Basic English Institute
U.S., U.K. disadvantaged as world learns English
LONDON (Reuters) 21Feb2006 — The dominance of the English language is beginning to undermine the competitiveness of both the United States and Britain, according to a major research report. The report commissioned by the British Council says monolingual English graduates "face a bleak economic future" as multilingual competitors flood into the workforce from all corners of the globe. A massive increase in the number of people learning English is underway and likely to peak at around 2 billion in the next decade, according to the report entitled "English Next".
More than half of all primary school children in China now learn English and the number of English speakers in India and China — 500 million — now exceeds the total number of mother-tongue English speakers elsewhere in the world.
These new polyglots, and the companies that employ them, have significant competitive advantages over their monoglot rivals, including a vital understanding of different cultures, in a world faced with rapid globalisation.
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