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Language Policy and Political EconomyEnglish in a Global Context$
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Thomas Ricento

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199363391

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199363391.001.0001

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“English,” the Global Lingua Franca?

“English,” the Global Lingua Franca?

(p.276) 12 “English,” the Global Lingua Franca?
Language Policy and Political Economy
Thomas Ricento
Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the complexity and confusion that the term “global English” has generated in various literatures. The chapter considers the evolution, relevance, and utility of the constructs English as a lingua franca (ELF) and lingua franca English (LFE) described in the applied linguistics and world Englishes literatures. In doing so, the chapter considers the challenges in describing a dispersed and contextualized language variety (LFE) and mapping it with a coherent speech community. The chapter then considers the role of English in development in low-income countries where it is a medium of instruction or offered as a subject in schools and argue that there are socioeconomic and sociopolitical “facts” that favor access for some people (and not others) to English in postcolonial and expanding-circle countries, and especially to the “appropriate” sort of English that can facilitate access to the domains where this linguistic capital can be “cashed in.”

Keywords:   lingua franca English, English and development, global English, English varieties, world-systems approach

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