English As Part of Strategy
16 September, 2010

What I do is I teach English. I teach it for both – to make a living and as a volunteer. And I enjoy it tremendously. I have even tried to teach it over the radio, and it was a huge success too. No kidding! 60 years ago, my parents made a decision for me to learn English and they hired a private teacher to do the job on me. He would come over to our place thrice a week and

make every session with us the three little boys a genuine celebration of knowledge and fun mixed together.

Not many parents thought as advantageously then as my mom and dad did. I could hardly imagine at that time of total Russification that English would some day be turned from a simple parental tactic into a popularly recognized strategy of the independent state of Georgia. English is a current choice of the mankind. I can understand the hurt linguistics ambition of the French, but I don’t think it could be helped at this time of the English-language proliferation all over the Planet. I hate the question about globalization whether it is good or bad news to our civilization, but the fact is a fact is a fact! No matter how much ready we in Georgia are for the English language to be our second indispensable tongue, we are being definitely forced into learning it because we are part of the world and the world is speaking English, not Georgian. Isn’t this what the President said the other day, and isn’t this diabolically simple to understand? Whether we want it or not, does not matter at all to the world. We just have to! And if we don’t do it we will not avoid being dumb – both physically and figuratively! This is why English has become part of Georgia’s state strategy. And it feels that the entire nation is poised and ready to invest itself into the English language. I just wonder to whose brilliant head it occurred to bring over thousand English speakers to this country and let them mix with our population for the purpose of teaching us the language. We had once learnt Russian exactly the same way – by mixing with Russians and turning Russian into our way of life. Remember the movie ‘The Russians are coming’? Things are changing so fast! Would it not be relevant to say today ‘The West is here’? Please don’t blame me in Russo-phobia so quickly! I am not trashing the Russian language so thoughtlessly and heartlessly. We will continue using it too for a while, maybe forever, but the problem is that Georgia is currently compelled to be a trilingual country whereas in the past we could happily afford to be just bilingual. Why such a pessimistic view of the situation? Easy! Being trilingual means the investment of more time, money and energy for the nation to be linguistically efficient in terms of coping with the difficulties suggested by the contemporary world. A foreign language is only a helper - nothing more than that. It is only a subsidiary part of our knowledge. Languages don’t make money. They only help to make a living unless you practice it professionally. Language is only an addition to our core skills. You see? Those who have to learn English as a second language may have less time for science and arts. So let’s not be overly excited that we are learning English. We are simply doing what we necessarily have to. And let’s better believe that it is a state strategy only because we can’t do otherwise.

 

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