The Cultural and Intercultural Dimensions of English as a Lingua Franca Edited by: Prue Holmes, Fred Dervin

Paperback - 240 pages
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01 Mar 2016
Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148


This book investigates the cultural and intercultural aspects of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). Authors discuss how ‘culture’ and the ‘intercultural’ can be understood, theorised and operationalised in ELF, and how the concepts can be integrated into formats of ELF-oriented learning and teaching. The various cultural connotations are also discussed (ideological, political, religious and historical) and whether it is possible to use and/or teach a lingua franca as if it were culturally neutral. The chapters consider the communication and pedagogical implications of the cultural and intercultural dimensions of ELF and offer suggestions for new directions in ELF research, pedagogy and curriculum development.


This edited volume is exemplary in threading together two hitherto parallel intellectual traditions – Intercultural Communication Studies and English as a Lingua Franca – innovatively and critically through a constellation of theoretical and analytical synergies. The empirical case studies across diverse settings will no doubt pave the way for future research-cum-pedagogy in the above two traditions and their intersection.

- Srikant Sarangi, Aalborg University, Denmark

This timely book fills a gap in thinking about interculturality by recognising that lingua francas are not cultural vacuums but that in all contexts of language use language and culture are fundamentally connected. The wide-ranging contributions in this collection open up new ways of thinking about lingua francas and cultures and is a must for anyone working in the field of intercultural understanding.

- Anthony J. Liddicoat, University of South Australia, Australia

This is a rich and multifaceted volume that tackles the difficult question of the relation between interculturality and English as a Lingua Franca. By bringing two fields together, ELF and intercultural communication, that up to now have shown little interest in one another, the contributors to this volume are able to ask provocative questions, present innovative views and make bold suggestions that will benefit research in both ELF and intercultural communication.

- Claire Kramsch, University of California, Berkeley, USA

This book will be of value to a range of diverse researchers, in a range of diverse contexts (...) The theoretical cul-de-sac discussed by Homes and Dervin, and also by O’Regan, are challenged and navigated by the kinds of research approaches exemplified by this book. 

- LINGUIST List 28.4585 - Robert M. Higgins, University of Nottingham, UK

Author Biography:

Prue Holmes is Reader in the School of Education at Durham University and Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests include intercultural communication and education, and language education.

Fred Dervin is Professor of Multicultural Education at the University of Helsinki and holds a number of Associate and Adjunct Professorships elsewhere. His research interests include intercultural communication and education, intercultural competence, academic mobility and migration and Chinese education.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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