Publication type: Book part
Type of review: Not specified
Title: The importance of the fifth skill in language learning : exemplified by English as a lingua franca
Authors: van den Bergh, Samuel
Published in: My language your language/ bahasaku bahasamu
Pages: 225
Pages to: 234
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Pernerbit Universiti Putra Malaysia Press
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Serdang
ISBN: 9789673441488
Language: English
Subjects: English as lingua franca; Fifth skill; Crosscultural communication
Subject (DDC): 401.9: Psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics
Abstract: The four classic skills of language learning are reading, writing, listening and speaking. Using a foreign language calls for a fifth skill, an understanding of multilingual and multicultural contexts. The fifth skill enhances intercultural competence, a key success factor in an interconnected, fast changing and globalized world. If we manage to increase the intercultural sensitivity of the language learner, we help augment his ability to make complex perceptual distinctions around his own cultural experiences. As a learner's awareness of cultural differences becomes more differentiated, he potentially increases his competence in intercultural relations. English, like no other language, has become the common linguistic denominator. Studies show that eighty percent of communication beyond national borders is done in English and non-native speakers of English outnumber native speakers three to one. While new English-speakers are using it to communicate across cultures and contexts, they are actively shaping the English language. The fifth skill has become the key success factor for sustainable intercultural interactions and diversity management, and English as a lingua franca is the preferred and neutral tool to communicate across borders. The presentation furthermore highlights some fundamental differences in the communication styles and value orientations of various non-native speakers of English, which help sensitise the language learner to the linguistic diversity within the of English and its users.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Applied Linguistics
Organisational Unit: Institute of Language Competence (ILC)
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Angewandte Linguistik

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