The Challenge of English as a Lingua Franca and the Role of Learner-User Perspectives

1:00 - 2:00pm

EDU 2212B (Benjamin Building)

Presented at: University of Maryland Second Language Education and Culture Brown Bag Series

This presentation addresses issues posed by English in the role of a lingua franca. The rise and spread of English within the contexts of post colonialism and neoliberal processes of globalization have been concurrently praised and criticized. Some predict the coming of a world in which English is the world's primary second language, displacing the need to learn other languages. Others decry the impact of English when it pushes languages out of the curriculum, threatens the dominance of other national languages, speeds the eradication of indigenous languages, or is offered as a remedy for social mobility. In considering these issues, the paper notes the need to incorporate learner-user perspectives in order to moderate the potential negative impact of English dominance while facilitating equity and learner-user agency.