English as a Lingua Franca in Intercultural Communication: Implications for Intercultural English Language Teaching

Hamza R'boul, Public University of Navarre,       Abstract: The cultural dimension of English language teaching has mutated from the communicative approach into an intercultural communicative approach to accentuate the use of language in different cultural contexts and the fact that the target language is a lingua franca. Considering these assumptions, it is necessary to not only take into account the communicative dimensions of having English as a lingua but also what implications may ensue from the global spread of English in terms of power imbalances and cultural superiority of Anglophone cultures. Due to the skewed geopolitics of power and knowledge, the use of English as a lingua franca and its global spread may perpetuate power imbalances that render Northern perspectives as dominant while Southern ones are alternative. That is why it is important to develop a critical understanding of the use of English as a Lingua Franca in Intercultural Communication. The aim is to discuss the implications of English as lingua franca for intercultural English language teaching. I argue that power imbalances between Northern-Atlantic may be reinforced by the global spread of English. Therefore, in this presentation, I will examine (a) how the use of English in intercultural may be contributing the continuation of power inequalities and (b) offer guidelines that would help address these implications and ensure that English language teaching accounts for power imbalances and the superiority of Anglophone contexts.

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