English as second language in the EU is still important?

Övertro på engelskans betydelse Brännpunkt SvD: "Ingen forskning har hittills kunnat belägga att elever lär sig engelska bättre, om de lär sig språket redan i årskurs ett istället för i årskurs tre eller fyra. Istället är ungdomarnas eget intresse och graden av användning av engelska på fritiden avgörande för deras kunskaper i språket – se Liss Kerstin Sylvéns avhandling från 2004"

I have earlier supported the idea that it might be good to start English studies already in first grade. However, several dignitaries now discuss the importance of English as such and the dynamics of learning a second language and conclude that there might not be any benefit from doing this from first grade.

I'm surprised that these gentlemen do not discuss the role of a common second language in the EU. Is this not important? Will there soon be inexpensive language translators available that people can use for communication? Such devices would question the need for learning other languages all together. I know that in science and technology it is very important with knowledge English since this is the language of publication and actual discussion. This cannot be called inflated belief.

When I grew up there was a simple logic on the importance of English culture. It represented the savior from nazism and communism. However, the flirtation of the US with the dictatorial China has recently begun to erode this confidence. The above cited article could perhaps be judged in such a light.

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