Wanna Speak English?

JUSTIN LEIGHTON/NETWORK for TIME

Competition is tough in the ESU's international public speaking competition in London

It's hard to imagine the Eurovision Song Contest having anything in common with the English-Speaking Union. The brash songfest is an annual reminder that petty nationalism is alive and well in the new Europe; the ESU's lofty mission, by contrast, is to create global understanding through the use of English. But improbable as it may seem, these two institutions have found a common denominator. Last month, little Latvia won the 2002 Eurovision Song Contest with a number entitled I Wanna. More remarkable than the song itself (check out those crazy lyrics at www.eurovision.tv) was that it was one of...

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