EU 2025: The future demand for English language in the European Union

What is the future demand for English language learning and teaching in a post-Brexit European Union? Will the changing status of global superpowers with English as a first language tip the balance towards a new lingua franca? What impact will digital disruption have on the way people learn languages in 2025 and beyond?

A new report looks ahead to the future of demand for the English language in seven countries of the European Union: France, Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain.

The future of English in the European Union: 2025 and beyond

  • The total number of potential English language learners in parts of the EU is set to fall by 15.3 million by 2025.
  • This is not because of Brexit or increased protectionism, but because of demographic changes and people moving into the adult population with higher levels of English. 
  • English will continue to the be the lingua franca in the European Union.
  • Employers will continue to need employees who have high level English skills, including for specific tasks, such as negotiations, solving logistical problems, or presenting a new strategy.
  • Adults will need ‘top-up’ tuition throughout their working life, as they move between different industries and roles.
  • Working adult learners will increasingly want flexible, personalised, purpose specific and time efficient learning.
  • Demand for regular evening or weekend courses that run over many months will decrease.
  • Older learners will be a source of demand for English language learning, for keeping mentally active, travel and to communicate with family living abroad.