What is the future of languages in an increasingly globalized world? Are we moving toward the use of a single language for global communication, or are there ways of managing language diversity at the international level? Can we, or should we, maintain a balance between the global need to communicate and the maintenance of local and regional identities and cultures? What is the role of education, of language rights, of language equality in this volatile global linguistic mix? A group of leading scholars in sociolinguistics and language policy examines trends in language use across the world to find answers to these questions and to make predictions about likely outcomes. Highlighted in the discussion are, among other issues, the rapidly changing role of English, the equally rapid decline and death of small languages, the future of the major European languages, the international use of constructed languages like Esperanto, and, not least, the question of what role applied scholarship can and should play in mapping and influencing the future.
1. Introduction: Language and the pursuit of the millennium (by Tonkin, Humphrey); 2. Contexts and trends for English as a global language (by Bruthiaux, Paul); 3. Global English and the non-native speaker: Overcoming disadvantage (by Ammon, Ulrich); 4. Language and the future: Choices and constraints (by Edwards, John); 5. Interlingualism: A world-centric approach to language policy and planning (by Fettes, Mark); 6. Development of national language and management of English in East and Southeast Asia (by Jernudd, Bjorn H.); 7. The "business" of language endangerment: Saving languages or helping people keep them alive? (by Maffi, Luisa); 8. Equality, maintenance, globalization: Lessons from Canada (by Maurais, Jacques); 9. Maintaining linguodiversity: Africa in the twenty-first century (by Mazrui, Alamin M.); 10. Language in the twenty-first century: A newly informed perspective (by Pica, Teresa); 11. Language and language education in the twenty-first century (by Reagan, Timothy); 12. Why learn foreign languages?: Thoughts for a new millennium (by Tonkin, Humphrey); 13. Conclusion: Surveying the linguistic landscape: Assessing identity and change (by Muller, Kurt E.); 14. Bibliography; 15. Contributors; 16. Index