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Attitudes towards the role and status of English in Europe have changed over the past century and continue to change today. Many people regard the English language as an opportunity for speakers of other languages to participate on the world stage. The increased dominance in world affairs of the USA meant that English has assumed a lingua franca role in business, higher education, research and tourism, to mention just a few of the more economically significant domains of language use. Others, however, see it as a threat to the national languages of Europe and even as a threat to national cultures and identities.

The English in Europe (EiE) project investigated the position of English in today’s Europe by hosting five conferences in contrasting European regions. Each conference examined the role of English in a particular context in order to understand more fully the relationships between English, other languages and their users.

Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the project, directed by Professor Andrew Linn, was coordinated by the Centre for Linguistic Research, University of Sheffield, and represented a collaborative network between five European universities: University of Sheffield (UK); University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Charles University (Czech Republic), University of Zaragoza (Spain) and the South - East Europe Research Centre (SEERC), CITY College, Thessaloniki, (Greece).