In today’s fast-paced, globalized world, the importance of English literacy cannot be underestimated. English is the lingua franca of international trade, science, technology and diplomacy, and is spoken by more than 1.5 billion people around the world. However, there is a growing trend towards relativism and the idea that absolute literacy in English is unnecessary. Some argue that as long as one can communicate in English well enough to be understood, that is enough. This essay argues that absolute literacy in English is essential and defends this position against objections.
First of all, absolute literacy in English is essential for effective communication. Language is not simply a means of transmitting information; It is a tool for building relationships and understanding cultural differences. When people speak and write with precision and nuance, they convey not only the words themselves, but also their intent, emotions, and cultural background. Absolute literacy in English allows people to communicate their ideas effectively and make connections with others.
Second, absolute literacy in English is necessary for success in many fields. In academia, research papers, journals, and presentations are almost always in English. In business, contracts, negotiations and correspondence are conducted in English. In technology, software, manuals, and user interfaces are written in English. In politics, diplomacy and international relations, English is the language of negotiation and treaties. For those seeking to excel in these fields, absolute literacy in English is essential.
Third, absolute literacy in English is crucial for personal and intellectual growth. The ability to read, write and speak English at a high level opens up a world of knowledge and culture. The vast majority of books, films and music produced around the world are in English or translated into English. The Internet, the world’s largest repository of information, is largely in English. Complete English literacy allows people to interact with these resources, broaden their perspectives, and become more informed and educated people.
Some argue that absolute literacy in English is unnecessary because English is not the only language spoken in the world. They point out that many people speak multiple languages or use English as a second language and can still communicate effectively. While it is true that people can communicate in English without being absolutely literate, it is also true that absolute literacy in English is a clear advantage. It allows people to express themselves more accurately, understand cultural nuances, and engage with more complex ideas.
Others argue that the push for absolute English literacy is a form of cultural imperialism and unfairly privileges English-speaking countries. They claim that the focus on English excludes other languages and reinforces the dominance of English-speaking cultures. While it is true that English has been used as a tool of imperialism in the past, the current push for absolute literacy in English is not motivated by the desire to dominate other cultures. Rather, it is a recognition of the practical advantages of English as a global language and the need for people to be able to communicate effectively in it.
In conclusion, absolute literacy in English is essential for effective communication, success in many fields, and personal and intellectual growth. While some argue that it is unnecessary or even harmful, these objections do not stand up to scrutiny. Absolute English literacy is not a form of cultural imperialism, but rather a recognition of the practical advantages of English as a global language. In an increasingly interconnected and globalized world, absolute literacy in English is a valuable and necessary skill.