Patricia Ryan Asks If The World Is Too Focused on English

Patricia-RyanAt TEDxDubai, longtime English teacher Patricia Ryan asks a provocative question:

Is the world's focus on English preventing the spread of great ideas in other languages? (For instance: what if Einstein had to pass the TOEFL?)

It's a passionate defense of translating and sharing ideas.

Patricia Ryan has spent the past three-plus decades teaching English in Arabic countries -- where she has seen vast cultural (and linguistic) change.

UK-born language teacher Patricia Ryan has spent most of the past 40 years teaching English in the countries of the Arabian Gulf.


She is currently teaching at Zayed University in Dubai, and studying for a second Masters degree in Law.

"English is big business and languages are dying as never before. Is there a connection? Is this another manifestation of McDonaldisation – the undesirable face of globalization? Do we want to lose the variety of languages and all the rich culture that comes with them?"



Susan notes: Thanks to TED for making TED Talks downloadable and embeddable, and for providing the biographical information that goes along with them.

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