PRESSIONS DES GROUPES BRITO-ÉTATSUNIENS

NDLR – L’article suivant se veut une réponse à lettre ouverte de M. Mark Ayre

Cher Mark,

Bien merci pour votre courriel, et toutes mes félicitations pour votre
français, qui est meilleur que mon anglais.

Contrairement à ce que vous pouvez penser, je n’ai aucune haine contre
l’anglais, ni contre les anglophones. Je suis seulement révolté par
l’impérialisme culturo-linguistique que des groupes de pression
brito-étatsuniens veulent imposer à l’ensemble du monde. Cette politique est
très clairement exprimée par David ROTHKOPF, dir. gén. du Cabinet de consultants
Kissinger Associates : « Il y va de l’intérêt économique et politique des
Etats-Unis de veiller à ce que, si le monde adopte une langue commune, ce soit
l’anglais » (Le Monde Diplomatique, aout 1998).

De même, lors d’une conférence aux Etats-Unis, Margaret THATCHER s’en est
prise violemment à ceux qui s’opposent à cette évidence : « Au XXIe siècle, le
pouvoir dominant est l’Amérique, la langue dominante est l’anglais, le modèle
économique est le capitalisme anglo-saxon » , d’où l’apologie d’une puissance
unique, d’une langue unique, d’une idéologie unique, d’un système unique, digne
des régimes les plus totalitaires ! (Marianne, 31.07.00).

Par ailleurs, je comprends que l’on pense très vite à imposer l’anglais comme
la seule langue valable pour l’Union Européenne, mais, à mes yeux, il s’agit
d’une solution discriminatoire, car c’est privilégier une langue, un peuple, une
culture, une façon de penser. C’est malheureusement déjà le cas avec l’explosion
d’annonces de recrutement qui stipulent clairement que les candidats doivent
être natifs anglophones. Voyez des centaines d’exemples de ce genre sur le site

http://lingvo.org/diskriminacio/
« English mother tongue only … 1000
European jobs for English native speakers ».

Voyez aussi l’article ci-dessous … d’un professeur britannique dans une
école danoise.

J’ose espérer que mon courriel vous éclairera tant soit peu sur ma position
vis-à-vis de cette discrimination culturo-linguistique, qui vise à la mort des
autres langues et des autres cultures.

Cordialement,

Germain Pirlot
gepir.apro@pandora.be


‘English to transform the students’ whole world’.
A clarification of the 1961 Anglo-American conference report

Robert Phillipson
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark (www.cbs.dk/staff/phillipson)

In my book « Linguistic imperialism », published by Oxford University Press in

1992, I analyse how English has become so powerful throughout the world.
The book reports on a substantial number of British and US policy documents
on the promotion of English as a key instrument of foreign policy.

US policies for establishing global dominance have been explicit since the

1940s. Massive funding came from the US government and from the private
sector. For instance, in the mid-1960s the Ford Foundation was funding
projects to strengthen English in 38 countries. A recent book on the
‘cultural Cold War’ describes the activities of the CIA in Europe in
attempting to influence academics, journalists and the cultural world.

The British Council was the key instrument for cultural diplomacy and the
teaching of English worldwide. Since the 1950s there has been a British
strategy for making English a ‘world language’, the key second language
wherever it is not already the first.

There was an obvious need for the British and Americans to coordinate their

involvement in building up English teaching worldwide. The university
infrastructure for ‘English as a Second Language’ and the new
specialisation ‘Applied Linguistics’ needed to be built up, virtually from
scratch. The governments needed to reduce the element of competition
between the two countries which, as George Bernard Shaw put it, are
‘divided by a common language’. The US and UK were pursuing broadly similar
goals. They needed to exchange information on teacher training, curriculum
development and teaching materials, and policy in school and university
education.

British activities were discussed at a conference in Oxford in 1955, to
which the US government was invited to send delegates. A conference in
Washington DC was held in 1959, and attended by five British participants.
See the detailed report published by the Center for Applied Linguistics,
Proceedings of the Conference on Teaching English Abroad. May 1959.

The next conference was held in Cambridge in 1961, again with US
participation. Unlike the 1959 conference, no report was produced for
public consumption. A confidential internal report was written for the
British Council, which I was given permission to quote from in my book. The
purpose of the report was to demonstrate that the field of English teaching
worldwide was acquiring academic respectability on both sides of the
Atlantic, and deserved increased government funding. It was not intended
for wide circulation. It is therefore rather more frank and explicit about
political goals than language specialists would be when discussing
professional issues. Key participants are therefore quoted for the
following:

The teaching of English to non-native speakers may permanently transform
the students’ whole world.

If and when a new language becomes really operant in an undeveloped
country, the students’ world becomes restructured.

A Ministry of Education under nationalistic pressures may not be a good
judge of a country’s interests.. A nationalistic spirit could wreck all
hopes for English as a second language.

English has become not only the representative of contemporary
English-speaking thought and feeling but a vehicle of the entire developing
human tradition: the best (and worst) that has been thought and felt by man
in all recorded times.

This is a rationale for English linguistic imperialism, for all people, at

all times. It claims that English is the only language needed in the modern
world. It states that newly independent countries may, for ‘nationalistic’
reasons, be misguided enough to resist English, and that in such cases,
their wishes should be over-ruled. This was in the political and commercial
interest of the English-speaking countries.

This policy represents a plan for extending worldwide the monolingual
policies that were implemented in the United Kingdom and the USA in the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries (policies that succeeded in restricting
but not eliminating linguistic diversity). The position has been broadly
similar in France since the Revolution. French efforts to promote French as
a world language, in competition with the British and Americans, are
presented in Daniel Coste, « Aspects d’une politique de diffusion du français
langue étrangère depuis 1945, matériaux pour une histoire » (Hatier, 1984).

(Le 19 janvier 2005)