The lingua franca role of English, coupled with its status as the official language of ASEAN, has important implications for language policy and language education. These include the relationship between English, the respective national languages of ASEAN and thousands of local languages. How can the demand for English be balanced against the need for people to acquire their national language and mother tongue? While many will also need a regional lingua franca, they are learning English as the first foreign language from primary school in all ASEAN countries. Might not this early introduction of English threaten local languages and children’s ability to learn? Or can English be introduced and taught in such a way that it can complement local languages rather than replace them? The aim of this book is to explore questions such as these and then make recommendations on language policy and language education for regional policymakers. The book will be important for regional policymakers and language education professionals. It should also benefit language teachers, especially, but by no means exclusively, English language teachers. The book will be of interest to all who are interested in the development of English as an international language and the possible implications of this upon local languages and cultures.
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