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ERIC Number: ED566938
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The Age of the Monolingual Has Passed: Multilingualism Is the New Normal
Holmes, Bernardette
In a world where one in four people speaks English and the other three out of four are likely to be learning English, it would be disingenuous to suggest that speaking English as the global language is anything other than a significant asset now and for the future. Technology makes it possible and pragmatic to choose a global language, and there are significant advantages in the use of English as the lingua franca to the knowledge economy, global research, international diplomacy and business. Yet, to the generation of young people who can be described as "born global", living in a hyper-connected, diverse and mobile society, speaking only one language can never be regarded as enough. To achieve personal, academic and professional goals to a global standard will require a global mind-set, an international outlook and cultural agility. These attributes are more likely to be fostered in a person who has stepped beyond the confines of the first language; the person who can see the world through another lens; the person who can read the world's history in its original languages; the person who can mediate between cultures; the person who can successfully connect to another culture using another language. English as the lingua franca will take you so far along the way, but the journey continues through other languages. The recruits of the future will require hybrid skill sets. They will need sector specific knowledge, international experience and a range of transversal employability skills such strategic leadership skills, problem-solving, global client management skills and commercial awareness. All of these skills are associated with human relations and these are developed through global communication skills in a range of languages. The age of the indulged monolingual has passed. Multilingualism is the new normal. A short list of notes is included. [For the complete volume, "Employability for Languages: A Handbook," see ED566902.] La Grange des Noyes, 25110 Voillans, France. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A