The cultural and creative use of English as a Lingua Franca


Abstract – This paper argues that just as globalization calls for a reconsideration of conventional ways of conceiving of communication and community, so the use of English as a global lingua franca, ELF, prompts a rethinking of the associated concepts of culture and creativity. With globalization has come a realization that cultures, like communities, are continually adaptive and emergent networks of social interaction, not the bounded entities that they once were thought to be. Similarly, ELF interaction can be described as a process of pragmatic creativity and cultural adaptation which effective communication requires in a globalized world. As such, ELF is expressive of new realities but not those represented by verbal art, but the actual immediate realities of the here and now. Thus ELF it is argued is a naturally creative process which provides for the communicative needs of culturally complex and variable communities of users. As such it not the creative use of language as it is in verbal art for the representation of an imagined counter-reality, but for the expression of the actual everyday social experience of ELF users of different linguacultural backgrounds around the world.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v21p275

Keywords: English as a Lingua Franca; communication; community; culture; creativity; representations of reality


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