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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter analyses how English became dominant and the implications of the expansion of dominant languages for the linguistic and cultural ecology and biodiversity. English has expanded through the imperialist and linguicist policies of the UK, the USA and the World Bank. Key structural and ideological parameters are identified. In postcolonial contexts, language in education policies remain largely unchanged. Linguicism can lead to linguicide. The need for terminological clarity is stressed: for instance “lingua franca” should not imply that language is unconnected to power. A multidisciplinary approach to analysing the relationships between linguistic and other diversities is needed. There is hard data on ecolinguistic impoverishment: diversity of all kinds is seriously endangered. Examples are given of mother-tongue-based multilingual education in Africa and of Nordic policies to maintain the vitality of local languages. However, these are up against the market forces behind English and European Union policies that strengthen English.

Keywords: biodiversity European Union language endangerment lingua franca linguicide, linguicism linguistic diversity linguistic imperialism mother-tongue based multilingual education World Bank

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