The text that is going to be analyzed is a news article, which talks the about problem of the British society not willing to learn another language than English. The writer tries to convince the audience that learning more than one language is an advantage.
The audience in the article is every person in Britain who are not learning a new language, specially high school students, because it is not obligatory to them to learn another language. The writer tries to make a parody of highschool students (“Grammar? Pronunciation? Different alphabet? Spelling? Accents? Umlauts? Ooh, no thanks- don’t fancy that”) in order to make these students feel bad and ashamed of their decision and to make future students realize how lazy they are, just to have an easier education.
The writer also critisizes the society, due to the freedom that students have to not choose learning another language, making them “twilight subjects” because “you study them on your own, after school’s out”. He also uses the word “awful” to emphasize his negative opinion about not making mandatory the study of a foreign language.
In the second paragraph, the author makes three rethorical questions to show how not choosing to study another language is disrespectful. He asks “what greater disrespect can there be than not speaking to others in their languages?” and “How can you hope to understand others while requiring them to speak to you in their English” to appeal to our own moral and ethics (ethos) for the audience to realize that is necessary to learn another language and to make ask themselves if it is the right decision to not study a foreign language.
In the next paragraph the author compares learning one language with skin colour, to show how ridiculous would be being forced to learn one language. Once again ethos is used, to make the audience think about the unethical that would be segregating every person by their skin colour and, therefore, their language. He also uses humour at the end by saying “Or your cage. That’s your lot” to make the text more appealing for teenagers and young people, that is why he also uses a lot of informal language, to atract the audience to have the right choice.
In the same paragraph there is another rethorical question (“where is the joy and the richness, if you don’t even have two to rub together?”) refering to the poberty of the language if you don’t have the knowledge of another one, as you are “condemned to occupy the same positions, the same phrases, all your life”. This lack of knowledge will make you plain and boring, where you can not progress correctly as a person, being “harder to outwit yourself, harder to doubt yourself” and even if highschool was easier, life is “harder to play”.
The idea continues in the next paragraph saying that “English will become deformed and opaque” because the language needs the complementation of a foreign language to make it richer, due to the words and variations from other vocabularies that could make the English one to change and be wider, in terms of content. He also critisizes another time the English society using the phrase “wildly irresponsible experiments”, being against the decision of not making compulsory the study of a foreign language. This is said in order to make the audience think that the law is not correct and that it should be changed before these “experiments on itself” make the English language to “become deformed and opaque”, aiming to the sense of fear of the english-speaking people to lose the language they know.
The critisism continues on the next paragraph, saying that if you don’t learn a foreign language “you are not making enough of your individual potencial”. Here, the writer uses the pathos technique, aiming towards the feeling that the audience could do better and that they are not using their abilities and faculties. It is not important to learn another language to “schmooze your foreign boss” or “order a beer or a room in another country”, but to give the most that you can give, utilising your potencial.
Once again the author attacks the English language to make them feel small and, therefore, liking the idea of learning another language. The writer uses logos (factual informations) to show the audience the reality of the “so-called ‘world language'”. He gives statistics about the percentage of people that use English as a first language and a percentage of those who don’t. This statistics show the minority that the English speakers are, and that is the effect that the author tries to make, the feeling of being small and the need of opening their minds to other cultures, to be part of the human society.
This is also what is portrayed in the image that is included on the article. There is this lonely fish in a tiny fish bowl, representing the English language in comparison with the another thousands of languages that exist in the world that are represented by the fishes in the other huge fish bowl. The fish that embodies the English community is not looking to the other fish bowl, ignoring the fact that there are many more foreign languages than English, being a close-minded society the english-speakers. This clearly links with the exposed in the previous paragraph, and also is on top of the place where this percentage is shown in the article.
In the final paragraphs the author appeals to the ethics of the audience once again, telling that “a desdain for, or lack of interest in, the others (languages) does not seem to me to be civilised” giving his opinion about not learning a foreign language. He uses the words “desdain” and “lack” to emphasize his opinion of being against people not learning another language. He continues with his opinion saying that “Foreigners will go on learning English, regardless. The British have an obligation, it seems to me, to reciprocate”. Once again, connotation. He calls the audience to do their obligation of speaking a foreign language, because, even though the audience learns another language, the foreigners will learn English and this is the same difficulty for the foreigners than for the British. He asks for empathy from the audience.
It is also important to note the use of imperative language through-out all the extract, giving orders to the audience, beign direct to the audience. This language is used in order to call the audience to make a change. The pronoun “you” is used very frequently to make the audience feel like it is something personal with the reader.