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English as lingua franca in Danish institutional interactions


Our research in English as lingua franca focuses on how the conversation participants in institutional interaction use English in multi-lingual situations. We specifically address the following questions: In what ways do participants with different native languages use English to enable conversations in a common (second) language? And how do they use English as a resource to achieve social and interactional goals such as creating a social and/or professional hierarchy based on (English) linguistic skills or knowledge concerning English?


The use of English as common language in Danish companies and institutions gains currency. Therefore it is important to shed light on the social and interactional mechanisms characterizing the use of English as lingua franca. It is especially relevant to examine the complex interaction between linguistic and professional skills as well as how English can be used as a resource to not only include but also exclude particular participants.


In our research we use ethnomethodology and multimodal conversation analysis. Through detailed descriptions of the interaction, these methods make it possible to seek and obtain a common understanding and how English (and other languages) are used as resources to achieve that.   



Elisabeth Dalby Kristiansen

Last Updated 13.10.2021