English language proficiency has become a basic skill worldwide, and kids are picking it up in some surprising places.
Manuela Saragosa - herself trilingual - asks Melanie Butler, long-time editor of the English Language Gazette, how English has become the unavoidable common currency of global communications. Meanwhile linguistic sociologist Jan Blommaert of the University of Tilburg says a new generation is growing up into a vast plethora of global English-speaking communities, from academic conferences to online computer gaming.
Plus Mario Monti, the former European commissioner and Italian prime minister, explains why he thinks the European Union should continue to use the English language as its main means of internal communications, despite the imminent departure of its major English-speaking member state.
(Photo: Man wearing headphones playing video games late at night; Credit: Kerkez/Getty Images)
Taking football global
The pitfalls when soccer tries to break into the US and Asian markets - and when American football tries to break into Europe.
Ed Butler looks at the plan by Javier Tebas, president of La Liga, to take the top-flight Spanish football league international. It includes an as yet unsuccessful attempt to stage a regular football fixture in the USA. Dan Jones, head of the sports business group at Deloitte, says Tebas is correct to see great opportunities, but Spanish sports journalist Alvaro Romeo explains why he's run into so much resistance.
Tebas can look to the success of the UK's Premier League in internationalising its brand, or indeed America's National Football League. But has the NFL actually made any profit from its long-running campaign to build a fan-base in the UK? Ed speaks to the their UK director Alistair Kirkwood.
(Picture: Marcelo of Real Madrid takes the shot on goal during the International Champions Cup Friendly match between Atletico de Madrid and Real Madrid at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, America; Credit: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images)
Why the owners of movies and artworks don't want you to see them. Tamasin Ford explains why Disney is removing a catalogue of movies from the cinema circuit following its deal to buy 21st Century Fox, and why artwork is being hidden in tax-free warehouses around the world instead of being displayed in galleries.
(Photo: An illustration of Mickey Mouse at the Disney store in New York, Credit: Getty Images)
China moves from imitator to innovator
Chinese tech giants are gaining further ground in innovation, with development in e-commerce, social media and more, even outstripping the west. Rebecca Fannin, author of Tech Titans of China, explains the rapid growth and how it’s changing domestic consumption. But amid concerns of Chinese state intervention and difficulties in translating domestic apps for a global market, can Chinese tech companies truly enter the world stage? William Bao Bean of Chinaccelerator explains how AI can help tech firms adapt to foreign markets.
(Picture: A customer making a payment on a self-service cashier at a supermarket in Jiangsu province, China. Picture credit: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Meetings, meetings everywhere...
It's not unusual for office workers to complain about the number of meetings they have to attend, but are they a distraction from real work, as some claim? And why are we having more meetings than ever?
It's a question researchers at the University of Malmo in Sweden tried to answer. Patrik Hall, the university's professor of political science, tells us it has to do with the growing number of large organisations. The BBC's former Indonesia correspondent Rebecca Henschke tells us about meeting culture in that country, and Joseph Allen, professor of industrial and organisational psychology at the University of Utah, gives advice on how to make meetings more efficient.