Lesson CI-2

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Lesson goals

Try Quizlet, learn about compound-complex sentences, practice and test your reading comprehension by reading an article about global English.

Lesson activities

Quizlet group exercise

Grammar lecture

Reading comprehension

Previous lesson

You will be randomized into groups where you will match the vocabulary with its translations.

Have fun!

Grammar cecture on compound-complex sentences

C-2 ENG7

Grammar exercise 1

What kind of clauses are these sentences?


Grammar exercise 2

What kind of clauses are these sentences?


Reading comprehension

Time for the exercise: ~10 minutes

The Evolution of English as the Global Language: A Shared Tapestry of Understanding or a Culture Killer?

In an increasingly interconnected world, language transcends borders and binds humanity together, serving as the quintessential tool for communication and understanding. Among the various languages throughout history, one has risen to unparalleled prominence – English. A language that was once confined to a part of the British Isles has now become the global lingua franca, fostering connectivity and forging new horizons.

A lingua franca is a language that is used for communication between groups of people who originally speak different languages, such as when a Swede and a Spaniard both use English to understand one another. There are several lingua francas in use, but currently, no other language is as commonly taught in schools, heard in the media, or spoken around the globe.

The numerical prowess of English's reach is a testament to its universal appeal. Over 1.5 billion people around the world use English as either their first or second language, highlighting its pervasive influence. As the primary language for international communication, diplomacy, science, and technology, English occupies a key position in the global arena. Furthermore, nearly 1 billion people are actively learning English.

Rank Language        First Language Speakers Second Language Speakers

1 English         375 million            1.5 billion

2 Mandarin Chinese 918 million            198 million              

3 Hindi           520 million            120 million              

4 Spanish         460 million            70 million               

5 French          77 million             274 million              

6 Arabic          310 million            274 million              

7 Bengali         230 million            30 million               

8 Russian         258 million            113 million              

9 Portuguese      221 million            17 million               

10 Urdu            170 million            45 million               

Learning English, however, is not devoid of obstacles. The language's idiosyncrasies, such as homophones and homonyms, can often be baffling even to seasoned speakers. Homophones, words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings, like "their" and "there," "to" and "too," are stumbling blocks for learners aiming for precision. Meanwhile, homonyms, words that share the same spelling but have distinct meanings, such as "bat" (a tool for hitting) and "bat" (a winged creature), can add an element of confusion to mastering the language.

As English continues its rise as the global lingua franca, it finds itself at the crossroads of globalization – a force that has redefined the contours of the modern world. Globalization, with its promises of connectivity and opportunities regardless of where you live. Never has the world felt smaller or more accessible, with immediate communication through the internet and it has propelled English to new heights, but it also presents a double-edged sword, giving rise to both challenges and possibilities.

"Globalization is not something we can hold off or turn off... It is the economic equivalent of a force of nature, like wind or water."

Bill Clinton, president of the United States, 1998

"Globalization has made us more vulnerable. It creates a world without borders, and makes us painfully aware of the limitations of our present instruments, and of politics, to meet its challenges."

Anna Lindh, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden, 2003

"Globalization means that we cannot be separated from the destiny of other countries."

Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, 2000

One of the drawbacks of English's global dominance is the potential erosion of diversity as English sometimes overshadows local languages. How often do you use English in your life? Most certainly quite often, swapping  English expressions for the ones in your native tongue. This phenomenon can result in the loss of languages rich with unique cultural expressions, histories, and identities.

On the other hand, globalization presents possibilities through English's widespread use. English acts as a catalyst for cross-cultural dialogue, enabling individuals from diverse backgrounds to share ideas, collaborate on global challenges, and create new cultural expressions. International conferences, academic collaborations. Diplomatic negotiations often unfold in English, creating a common platform where cultural differences can be transcended for the greater good. 

"Globalization has made us neighbors, but it has not yet made us brothers."

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1968

"The Internet, globalisation, the prospect of a global village: all could be used to bring about positive change."

Wangari Maathai, Kenyan political activist, 2009

"Globalization means standardization. People today are happier because they eat hamburgers."

Zhu Rongji, former Premier of the People's Republic of China, 2006

As we navigate the intricate landscape of globalization, it's important to strike a balance between English's role as a global connector and the preservation of diversity. What do you believe – Is English as a global language ultimately beneficial or harmful?

Discussion questions


Practice the Quizlet-vocabulary.

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