English-speaking countries have a poor track record when it comes to language learning. Educators in Australia, the UK and the USA regularly bemoan that fact and call for a change in language policy to strengthen the learning of languages other than English. One of their key arguments is economic: language learning is good for the economy, or so we are told. The basic argument goes like this: being monolingual in English is ok for buying as everyone in the world is learning English anyways but it’s not so great for selling. Marketing 101 says that you want to address your customer in their language. As a general line of reasoning this makes a lot of sense. However, the devil is, as always, in the detail. I’m intrigued by the fact that in Australia wine-marketing has become the example de jour.
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)