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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Academic Paper


Title: The statistics of English in China
Author: Rining Wei
Author: Jinzhi Su
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: In the mid-1980s, Crystal (1985) lamented that there were no reliable figures available for the number of learners to whom English is taught as a foreign language in many regions of the world, and that ‘China has always been excluded from the statistical reviews, because of the shortage of information from inside the country’ (Crystal, 1985: 9). More recently, Bolton (2008: 6) similarly notes that because of ‘the absence of accurate language surveys’ academics have to make educated guesses regarding the total number of those learning/knowing English. The figure of the total English learners/users in China has been estimated to be somewhere between 200 and 350 million (cf. Bolton, 2003: 48; Kachru, 1997; McArthur, 2003; Zhao & Campbell, 1995; Graddol, 2006: 95). Fortunately, a national language survey in China conducted at the turn of the century does provide some hard statistics on the number of English language learners/users in the world's most populous country, and also sheds some light on the realities of use of English and English proficiency among the Chinese people.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Today Vol. 28, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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