Dear Vika: Almost two hundred years ago political power prompted increase
in French speakers. Russian power made many US schools offer Russian. My
second daughter planned to teach Russian until she found how shabbily
Harvard treated the women in the Russian department. So she went to medical school.
But it is the commercial advantages of English currently that predominantly motivates its
acquisition as a second language. That may persist for an appreciable period, since neither
India nor China possess a single national language that appears likely to become competetive.