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English in the world today
English in the world today

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English in the world today


In the last few decades, English has emerged as the pre-eminent language for international communication. It is spoken by more people around the world than any other language, and is regularly described as a truly ‘global’ language. This course introduces you to the role that English plays in the world today, and examines the social, political and cultural factors that have influenced its development. It traces the history of the language from its arrival in Britain in the fifth century AD through to the present day and its status as a language with a truly global reach. It looks at how and why English came to occupy this position, and at what the consequences of its global spread are for the way it’s used and perceived around the world.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course U214 Worlds of English [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .