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Not Your Cup of Tea? : An exploration of attitudes towards English as a lingua franca in Europe's cultural sector.


  • Victoria Rachel Payne

Summary, in English

Over the past two decades, English has undeniably become the lingua franca of Europe, making it the language of choice for intercultural exchange between speakers of different native languages. However there is something of a dearth of research on attitudes towards this language phenomenon. This thesis investigates perspectives and opinions towards English, with a focus on the cultural sector of Europe. Using material from personal and Skype interviews with European cultural workers, I attempt to build a picture of how English as a lingua franca is viewed and expressed in narrative and discourse. I also explore the idea of suitability in relation to English as a lingua franca. A 2005 journal article in English Today by author Ross Smith concludes that “English is a poor lingua franca”. I argue against this claim using ideas from the interview material and Bourdieu’s concept of linguistic capital to assert that English is an effective lingua franca for Europe.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Cultural Sciences


  • linguistic capital
  • attitudes
  • culture
  • Europe
  • English
  • Lingua franca


  • Jan Schwarz