English in Belgium

Alex Housen, Laurence Mettewie

Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


This entry discusses the position of English in each of the three semi-autonomous regions (Flanders, Wallonia, the Capital District of Brussels) and in the three official language communities (the Dutch, French and German-speaking communities) that make up the federal state of Belgium. Aspects discussed include the presence and use of English in education, the public domain, the media and in the economic sector, as well as levels of English proficiency attained by the inhabitants of Belgium. We show that although English has no official status in Belgium, it plays a significant role in all its regions and communities, albeit always in combination with at least one of the national languages Dutch and French, and with notable differences between the different regions and communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of World Englishes
PublisherWiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • English
  • Belgium
  • lingua franca
  • maxi-min language
  • Language education
  • Language and media
  • Languages and business
  • Linguistic Landscape


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