How Does a Language Become Global?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, we will look at how a language becomes a global language with a specific focus on English. We will define the characteristics of a global language and trace the historical, political, economic and cultural developments which led English to become a global language. We will then see a framework we can use for describing the use and status of English in the world today. The effects of English as a global language on people, languages and cultures are complex and multifaceted, but undoubtedly include a range of risks or dangers. We will outline the most prominent of these in this chapter. Finally, we will discuss the factors which may stop English being a global language and some possible future scenarios for language use globally.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring Language in Global Contexts
EditorsJeffrey Gil, Sky Marsen
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-003-24009-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-032-14600-3, 978-1-032-14599-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Global language
  • English as a global language
  • English as a foreign language
  • English as a second language
  • Globalisation


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