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Almost everywhere, educational systems are in a state of rapid change.

Globalisation has led to a desperate race in many countries to upgrade the skills of their workforce faster than their economies are being forced up the value chain. (David Graddol, English Next, p. 70.) We are entering a phase of global English which is less glamorous, less newsworthy, and further from the leading edge of exciting ideas. It is the implementation stage which will shape future identities, economies and cultures. The way this stage is managed could determine the futures of several generations. (David Graddol, English Next, 2006, p. 109.) the globalization of English and the democratization of education (section 3.2) the impact of concepts of communicative competence and communicative language teaching (section 3.3) the issue of proficiency and the increasing use of national proficiency benchmarking (section 3.4) the increasing popularity of outcomes-based curricula (section 3.5); the growing interest in learner motivation (section 3.6); and the widespread replacement of a traditional literature focus by a concern with intercultural education and content-based instruction (section 3.7).

3.2 Towards global English - The impact of the globalization of English on issues relating to distinctiveness, course rationalisation and staffing As Heller (2001) notes with reference to bilingualism in Canada, [current] transformations in ideology and practice . . . reveal a shift from an ideology of authentic nationhood to an ideology of commodification . . . [which] involves contradictions between language as a mark of authenticity and belonging or identity, and language as an acquirable technical skill and marketable commodity. He points out that these contradictions have direct consequences for language teaching and learning, insofar as they affect what counts as competence, who gets to define what counts as competence, and what is considered the best way to acquire it (p. 47). Many countries throughout the world are beginning to see English as a basic educational requirement for all rather than simply as a desirable accomplishment for some (Maurais & Morris, 2003).

References Graddol, D. (2006). English next: Why global English may mean the end of "English as a foreign language". London: British Council. Heller, M. (2001). Globalization and commodification of bilingualism in Canada. In Block, D. & Cameron, D. (Eds.), Globalization and language teaching (pp. 47-64). London: Routledge.