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English as a foreign language




After mother-tongue English and English as a second language, there is the category of English as a foreign language. English is easily the most widely taught foreign language in the world. All those African countries that use French rather than English as their established or official second language have a policy of teaching English as a third language. An estimated ten per cent of China's enormous population have some mastery of English. Some 51 per cent of foreign-language courses taught in the Soviet Union are English courses. Everyone is familiar with the wide range of abilities displayed by foreigners — from the enthusiastic but virtually unintelligible efforts of taxi-drivers or shopkeepers in far-flung centres of tourism, to the quiet and effortless fluency of so many Scandinavians, Dutch, Israelis, Germans, and so on.

In Europe, it has traditionally been British English that teachers have tried to teach for the most part. The tendency seems to be shifting slowly towards American English now. In Latin America, with the partial exception of Argentina, American English is the favoured variety teaching of English as a foreign language, атии publication of course-books and tapes, агепЯ considered major industries in both Britain North America.

Two other aspects of English as a fdi language — English for special purpose English as a world language — are discussed below.







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