Salomone Authors Editorial on Multilingualism

Professor Rosemary Salomone has written a short essay titled, “Why English is Not

Rosemary Salomone

Rosemary Salomone

Enough,” which appears in University World News. A bit:

Defining moments, like the attacks in Paris, should remind us that language is key to gaining an insider’s view and a sense of the ‘big picture’, which by the way also allows us to critically examine ourselves. Print and broadcast media, as well as the global blogosphere, still speak in many voices and worldviews and they are powerful shapers of ideas and opinions.

Though multilingualism is clearly important in the global economy, we should not underestimate the force of language and intercultural awareness in promoting global understanding and security.

Today it’s French. Tomorrow it could be Spanish, Chinese, Farsi or any other language depending on the vagaries of world events. With terrorism unwittingly binding the free world together, linguistic skills and the cultural doors they open are essential to both digging deep into differences, especially among our enemies, while finding common ground for mutual respect and joint action among present and potential allies.

The success of those efforts depends on many variables. Yet one thing is clear. If policy-makers and educators continue to give mere lip service to the foreign language deficit while English rapidly sweeps the globe, they disserve the interests of their own countries.

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