An Analysis of the Overseas Dissemination Mechanism of American English in the Post-Cold War Era

Bingtian Zhang


The overseas dissemination of American English is the result of conscious language promotion. During the colonial era, the broadcasting of American English relied on compulsory promotion and church education. During World War I, the rise of American products, personnel, technology, and mass media spread American English to all corners of the world; after World War I, English gained the status of the official language of the international system, organizations, and conferences. During World War II, the contribution of the United States in the war spread American English to all parts of the world on an unprecedented scale; after World War II, the United States led the establishment of an international security and economic system, and American English subsequently became the dominant language in the new order of international relations. During the Cold War, the United States planned and implemented many cultural strategies to promote each other with American English promotion activities. In the 1990s, the information technology revolution, the wave of globalization, and the development of global media groups made the overseas dissemination of American English faster, more effective, and deeper. American English in the post-Cold War era is an important component of American soft power and the most important tool for the export of American culture, ideology, and values. It occupies a special position in the construction of the comprehensive strength of the United States and maintains a post-Cold War US-led international order.


post-Cold War era; American English; overseas dissemination; soft power

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