The history of English language teaching in Poland can be divided into the periods before and after World War II. Within this broad division, the earliest history is difficult to reconstruct, because the major issue at that time was whether Polish was to be permitted as the medium of instruction, especially in the Russian and Prussian empires, which enforced education in Russian and German. The changeover of the political system brought about a series of swift and sweeping reforms in Poland, intended to transform it into a democracy and integrate it completely into the economic and political alliances of Western Europe. Following the political changeover of 1989, foreign-language teaching in Poland has seen a rapid change, from an emphasis on Russian to an emphasis on English and Western European languages. There is no doubt that, in the present configuration, English will be as important in Poland as it is in Western Europe, whatever the future will hold.