European Journal of Language Policy
2.1 (2010), 1–22 ISSN 1757-6822 (print) 1757-6830 (online)© Liverpool University Press doi:10.3828/ejlp.2010.2
Approaches to air linguisticcommunication
University o Leipzig, Germany
The paper ocuses on European language policy. A polity o 27 states with 23 ocial languagesis an enormous challenge. The public discourse o EU politicians stresses the need to maintainall the languages o the EU, or they are an essential component o European identity. The EU’slinguistic reality looks dierent. It is characterised by the ever greater predominance o just onelanguage, English. Recent publications have shown that the hegemony o English has led tosevere disadvantages or non-anglophones in general and in academia in particular. There is agrowing awareness o the dangers emanating rom the dominance o one language over all otherlanguages. Several options or language policy have been presented to fnd air and democraticapproaches to international communication. Their scope includes (1) multilingualism/pluri-lingualism, (2) restriction to receptive skills (e.g. European Intercomprehension), (3) reducedvariants o English, e.g. the model ‘English as a Lingua Franca (ELF)’, (4) initiatives to revivean ancient language (e.g. Latin), and (5) the use o a planned language. The paper gives anintroduction to these approaches and an analysis o the treatment that they receive in theliterature on language policy. It discusses the extent to which they seem to be easible andthe consequences their implementation would have or language learning.
: European language policy, English, multilingualism, English as a Lingua Franca (ELF),planned languages (Esperanto)
Te public discourse o EU politicians stresses “the necessity o maintaining lin-guistic and cultural diversity in Europe” (European Language Council 2001: 3),as this is an essential component o European identity. Te EU’s reality looksdierent. It is characterised by the ever-greater predominance o just one lan-guage, English.Questions o language policy in Europe are a delicate and controversial issue.On the one hand, the existence o a common language, a global lingua ranca,provides a huge advantage to a large number o people – in commerce, politics,tourism, leisure activities, but especially in the sciences. As Mühleisen (2003:
1. A shorter version o this paper was given at the conerence ‘Language Policy and Language Learn-ing: New Paradigms and New Challenges’ (18–20 June 2009, University o Limerick, Ireland). I wouldlike to thank the anonymous
reviewers or very helpul comments on an earlier dra o thisarticle.
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