Lingua franca or lingua frankensteinia? English in European integration and globalisation



ABSTRACT:  The paper explores how we think of English and ‘English Studies’ in present-day Europe. It questions the apparent neutrality of the term lingua franca by suggesting a more differentiated set of terms. It relates the current consolidation and expansion of English to processes of global Americanisation and Europeanisation. The European Union (EU) member states are increasingly integrating their economies and cultures in a US-dominated world. The history and many divergent uses of the term lingua franca are explored, and related to discourses and policies that tend to reinforce English linguistic hegemony uncritically. The paper explores the policies of the EU for maintaining multilingualism, and contemporary constraints and pressures in European academia. It analyses the promotion of ‘global’ English in terms of the project, the product, and the processes, and considers criteria for assessing whether its advance is as a lingua franca or rather as a lingua frankensteinia.