English as a Lingua FrancaThe present thesis deals with the phenomenon of English as a lingua franca (ELF) and investigates on Austrian students? attitudes towards it. The theoretical part serves as basis for the empirical research and starts with a discussion of historical and linguistic arguments about the spread of English. Furthermore general ideas of lingua franca communication are presented and different prominent definitions of ELF are introduced. In order to achieve a better understanding of the phenomenon ELF, conceptual distinctions between the concepts ELF, English as a native language (ENL) and English as a foreign language (EFL) are discussed. The focus of the following chapter is on ELF communication, therefore communities of practice are introduced and a profile of ELF speakers is established. Moreover characteristic features of ELF communication in the fields of phonology, lexicogrammar and lexis, and pragmatics are presented and underlying language practices and strategies in ELF interaction are pointed out. A further intention of this thesis is to present the situation of English in Europe. Therefore multicultural aspects and the use of English in the three domains, business, media and academic settings, are outlined. Afterwards previous research on attitudes towards ELF are introduced and discussed before my own empirical investigation is presented. The empirical part comprises the analysis of data gained from a quantitative questionnaire survey. The questionnaire was completed by 25 English students and 26 business students and investigates motivations for learning English and expectations when speaking English. Furthermore, attitudes towards ELT and the omnipresent native speaker model of English have been elicited. The analysis of these and other findings of my investigation provides information on how students think about ELF and discusses differences in attitudes towards this phenomenon between English and business students.