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 .
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