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The Future of English

The Center for Applied Linguistic Research (CALR) at the Arab Open University held its eighth annual conference at the Riviera Hotel on The Future of English, on 20 October 2018, in collaboration with the British Council in Lebanon and researchers from the University of Oxford, the American University of Beirut, the Lebanese University, the Holy Spirit University, the Lebanese American University and various branches of the Arab Open University.

The conference looked into reasons behind identified decline in the numbers of students registering for a degree in English and attempted to propose counter-measures.

The themes focused on the role of English in a globalized world; the political and economic factors impacting its prominence and spread; technology and its role in the downfall from text to texting; teaching English in the Lebanese context and the Arab region, interdisciplinarity and whether it is the future of English.

The conference concluded with recommendations that focused on keeping pace with globalization in introducing new interdisciplinary tracks within the English Language and Literature programmes, while setting criteria for diversification that allow branching only within related disciplines and not free flowing cross-disciplinary tracking.