In the Presence of English: Media and European Youth

  • Margie Berns
  • Kees de Bot
  • Uwe Hasebrink

Part of the Language Policy book series (LAPO, volume 7)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Margie Berns, Marie-Thérèse Claes, Kees de Bot, Riet Evers, Uwe Hasebrink, Ineke Huibregtse et al.
    Pages 15-42
  3. Kees de Bot, Riet Evers, Ineke Huibregtse
    Pages 53-69
  4. Kees de Bot, Riet Evers
    Pages 71-88
  5. Uwe Hasebrink
    Pages 89-110
  6. Uwe Hasebrink, Margie Berns, Kees de Bot
    Pages 111-119
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 121-163

About this book


The starting point for this comparative study on the role of English within the media worlds of European youth is the recognition of the increasing importance of communication with peoples from other cultures and countries.

Within the European Union (EU), English has a special role in this regard. While EU policy promotes all languages spoken in member states, and although English is not the most frequently spoken first language, it is the language two Europeans are most likely to use to make themselves understood. This lingua franca phenomenon occurs not only in the fields of science and technology, but also in business and everyday, personal interactions. The media, which plays an important role in intercultural communication, serves as a cultural forum, and both creates culture and transmits representations of other cultures. Its offerings are often highly internationalized, especially in pop culture, films, TV series, and variety shows, which exercise great influence on cultural and linguistic issues in the multilingual, multicultural EU.

The primary goals of "In the Presence of English: Media and European Youth" are to gain insight into the roles of English in and for Europe; to contribute to discussions of the possibilities of transnational media offerings; to better understand the influence of media in foreign language acquisition and of its role in promoting cross cultural understanding across European cultures; and to better understand the role of English media in the construction of the world view of European youth. The research presented on the relationship of media use to language proficiency has relevance to how schools react to and take advantage of media influences on English acquisition. It also has implications for approaches to language policy and planning issues relating to the present and future role of English in the EU, and the re-evaluation of the presence and prevalence of English in the media both as a threat to the notion of a European identity and as a contributing factor in the creation of such an identity.

Researchers, scholars, practitioners, and students of such fields as second language pedagogy and acquisition, language policy, media and communication, and sociolinguistics as well as educational and social psychology will all have an interest in "In the Presence of English: Media and European Youth".


English English Language European Youth Lingua Franca Media Presence first language intercultural communication language acquisition language policy second language

Editors and affiliations

  • Margie Berns
    • 1
  • Kees de Bot
    • 2
  • Uwe Hasebrink
    • 3
  1. 1.Purdue UniversityUSA
  2. 2.University of GroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.University of HamburgGermany

Bibliographic information