February 22, 2006 Global spread of English threatens US, UK: study
The dominance of English as the world’s top language — until recently an advantage to both Britain and the United States — is now beginning to undermine the competitiveness of both nations, according to a major research report.
he report commissioned by the British Council says monolingual English graduates “face a bleak economic future” as multilingual competitors flood into the workforce from all corners of the globe.
A massive increase in the number of people learning English is under way and likely to peak at around 2 billion in the next decade, according to the report entitled “English Next.”
More than half of all primary school children in China now learn English and the number of English speakers in India and China — 500 million — now exceeds the total number of mother-tongue English speakers elsewhere in the world.
These new polyglots, and the companies that employ them, have significant competitive advantages over their monoglot rivals, including a vital understanding of different cultures, in a world faced with rapid globalization.