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The Rise of English

With 1.5 billion of the Earth’s population claiming English proficiency, today, there are far more non-native speakers of English in the world than native speakers.

In The Rise of English: Global Politics and the Power of Language, Rosemary Salomone offers a commanding view of the unprecedented spread of English and the far-reaching effects on global and local politics, economics, media, education, and business. From the inner workings of the European Union to linguistic battles over influence in Africa, Salomone draws on a wealth of research to tell the complex story of English—and to argue for English not as a force for domination but as a core component of multilingualism and the transcendence of linguistic and cultural borders.

In Africa, France and China are intensively promoting French and Mandarin as “soft power” for the economic and political advantage they can gain in resource-rich countries. But English still dominates the continent, with most of Africa’s wealthiest countries having already adopted English as the language of commerce and trade. 

Rosemary Salomone is a linguist, a lawyer, and a professor of constitutional and administrative law. She has lectured internationally and published extensively on education law and policy, comparative equality, and language rights. Before joining the legal academy, she taught English to international students, developed bilingual programs for immigrant students, and was a faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she taught education law and language policy.

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