Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

English as Lingua Franca or World Englishes? Two approaches to achieving linguistic justice for all


One of the key ways to realizing linguistic justice, as alluded to by Phillipe van Parijs (2011), is to welcome the use of English as a global lingua franca. Linguistic justice is defined as the condition in which the languages of linguistic groups are accorded official recognition, and the speakers do not suffer from social, economic, and dignity inequality on the basis of their language. However, the acceptance of English as an international language, as pointed out by many scholars, including Van Parijs himself, can also lead to potentially unjust linguistic situations. There are, in particular, three issues that come with the use of English as a global language, and they are (1) inequality in communication; (2) unfair resource allocation; and (3) lack of speaker dignity. This paper will provide a review of how political philosophers have talked about these problems, and the normative solutions to achieving linguistic justice. The aim of this article is to provide a linguistic perspective to the issue of linguistic justice. The author endeavors to do so by looking at linguistic justice through the lens of two dominant paradigms in the field of English linguistics: the World Englishes (WE) paradigm, pioneered by Braj Kachru; and the English as Lingua Franca (ELF) paradigm, a relatively more recent alternative developed by Jennifer Jenkins. The tenets of how each paradigm views speakers of English around the world are compared and a solution to the problem of linguistic justice is offered by thinking about “Englishes” instead of a single monolithic linguistic entity “English”. In doing so, efforts are made to highlight how linguistic justice can be achieved in the world of Englishes.


linguistic justice, World Englishes, English as Lingua Franca, global language, language planning and policy



Download data is not yet available.