Exploring the Linguistic Identity of Lebanese Undergraduates: Experiences and Perceptions of Lingua Franca Speakers


Globalization has turned English into the world’s dominating lingua franca. Its rapidly- growing spread of English has brought changes to its static rules, replacing by that its national culture with a global one (Dornyei’ et al. 2006 as cited in Jenkins, 2007) and leading to a linguistic diversity in the way English is used (Norton & De Costa, 2018). In fact, this change has affected English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) speakers’ identity and linguistic practices in the Arab region including Lebanon, a country with diverse and complex affiliations, ideological polarization, and language identities. Thus, from a poststructuralist perspective, the Lebanese ELF speakers are ideal social agents for exploring the relationship between the evolvement of identity and ELF learning. Accordingly, the researchers aim to investigate how the use of ELF has affected the identity and social-linguistic practices of the Lebanese youth. A mixed-methods design is used whereby quantitative and qualitative data are collected through an online self-completion questionnaire and focus group interviews. The participants, purposively selected, consist of 100 Lebanese undergraduates who speak English as a second or third language besides their Arabic mother tongue. The findings reveal that the Lebanese participants are attached to their Arab identity and languages but, at the same time, embrace the linguistic power of English for seeking a successful future. Also, both languages have an impact on the construction of their social identity and linguistic practices. This entails the need for new educational practices that protect the Arabic language without resisting the English language.

Author Information
Najwa Saba‘Ayon, Rafik Hariri University, Lebanon
Grasiella Harb, Rafik Hariri University, Lebanon

Paper Information
Conference: PCAH2023
Stream: Language

This paper is part of the PCAH2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
Saba‘Ayon N., & Harb G. (2023) Exploring the Linguistic Identity of Lebanese Undergraduates: Experiences and Perceptions of Lingua Franca Speakers ISSN: 2758-0970 The Paris Conference on Arts & Humanities 2023 Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2758-0970.2023.10
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2758-0970.2023.10

Virtual Presentation

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon