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The Globalization of Economy , the English Language and the Department of Economics in Morocco




By Mustapha Ben Zahra

The world economy has been going towards the situation where integration between countries has led to the birth of a large interdependent village . The effectiveness of companies , managers , businessmen and school leavers in this single village depends on their ability to communicate – but using the English language .Effective English skills are indispensable in today’s global business environment . In this sense , the Moroccan Ministry of higher education and scientific research introduces the study of foreign languages , especially English , in law schools in general and in the departments of economics in particular .In this short article , I want to consider the relationship between the globalization of economy and the English language and the importance of teaching English in the departments of economics .

To do this , I will try to answer the following questions : what is globalization of economy ? , what are the reasons of the necessity for people involved in economy to acquire English ? and why does the new reform of the Moroccan higher education encourage the teaching of English ? .

What is globalization of economy ?

The most important word in today’s economy is globalization . It can be defined as the turning of the world into a single market where the appearance of new telecommunication techniques and transport has made fast the circulation of goods and services . Markets has become more international than any time ; competition between different economic operators has turned to be very keen .

The global market is compelling firms to give more attention to the changing economic environment .They are re- structuring themselves and they are changing their objectives .In general , companies are looking for success in international business . One of the many conditions to enhance positive achievement is the English language .

What are the reasons of the necessity for people involved in economy to acquire English ?

“ Because the English language is closely associated with this economic modernization … Information is sent and received at increasing speed . The competitive demands of governments , industries and corporations , both national and multinational , for technological progress require an understanding of the language of that technology – English .”(1) It is meant here that English is a compulsory linguistic medium in the new economic environment . A lot of reasons can highlight this viewpoint .English , the undisputed international language of business and communication , gives you access to knowledge and technology and the possibility of communication with many people .

Being able to read , write and understand English may allow you to reach all knowledge on the web since" English is the medium for 80% of the information stored in the world’s computers "(2).Also , English has become the langua franca of science . Books on any subject are either written in English or translated into it ; almost all articles about science appear in English(3) Besides , English is associated with technology . The world technology is introduced in English because , most of the
time , the technology innovator is the United States . Profiting from the new technological advances requires an understanding of the language of their maker .More than this , English is the language of communication par excellence . More than 1.500.000.000 people in the world speak English ,and about 1.000..000.000 are learning it (4) . In international organizations such as the United Nations and NATO , English is used for contact .

To sum up , Access to knowledge and technology and the possibility of communication can secure the effectiveness of business in the new economic context . Businessmen and firm’s success in the global market depends on their ability to express themselves in English . Making university leavers successful in their career has imposed a change in the syllabus of the department of economics such as studying English for the first time .

Why does the new reform of the higher education encourage the teaching of English in the department of economics ?

The future reform of the higher educational system in Morocco insists on the teaching of foreign languages , especially English , at faculties in general and the faculties of juridical , economic and social sciences in particular . This confirms the importance of the English language in the formation of the students of economics . The teaching of English in the department of economics will be “ one tool that opens windows to the world , unlocks doors to opportunities , and expands [the students’] minds to new ideas ”(5). In fact , English is essential for work and education . Without English , students are denied job opportunities , job promotions , access to overseas business trips and even admittance to university programs . In the global market , students of economics are supposed to write reports , faxes and emails and telephone clients and negotiate in English .

No doubt, English is associated with the globalization of economy , and both of them are interlinked . Globalization gives force to the English language and vice –versa .The most important thing is that English may pave the way to people with a diploma to more opportunities .

References :
1) Hasman , Melvia A , " The Role of English in the 21st Century " , in Forum , Vol 38 N 1 , January - March 2000 . p : 2 .
2) Graddol , David .The Future of English .(The British Council : London , 1997 ) . p : 50 .
3) As an example 95% of the articles in 1997 were in English . For more details see Garfield , Eugene and Emeritus , Chairman. Mapping the World of Science .(The Scientist : Philadelphia , 1998)
4) Graddol , David . op . cit .
5) Hasman , Melvia A . op . cit . p : 4 .

BEN ZAHRA Mustapha is Teacher of Business English Moulay Ismail University Faculty of Juridical , Economic And Social Sciences, Meknes, Morocco


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