The onset of the 21st century marked an end to this. Africa became free of colonial rule and with this; Standard English took a back seat. Countries began to redefine their own standards of language and the English language was set aside. In Nigeria for instance, Standard English has been replaced with the much more locally invented Pidgin English. On a global scale, the United Kingdom’s economic prowess was challenged by other economies such as those of the United States, China, Russia, and Germany. In respect of this, the high regard that the Standard English has been accorded declined.
There was no particular regard to taking up the language in a formal manner as it previously had been. The end of the United Kingdom’s monopoly marked a decline in the use of Standard English. This is because the language was no longer associated with prestige and dominance. With the rise of other economies, the incorporation of other languages into school curriculums came up. While previously, it may have been easier to learn and stick to Standard English, as it was the only language within many curriculums, this changed.
Languages such as French and Spanish also became equally important and recognized on a worldwide scale. Learners in today’s century now have to shift their attention in learning multiple languages within the same period (Miller, 39). Time accords perfection and this is why Standard English exists in the first place. Seeing as previously, English was the only language of formal regard, people had time to learn it, set standards for perfection and work towards those standards. However, because learners now have to split time between many languages, learning it is enough; perfection is not of the essence. Furthermore, countries have learnt to uphold their languages first before upholding foreign ones.
In the larger section of the world, English is a foreign language. For instance, in Tanzania, the government opts to uphold Swahili, as the formal and official language as Swahili is the language of the natives. In this regard, in countries where it is not a first language, focusing on Standard English is not so much of a priority. While previously not being able to communicate in Standard English was regarded as being outdated, in the 21st century not being able to speak in one’s native and local language is outdated.
However, in the United Kingdom, Standard English is still held in great accord, although there is also a certain amount of focus on other globally recognized languages.
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