English a Language of Empowerment or Marginalization for Indigenous Community
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English a Language of Empowerment or Marginalization for Indigenous Community


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How is 'language as a system of knowledge and power' (Hale & Basides, 2013, p.86) used to marginalise or empower people who speak English? 



English has become a dominant global language, and has a wide scope of application in business and other communication frameworks. Deemed as a language of developing nations, English has become second or third language for many immigrants, which has contributed to the neo-colonialism of the language, and exuded power to the associated nation. While, at one point the language has empowered a lot of people, and allowed them a chance to fare in more developed nations. Yet, as per Hussain et al. (2009), it has also prompted a cultural imperialism, and dominance of core value of one value framework over other in a society. Through this research it is argued that even as, 'English language has functioned as a system of knowledge and power, it has also marginalized or disempowered the Indigenous people'. In this sense, the impact of English language on the politics of indigenous Australia is studied through this research.


English as a source of knowledge and power

Globalization has paved way for the emergence of many cultures in a society. As a result of which, often imparting and sharing knowledge becomes a challenging task. It is for this reason that many nations have adopted English language in their educational frameworks (Malcolm, 2011). Incidentally, language is not merely a form of communication, rather a means of identity, expression and cultural conceptualizations. Owing to which, the nations or the communities which adopts English as a language of communication, often are prone to reflect on some cultural disempowerment (Hussain et al. 2009).

Undoubtedly, there are many advantages of learning this new language for people of different communities. Not only do the people gain a common ground of interaction with people of different cultural realms, but they also gain an insight in the culture of the region (Epstein, 2009). However, it is also reflected that through seeking assistance of one language as a mode of communication, the speakers of different background are providing power to the English speaker within the community, which initiates language and cultural imperialism in the society (Hale and Basides, 2013). Through this research it is argued that even as English has been recognized as a language of the world, and is often valued for its universality, it does not mean that necessity of the language redoubles the desire to utilize it as well (Lippi-Green, 2012).

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