Dear ESU Members – I would like to reiterate our raison d'être, along with a few global comments. Other noteworthy statements notwithstanding, this is how I answer the question of what the ESU is about: "Better English … A Better World". I find it sufficiently comprehensive for the inquirer to grasp, yet provocative enough to generate follow-up dialogue about how, or why, or whatever. This gives me the opportunity to elaborate on whichever aspect is appropriate to the moment, be it social, educational, or literary.
On the global scene, let me share a few excerpts about our language from other sources:
Fletcher Woolsen, a BUSS scholar, and a speaker at the 2010 National Conference: "The diffusion of English should be advanced neither in the interest of cultural dominance, nor with an eye to eradicating other tongues. Rather, let us use English … as glue with which we might bind people together." Wow!
Richard Descoings, president of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (as quoted in the Wall Street Journal): "We have to stop saying that English is one of the languages. It is the language of international exchange: commercial, military, and also intellectual and scientific … It is no longer an object of debate." And that, coming from a Frenchman !
(As reported in the Wall Street Journal) For the 2,000 employees of Rakuten Japan's biggest online retailer by sales, all work documents must be prepared in English, just like the menus in the cafeterias and the signs in the elevators. Executives have been told they will be fired if they are not proficient in English by 2012.
(As reported in the Wall Street Journal) A new global English-language television channel, available by satellite, cable, the Internet, and cell phones was launched this year to carry news, business, and lifestyle programs ... by the China Network Corp.
It seems like everyone in the world appreciates the English language … except (at times) in so-called English-speaking countries. Therein lies our challenge: to appreciate English as others in the world do.
The ESU celebrates English as a shared language to foster global understanding and good will by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members.
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