Centre for Educational Research and Innovation - CERI

Languages in a Global World: Learning for Better Cultural Understanding


Executive summary | Table of contents | Blogs | How to obtain this publication

ISBN: 9789264123243


This book addresses language diversity around the world and its relation to education and culture. In this time of globalisation, language learning is central to politics, economics, history, and most obviously education.

This book questions why some individuals are more successful than others at learning non-native languages, and why some education systems, or countries, are more successful than others at teaching languages. Language learning is not only a means of improved communication, but more importantly it plays a key role in promoting global understanding and respecting cultural differences. This publication explores language learning all across the globe, in countries ranging from France to Kazakhstan to Taiwan. It provides a fundamental sense of the centrality of language and culture to humanity both at present and into the future. It invites a humanitarian dialogue about language and culture around the world.

The book’s structure is designed with chapters written by different authors on the subject of language learning. These individual authors bring a wide range of perspectives and research experience to this subject. For example, there are chapters on the role of motivation in non-native language learning; the way that languages, cultures and identities are connected; and the insights that neuroscience provides into how the brain understands and produces language.

This enlightening book clearly recognises that language learning intertwines with future concerns that society will need to address.

Executive summary

In our globalised world, language competencies are increasingly important. It is no longer an advantage for a job seeker to speak just one non-native language (NNL). Rather, it now could be a drawback for a job seeker to only speak one language.

NNL learning is a challenge for many individuals and countries. These challenges have to do with many factors other than just education. In this book, we explore factors that play a role in successful and unsuccessful NNL learning, including motivation culture, identity (immigration, etc.) and neuroscience.

First we have asked two questions based on observation:

  • Why are some individuals more successful at non-native language learning (NNLL)?
  • Why are some education systems or countries more successful than others at NNL teaching?

As expected, the main answers have had much more to do with what happens outside of the formal learning context, and as far as children are concerned, even before they enter their first language class.


Complete Executive Summary

Table of contents

  • Executive summary
  • Part I. Globalisation, languages and motivationsChapter 2. The empirical framework.
  • Part II. Cultures, Languages and Identities
  • Part III. Landscapes, Languages and Policies
  • Part IV. Movements, Languages and Migrations
  • Part V. Learning Languages, Means and Ends
  • References

How to obtain this publication

Readers can access the full version by choosing from the following options:



Education Today: Let's learn a new language

OECD Insights: Learn languages and expand your own being among a few other things


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Globalisation and Linguistic Competencies      

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