The Spread of English as an Academic Lingua Franca in Europe
This is a key chapter in the book since it analyses the rapid growth of English as a lingua franca in Europe, and the slow but necessary acknowledgement of its significance by European institutions. After an overview of the kinds of lingua franca interaction which have become an everyday reality in Europe, we focus on universities, and student and teacher mobility, noting that even those students who do not themselves go on mobility may need to interact with international students, or attend lectures given (in English) by non native speakers. In addition, new certification needs have been further driven by the growing phenomenon of English medium instruction, and the recent appearance of first level courses, as well as master’s degrees, delivered entirely through the medium of English. These courses are likely to set minimum levels of competence in English for applicants: but which English? We argue for a new rationale for assessing English as a lingua franca to access higher education in Europe.