The purpose of this paper is to address the intensive spread of the English language in Central and Eastern Europe as an aspect of postsocialist transition.
The paper analyses the discourses and ideologies related to the spread of English in postsocialist Poland, drawing on insights from critical discourse analysis and language ideology. The empirical material discussed comprises newspaper articles dealing with the topic of language policy in Poland, with a focus on the media campaign, “battle for English”.
The paper finds that the spread of English is facilitated by powerful discourses propagating the knowledge of English together with the ideology of neo‐liberal economic and social transformation. The exploration of the discourses inherent in the story of the “battle for English” enables the links between the linguistic practices applied by individual actors and the ideologies conveyed by the discourses found in mainstream media to be made explicit.
An awareness of the mechanisms of discourse and ideology allows us to question both the drive behind and the social impact of the spread of English in Central and Eastern Europe.
The paper offers a novel theoretical and empirical contribution to the understanding on postsocialist transition.
Śliwa, M. (2010), "“Catching up with ‘civilisation’”: reflections on language spread in Poland", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 689-709. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811011084366Download as .RIS
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