of a country before you can fully understand the language.

Q: What about in the work? How important is English there, what's its role?
LYNNE: Well, I think it's really important and more and more people will use it at work — it's easily understood wherever you come from and actually, everyone will need to use more English for their work.
GREG: I think some people will need to use more English, particularly people working in big companies who have to travel a lot and do a lot of business between countries, but for the majority of the population in any country who aren't involved in international business or moving around or travelling they'll be very happy sticking to their own language.

Q: And the traditional language class as we know it — do you think that that will continue or will there be other forms of teaching, such as, teaching involving television and computers?
LYNNE: Well, I think that the traditional language class will still exist. The personal contact is very important with the language teacher and of course, there is more than one person in a class, you can interact with the other students and I think that that's much more valuable often than just relating to a computer screen or listening to cassettes.

Q: Do you agree with that Greg?
GREG: Not entirely. I think that we live in a computer age now and, it's highly likely that computers and other, videos for example — all those interactive programmes that you use with videos — will allow people to learn foreign languages in a different way on their own, so that you aren't dependent on teachers and other students.

Q: And finally, do you think that English will ever become more important than the language of the native speaker?
LYNNE: Well, no. I think obviously English is important, but I think your own language and your own culture and traditions are more important to you and I think it's good to respect those and to hold on to them.
GREG: Yes, I agree. I think it would he very arrogant to think that English would be more important than your own language, 'cause your own culture and your personal identity and your national identity are, after all, far more important, aren't they?
 
Английский язык в будущем

Два учителя английского языка разговаривают об изучении этого языка в будущем.

Вопрос: Линн, Я бы хотел спросить вас, в каком возрасте начинают изучать английский язык в наши дни?
Линн: Во многих странах дети начинают изучение английского языка, когда они идут в школу, но я считаю, что в некоторых странах детей обучают английскому языку гораздо раньше, и это становится все более распространенным в мире.
Грег: Это чистая правда, я знаю также, что в некоторых странах есть уроки английского языка для шестилетних детей, так что дети точно начнут изучать язык, как только пойдут в школу, если не раньше.

Вопрос: Считаете ли вы, что английский скоро станет универсальным языком? .
Линн: Я думаю, что большинство взрослых уже разговаривают на английском на определенном уровне, даже если это пара слов здесь, пара слов там, я считаю, что этот язык достаточно общий и полезный.

Вопрос: А что вы думаете по этому поводу, Грег?
Грег: В общем, я согласен. Сейчас существует множество английских слов международного употребления, например: «radio — радио, television — телевидение, football — футбол». Так что, я думаю, с годами будет очень мало людей, которые не говорят на английском языке.

Вопрос: Линн, как вы думаете, будут ли преподавать другие предметы на английском языке, например географию или естественные науки, или что на английском будут преподавать в школах по всему миру?
Линн: Да, я думаю преподаватели начнут экспериментировать с этим. Я считаю, что это во многом лучший способ изучения английского языка.
Грег: На самом деле, я не уверен в этом, я не думаю, что это правильно. Я думаю, некоторые предметы точно будут преподаваться на английском языке, скажем, например, естественные науки. Я думаю, слишком много предметов не будет преподаваться на английском языке.

Вопрос: Теперь, как на счет английской и американской жизни и привычек, учреждений; вы думаете, важно знать о них?
Линн: Я считаю, что английский как язык не имеет ничего общего с двухэтажными автобусами, шляпами-котелками, гамбургерами и желтыми такси. Это международный язык и его могут использовать люди, которые не знают языка друг друга, как инструмент общения. Я считаю, что культурные корни английского языка совершенно не важны для говорящего.
Грег: Здесь я совершенно не согласен с вами, вам нужно понять культуру страны хотя бы потому, что существуют слова, означающие разные вещи для жителей разных стран. Например, слово «чай» может означать напиток для жителя одной страны, и целый прием пищи для жителя другой. Слово «полиция» означает разные вещи для разных народов. Вам всегда нужно узнать немного об истории и культуре страны, прежде чем вы полностью сможете понять язык.

Вопрос: Как на счет работы, насколько важен в ней английский и какова его роль?
Линн: Я думаю, что это очень важно и все больше людей будут использовать английский в работе. Легко можно понимать друг друга, независимо от того, откуда вы приехали; думаю, всем придется пользоваться английским чаще.
Грег: Я думаю, некоторым придется использовать английский язык больше, особенно тем, кто работает в больших компаниях и кому приходится много ездить за границу. Но большинство людей в любой стране, те, кто не участвуют в международном бизнесе и не ездят часто, будут рады общаться на родном языке.

Вопрос: А как на счет обычных занятий по языке, вы думаете, что обучение останется таким же или возникнут новые формы, например, использование телевидения или компьютеров?
Линн: Я думаю, традиционные занятия по языку будут по-прежнему существовать. Непосредственный контакт с преподавателем языка очень важен, вы можете также контактировать с другими учащимися в классе, и я считаю, что это куда более ценно, чем просто общаться с экраном компьютера или слушать кассеты.

Вопрос: Грег, вы согласны с этим?
Грег: Не совсем. Мы живем в эру компьютеров и весьма вероятно, что компьютеры и подобные средства, например, видео — все те интерактивные программы, которые вы используете на видео — позволят людям изучать язык по-другому, самостоятельно, независимо от преподавателей и других студентов.

Вопрос: И в заключение, считаете ли вы, что английский язык когда-нибудь станет более важным, чем родной язык?
Линн: Нет. Английский язык, безусловно, очень важен, но я считаю, что ваш родной язык, культура и традиции намного важней для вас, и стоит этого придерживаться.
Грег: Да, я согласен. Было бы довольно высокомерным считать, что английский язык важнее вашего родного языка. Ведь ваша личная и национальная принадлежность намного важнее, не так ли?


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