Culture and identity through ELF in Asia: Fact or fiction?

Baker, Will (2011) Culture and identity through ELF in Asia: Fact or fiction? In, Latest Trends in ELF Research. Newcastle upon Tyne, GB, Cambridge Scholars pp. 32-52.


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English is increasingly regarded as the language of intercultural communication in Asia. Such extensive use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) in the region gives rise to concerns about how individuals express themselves and their local contexts through English. This leads into issues of culture and identity. However, given the multifarious and fluid nature of much ELF communication, is it possible to envisage cultures or identities expressed through ELF in Asia? This discussion will focus on an ‘expanding circle’ setting, Thailand, and data drawn from an ethnographic study of seven English language users in a Thai university. The data will be used to illustrate wider themes concerning the relevance of notions such as identity and culture when examining ELF in Asia. It will be suggested that while identity and culture are important concepts in understanding ELF communication in Asia, they need to be approached in a flexible and non-essentialist manner. Furthermore, it is suggested that ELF identities should be regarded as one of a range of alternatives that language users in Asia may or may not choose to orientate themselves towards.

Item Type: Book Section

ePrint ID: 181077
Date :
Date Event
December 2011Published
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2011 08:16
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 02:29
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