Is the globalization process influencing the course of the history of languages as much as the building of Nation-States did in the past? In any case we can observe that spaces in which merge or originate activities which used to be structured at the level of national territories are now taking shape. These spaces superpose on the territories of Nation-States. They can be termed globalized in all senses of the word global. Their activities are not independant of territories, but they tend to free from them in variable ways. Most multinational societies are "globalized spaces". Within such spaces specific language uses can be identified. Factors which motivate such uses are only or mainly economic. They are more influential than the modes of language regulation of national territories,. In fact globalized spaces will accept such modes of regulation only if their economic interest is to conform.
In these spaces the English language has a transversal, transglossic, function which makes it most of the time hegemonic. This is particularly the case in the global cinema, the place of which in Europe is compared with that of other film-making productions. However a picture representing English as the global language of globalized spaces, relegating all the other languages to national territories, would not be right. In most cases other languages play a part, in variable ways according to contexts, in functions which in general are complementary, but which may be competitive. This is the case in particular of French and German, the place of which as compared to English is revealed through studies analyzing language skills required in job advertisements. However the place of these languages is not dependent on a principle of respect of language diversity , but on their demographic and economic weight, that is to say, as it is the case for the English language, on market forces, or on a relation to power.
In language teaching within education, the relative weight of languages is close ot what it is in language at work. However the weight of English appears to be heavier. A likely reason for this might be that the use of English in high level employments acts as an impetus influencing the users and deciders of education. In fact the question is raised as to the actual function of language teaching in education. If this function was to turn education towards objectives of cultural opening, it would not be centred on the teaching of such a dominant language. Bringing education to meet the needs of economy is not even obvious. In alloting most of their investments to one language, the actors of education may well neglect the other language needs of economy, as is shown in examples presented in this contribution. In fact in making sure that each individual gets some knowledge of English, education systems contribute to give this language a quasi-official status on all national territories. We can even wonder if the real function of the generalization of the teaching of English, in particular in primary education, is not to achieve some form of linguistic homogenization, much in the same way as national languages did at the begining of the era of Nation-States.