This book is about the English language in the 21st century: about who will speak it and for what purposes. It is a practical briefing document, written for educationists, politicians, managers - any decision maker or planning team with a professional interest in the development of English worldwide.

The book explores the possible long-term impact on English language of developments in communications technology, growing economic globalisation and major demographic shifts at the end of the twentieth century and beyond. It uses existing linguistic research as a basis for examining new trends in globalisation, popular culture and economic development to see how these affect the future use of English.

'The Future of English?' takes stock of the present position of English in the world and asks whether we can expect its status to remain unchanged during the coming decades of unprecedented social and economic global change. The book concludes that the future is more complex and less predictable than has usually been assumed.

First published in 1997, the book was commissioned by the British Council and was intended to stimulate constructive debate about the future status of English at that time. 

The book is divided into five main sections:
Section 1 - How English reached its position
Section 2 - Techniques of forecasting and identifying patterns of linguistic change
Section 3 - Significant global social and economic trends
Section 4 - The impact of such trends on language and communication
Section 5 - A summary of the impact for the English language

About the author
David Graddol is a British applied linguist, well known as a writer, broadcaster, researcher and consultant on issues relating to global English.

The book is free to download.

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Comments

Sugata Mitra's experiment can hardly be replicated in fiberglass nations. I imagine the impact of a computer installed in an Indian slum neighborhood, eye in the wall, is akin to Kubrick's monolith standing tall, foreign, strange and daunting. I would get curious too. But when did you last time stare in awe at your friends latest smartphone "ah, I can do that too, ok, nice." The 4Cs sound nice and propler. I can imagine if getting in the hands of Quentin Tarantino the results can only be spectacular. But, i need another t, I find them matched by the 3 Ts: tedious, trivial, trite. I would sling another set of ideas into the 21st century, and hope for a better outcome that what we have today with zillion hours spent in classrooms worldwide: meaning, mission, mystery.