Question ‘English . currently serves as the most widespread means of international and intercultural communication that the world has ever seen.

Question

‘English … currently serves as the most widespread means of international and intercultural communication that the world has ever seen. But this does not mean it is uncontroversial’ (Seidlhofer, 2011, p. ix).

Discuss the nature of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) and its role in communication and explain the controversies which Seidlhofer refers to in the quotation above.

This question requires you to discuss the nature of English as a Lingua Franca and the role it plays in international and intercultural communication, with a particular focus on the controversies surrounding it. You should start your preparation for this assignment by reading Chapter 4 of the set book for this part of the course, ‘An Introduction to Sociolinguistics’ by Janet Holmes. You should also refer to some of the wealth of additional material on the topic of English as a Lingua Franca including the following key references, copies of which have been placed at the Library Counter: Seidlhofer, B (2011) Understanding English as a Lingua Franca, Oxford University Press, and Kirkpatrick, A (2007) World Englishes, Cambridge University Press The controversies which Seidlhofer refers to and which you are expected to discuss include the acceptability of ‘deficient’ English as a communicative resource and the growth of English at the expense of other languages and dialects (‘English as a killer language’)

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