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International Understanding and the role of English as a Lingua Franca : Exploring the Potentiality of a Common Language to Bridge Diversity

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  • Education


"Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed." (From the Preamble of the UNESCO Constitution) One of the important purposes of learning foreign languages is to lead us to understand people who belong to communities founded on culturally different values from our own. In particular, when people in different communities do not know each other's language at all, it is essential to find a common contact language, or lingua franca for mutual understanding. In today's world, English serves as the most common lingua franca used among non-native speakers of English. In this study, firstly, the background and present spread of English are examined, referring to Three-Circles which are defined as World English Model by Kachru (1992). Next, the role of English as a global language is discussed, referring to the language use in different international situations. Finally, there is a proposal of how English education can be implemented to raise consciousness of international understanding and peace building in the world.

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