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English as a Lingua Franca in Europe: How is Cultural Diversity Expressed in the Common Tongue?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis argues against the claim of linguistic and cultural homogenization widely believed to be induced by the spread of English worldwide by looking at how native and non-native speakers alike re-appropriate the perceived model of 'Standard English' to fit the frames of their own culture and to express their own identity. The hypothesis that this thesis builds on is that the language each of us speaks reflects one's own individual background, the communities that one belongs to, and the identity that one wants to convey. As English is assimilated by the people of the world, their cultural diversity is re-expressed through the common language. By looking at the ways in which English is used in a multicultural setting and at the speakers' attitudes towards it, this paper makes a claim for an alternative to the current educational paradigm in refocusing English teaching on its potential for intercultural communication rather than on specific knowledge of Anglo-American cultures. In order to identify the cultural factors that are involved in the production of one's speech in English as a lingua franca situations, the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English (VOICE) – a collection of naturally occurring spoken interactions in English – will be used. Close attention will be paid to the communicative strategies that the participants use, to the way their identities are expressed in their speech, to instances of code-switching or to neologisms that they may use, and to the ways in which they accommodate each other whenever communication is not clear.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 59 p.
Keyword [en]
English as a lingua franca, European English, World Englishes, VOICE, Language and culture, Linguistic diversity, Cultural diversity
National Category
Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-232456OAI: diva2:748145
Subject / course
Educational program
Master Programme in Euroculture
Available from: 2014-09-24 Created: 2014-09-18 Last updated: 2014-09-24Bibliographically approved

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