In this paper we set out to consider the place of the English language in globalised communities. The hegemony, which English enjoys, has ramifications for how it is taught, how and why it is learned and how it is used. We argue that there is a need to consider more socio-cultural and individual factors in the learning and use of English as a lingua franca as these factors constitute crucial aids to successful cross-cultural interactions in professional environments. The latest research on lingua franca English (LFE) (Firth & Wagner, 1997; Kramsch, 2002; Larsen-Freeman, 2002; Block, 2003; House, 2003; Canagarajah, 2006a; Lantolf & Thorne, 2006; Atkinson, Churchill, Nishino & Okada, 2007) confirms our position since it reveals what has always been the experience of multilingual speakers, i.e., “Language learning and use succeed through performance strategies, situational resources, and social negotiations in fluid communicative contexts. Proficiency is therefore practice-based, adaptive, and emergent” (Canagarajah, 2007: 923).