This article addresses the conceptual differences and commonalities between two modes of intercultural communication: English as a lingua franca (ELF) and Lingua Receptiva (LaRa). While the former is more frequent and wide- spread but disputed for reasons of monolingual dominance, the latter is lesser known und contextually restricted but praised for preserving linguistic diversity. The article takes such common presumptions as a starting point for a detailed comparative investigation of the concepts ELF and LaRa. The first section is dedicated to the overall language frameworks of the two modes. It thus points to their constellational specificities and the notions of locality and context involved in them. The second part takes a closer look at the speaker/hearer perspectives assumed in ELF and LaRa as well as at the different manifestations of linguistic variability and accommodation emerging from them. The third part is then concerned with the assumedly most prominent dividing points between lingua franca and lingua receptiva, namely issues of range, linguistic diversity and eventually the relative degree of plurilinguality exhibited in the two modes. In a final comparative summary of the points raised, the article ultimately comes to the conclusion that ELF and LaRa are not at all mutually exclusive but overlapping communicative modes. It thus argues that intercultural speakers could profit from using them in a complementary fashion.