Lingua franca is a language that is agreed to use by multilingual societies in order to communicate with each other. According to Wardhaugh, most of people uses Greek or Latin as the lingua franca all over the world in the past, especially in Europe (2010). However, in the present day English appears to be a lingua franca due to its speakers which are 80% of the world’s population (both native and non-native speakers). In the contemporary era, English does not only belong its native speakers, but it has belonged to global population. In my perspective, English as a lingua franca has played important role in the process of globalization and educational development.
English as one of globalization agent is seen in how English works as a medium connecting people around the world to conduct trading, travelling, and international relations. It is used to break social and linguistics inequalities. For example, the European Union (EU) uses English as one of official languages in its the general assembly. Not only in Europe, English also widespread in the Maple country Canada though its first language is French. Mr. Diding once said that most of young people in Canada use English in daily conversation more often than French. Another example can be found in U.S and Native American (Indian) government congress in using English as official language between them. Although in postcolonial angle it can be seen that English as a heritage from colonialism between the U.S and the Native American society, the use of English in their bilateral relationship can be perceived as a form of social and linguistics equality. In addition, English now appears as a cyber lingua franca on the Internet. Since Internet break the boundary of region around the world, English has been the major language used by netizens to communicate and trade. Many forums on the internet use English as the lingua franca for the users come from different countries which speak different languages. As the online shopping spread around the world through E-Bay, Alibaba, or Amazon, netizens also start to conduct business with people from different countries.
In the scope of education, English has been the language of education in most of countries. In educational scope, standard English is even highly respected and evokes certain kind of intelligent for its speakers. As a lingua franca, English plays a significant role in multilingual education. Student exchange program, for instance, required English proficiency test certificate to allow the participants join the program even though the involved countries do not speak English as the official language. Interestingly, in more recent cases, English in the education is not only respected as a global language, but also glocal language. Wardhaugh said that glocal means global and local. Therefore, English aslo blends with native society, for example like Singaporean English which has been used in most education institution in Singapore for the last decade.
In brief, English has been a global lingua franca as a tool for real or cyber
communication and developing global education.