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Multilingualism and English in Twenty-First-Century Europe

Recent Developments and Challenges


Clive W. Earls

This book aims to tackle one of the most controversial and important linguistic, educational and societal debates in contemporary Europe. English is growing rapidly within, and spreading across, an increasing number of areas of society. This development is influenced by actions taken by national and supranational decision-makers, as well as global forces outside the control of any one state or political union. Europe’s founding principle of respecting and fostering diversity and equality of cultures and languages is being affected by the growing role of English across European countries, creating a de facto linguistic hierarchy and consequently a potential cultural hierarchy.

The essays collected here aim to examine existing debates and stimulate further discourse on the nurturing of multilingualism in Europe and the concomitant acquisition of English. By bringing together contributions focusing on multiple European countries and regions by researchers from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds, this volume presents a snapshot of the current relationship between multilingualism and English and explores the challenges generated by this situation.

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Series Index


Intercultural Studies and Foreign Language Learning

SERIES EDITORS Arnd Witte and Theo Harden

Learning a foreign language facilitates the most intimate access one can get to the culture and society of another language community. The process of learning a foreign language always involves intercultural levels of engagement between the languages and cultures concerned. This process is also a long and arduous one which involves an enormous variety of factors. These factors are located on individual, socio-cultural and linguistic planes. They engage in a complex interplay between any elements of these more general planes and the concrete learning process of the learner.

The series Intercultural Studies and Foreign Language Learning provides a forum for publishing research in this area. It publishes monographs, edited collections and volumes of primary material on any aspect of intercultural research. The series is not limited to the field of applied linguistics but also includes relevant research from linguistic anthropology, language learning pedagogy, translation studies and language philosophy.

The series editors are Prof Arnd Witte, who can be contacted by emailing, and Prof Theo Harden,

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