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On the Status of English as a “Lingua Franca”: An EFL Academic Context

Author(s): Forough Rahimi | Mohammad Sadegh Bagheri

Journal: Studies in Literature and Language
ISSN 1923-1555

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 118;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: English as a lingua franca | English in academic context | Critical thinking

Recent trends prevalent in the studies about language are stressing the vital role culture, as an inseparable part of language, plays in accumulating so-called international or worldwide prestige. English has become the official language of the business and scientific world (Schütz, 2005). There are a number of elements backing and contributing to this process, directly or indirectly. These elements are mostly of political nature. This study tries to examine and question the present worldview of an EFL academic context regarding the status of English. It is carried out at two interwoven levels. The first section is devoted to the current status of English as the world's number one language of science, politics, sports, business and the like. To this end, a brief, but concise historical overview of “English as a lingua franca” or “English as an international language” and the leading scholars viewpoints in this regard, is provided. The next section is an attempt to crystalize the factors that have helped or are helping this language to gain and develop such a worldview. This qualitative study is pursued through triangulated data collection procedures in an EFL academic context. The data required for this study was gathered through observations, semi-structured interviews, field notes, and focus group discussions. The results signified that English has found its way and position as the world's most recognized lingua franca and this is a policy which is left implicit and untouched in many contexts, such as the Iranian EFL context.Key words: English as a lingua franca; English in academic context; Critical thinking

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