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.