The University of Southampton
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Centre for Global Englishes

(CGE) Centre for Global Englishes produces and disseminates research on the linguistic and sociocultural dimensions of global uses and users of English (Global Englishes), and on English as a Lingua Franca in particular. The centre also provides a forum for knowledge-sharing and collaboration with other interested researchers and centres around the world.

How many global English speakers?

It has been estimated (conservatively) that there are as many as 2 billion speakers of English as a second language or lingua franca worldwide today (Crystal, 2008).


Who speaks English?

The figures above suggest that those who use English as a second language or lingua franca outnumber first language speakers by at least 4:1.


Statistically, native speakers are in a minority for [English] language use, and thus for language change, for language maintenance, and for the ideologies and beliefs associated with the language.

(Brumfit, C. 2001. Individual Freedom in Language Teaching p116)

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