English to Be Spoken by Half of the World's Population within 10 Years French under Threat as Study Says Half of World Will Speak English
Burleigh, James, The Independent (London, England)
HALF THE world's population will be speaking or learning English by 2015, researchers say. Two billion people are expected to start learning English within a decade and three billion will speak it, says a British Council estimate.
Other languages, such as French, risk becoming the casualties of this "linguistic globalisation". But the boom will be over by 2050 and the English-language teaching industry will have become a victim of its own success, says David Graddol, author of the report, The Future of English.
Mr Graddol's research, published yesterday at the British Council's Going Global Conference on International Education in Edinburgh, was based on a computer model developed to estimate demand for English-language teaching around the world. The lecturer, who has worked in education and language studies at the Open University for the past 25 years, said the model charted likely student numbers through to 2050.
It was compiled by looking at various estimates from the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) on education provision, demographic projections, government education policies and international student mobility figures. The impact of educational innovations and other developments affecting the world population including the Chinese govern-ment's policy of one baby per family were also factored in.
Based on its findings, Mr Graddol has predicted that the world is about to be hit by a tidal wave of English. "Many …
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Publication information: Article title: English to Be Spoken by Half of the World's Population within 10 Years French under Threat as Study Says Half of World Will Speak English. Contributors: Burleigh, James - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: December 9, 2004. Page number: 15. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.