Emerging ELF as an intercultural resource: language attitudes and ideologies

Josep Soler-Carbonell 1
  • 1 Stockholm University and University of Tartu


This article discusses the possibility of English becoming a lingua franca in Estonia. It builds on Laitin's (1996) observations regarding the fact that English would become the country's language of inter-group communication among Estonian and Russian speakers. By providing ethnographically collected data and discussing it from the paradigm of language ideologies, the present article clarifies some of Laitin's original observations. While it appears that English has not become a lingua franca in Estonia, this possibility works in given circumstances, even if just sporadically, in order to help solving possible communicative obstacles. It is therefore argued that ELF is actually an extra resource, a tool that speakers can make use of if needed.

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Journal of English as a Lingua Franca is the first journal to be devoted to the rapidly-growing phenomenon of English as a Lingua Franca. The articles and other features explore this global phenomenon from a wide number of perspectives, including linguistic, sociolinguistic, socio-psychological, and political, in a diverse range of settings where English is the common language of choice.