What historical and current facts and conditions make it the principal global language?

English as a Lingua Franca Assignment Instructions


Thus far you have explored the “backstory” of English language development roughly to the post-colonial period, or about 1900, and the ways in which the language was used to assert British dominion throughout the known world. In this research paper, you will be writing more comprehensively in an effort to bring together insightful answers to a complex host of questions, which respond to the whole body of the readings we have engaged in this course.

Your writing should focus on insight into the nuances of the questions asked, and the cogency of your ideas and responses. This is an exercise in analysis and synthesis of a large body of data and global dynamics, the relations among them, and the variables which both support and limit our vision forward.  Unlike your first paper (which was a historical recounting of language development and early spread), this second paper requires that you formulate an argument.  Thus, you will develop a thesis statement, which is an arguable proposition, related to how and why English is the global lingua franca.


This paper will be developed in two parts.

English as Lingua Franca: Thesis, Outline, and Working Bibliography will require you to develop a thesis statement of 1-3 full sentences, a logical and systematic outline of main and secondary points that support your thesis claim, and a working bibliography with at least 6 scholarly, peer-reviewed sources. You are asked to submit only these three elements in part 1 – not a full-length essay at this point.  There is no established word count for this phase because the three required components will likely vary in length.

English as Lingua Franca: Final Draft is the research paper itself in final, polished version.  The paper will incorporate all of the research, writing, and editing that you have independently produced between Modules 7 and 8. The paper must be at least 3,000 words, exclusive of front matter, bibliography, and any appendices.

The nature of this assignment will require that you research beyond basic and required readings from this course, so as to include an expanded body of research resources that should guide an understanding of how the English language today is being reshaped or re-made into “Global English” or “International English.” Questions, such as the following, should direct the focus of your research:

  • Why is English the lingua franca of the whole world? Briefly, what caused this development to occur?
  • What historical and current facts and conditions make it the principal global language?
  • What is the capacity of the English language to fulfill the often competing obligations of a language, to serve as a global medium of communication, and to provide differing communities with differing senses of identity?
  • Can English exist coherently as an untold variety of Englishes?
  • What is International English and what form(s) will English(es) take as we move forward?
  • Will its unity dissolve into disunity?
  • What is the future of the English language?
  • How do you think it will fare among major languages of influence in the context of globalization?
  • What will the status of English be in the year 2050 or so, especially in relation to other major world languages?

Your final paper must demonstrate answers to these questions using evidence from course texts and additional peer-reviewed research. All internet citations must represent recognized authoritative sources.

How many you cite will be a factor of how thorough your argument and your evidence are. Too few will likely mean that you have not addressed the issue with sufficient detail and thoroughness. The paper must document all sources in current APA or MLA format, and must be submitted in Microsoft Word format.