Counting the Costs of a Global Anglophonic Hegemony: Examining the Impact of U.S. Language Education Policy on Linguistic Minorities Worldwide

Harper, Stephen M.
January 2011
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies;Winter2011, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p515
Academic Journal
As the need for efficient communication between global participants in academia, business, and politics has grown in recent decades, English has quickly become the dominant universal language in these arenas. Language policy scholars have noted, however, that the rapid spread of English could present a substantial threat to the linguistic diversity of the world, as some scholars have estimated that as many as fifty percent of the world's languages will be extinct by the end of the twenty-first century. This Note argues that the United States' current stance in the area of language education will contribute to this global language decline by reinforcing an already strong Anglophonic hegemony. Additionally, the Note argues that the neoliberal tendency to rely on market-driven decisions is ill-advised in the context of language policy, as the seemingly rational decisions of individuals and nations to invest in developing English-language skills will collectively result in drastic language loss that will not be fully accounted for in the market.


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