Global English versus local language during a sojourn abroad: A narrative study

Anna Szczepaniak-Kozak (1) , Emilia Wąsikiewicz-Firlej (2) , Hadrian Lankiewicz (3)
(1) Institute of Applied Linguistics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Al. Niepodległości 4, 61-874 Poznań, Poland , Poland
(2) Department of Ecolinguistics and Communicology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Ul. Św. Marcin 78, 61–809 Poznań, Poland. , Poland
(3) Institute of Applied Linguistics, The University of Gdańsk, Ul. Wita Stwosza 51, 80–308 Gdańsk, Poland , Poland


This paper investigates the interplay between language and intercultural communication with a special focus on the importance of working knowledge of foreign languages other than English for a satisfactory experience during longer sojourns abroad. Its authors present a revised understanding of the role of lingua franca English and a local language (here Polish) in intercultural relationships, especially the crucial influence of local languages on conversational control and social integration while in a foreign land. Our study has shown that lingua franca English is insufficient to successfully function abroad, and individuals deciding to resettle need to invest in learning a local language which, in the longer perspective, emerges as a medium for in-depth intercultural communication pertaining to self-positioning, relation building and meaning-making of the new semiotic budget.

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Anna Szczepaniak-Kozak
Emilia Wąsikiewicz-Firlej (Primary Contact)
Hadrian Lankiewicz
Author Biographies

Anna Szczepaniak-Kozak, Institute of Applied Linguistics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Al. Niepodległości 4, 61-874 Poznań, Poland

Anna Szczepaniak-Kozak is an Associate Professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, and the Deputy Editor in Chief for Glottodidactica. An International Journal of Applied Linguistics. Anna’s main research interests are within the field of applied linguistics, particularly interlanguage (acquisitional) pragmatics, foreign language instruction, and teaching-oriented studies of hate speech.

Emilia Wąsikiewicz-Firlej, Department of Ecolinguistics and Communicology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Ul. Św. Marcin 78, 61–809 Poznań, Poland.

Emilia Wąsikiewicz-Firlej is an Associate Professor at the Department of Ecolinguistics and Communicology at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Her research delves into applied linguistics and communication studies, focusing on professional communication, intercultural communication, and specialized discourse.

Hadrian Lankiewicz, Institute of Applied Linguistics, The University of Gdańsk, Ul. Wita Stwosza 51, 80–308 Gdańsk, Poland

Hadrian Lankiewicz, D. Lit. in applied linguistics and Ph.D. in literary studies, is currently a professor and the head of the Institute of Applied Linguistics at the University of Gdańsk, Poland. His scientific interests oscillate between history, American literature, and applied linguistics, with the primary focus on language acquisition and foreign language teaching methodology.

Szczepaniak-Kozak, A., Wąsikiewicz-Firlej, E., & Lankiewicz, H. (2022). Global English versus local language during a sojourn abroad: A narrative study. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 22(2), 53–63.

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