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English as a Lingua Franca

English as a Lingua Franca
English as a Lingua Franca
Speakers of English as a lingua franca (ELF) represent the largest contemporary group of English users around the world. Much empirical research into the phenomenon of ELF over the past 10 years or so has focused on identifying the linguistic regularities of their English in diverse contexts of use. More recently, research has demonstrated the extent to which ELF is characterized by extensive online variability, with speakers accommodating their English to an extent not found in other language use, so as to make it appropriate to the interaction in hand and the diverse interlocutors involved.

The acknowledged variability of ELF has resulted in a dilemma for English language teaching and assessment. That is, grammatical and pragmatic norms conventionally associated with an idealized “standard” version of the native language no longer seem appropriate as benchmarks, because the majority of ELF use takes place among non-native English speakers. English language assessment thus needs to develop new benchmarks that are able to evaluate the degree to which ELF users’ English is fit for purpose.

This chapter begins by discussing ELF from the perspective of teaching and learning, and, in doing so, dispels the myth that ELF eschews any kind of standards. It goes on to explore the notion of “standard” English and the extent to which it is grounded in language ideology rather than appropriate use of language in context, as well as the ways in which this ideology is being reinforced by the powerful transnational English language testing enterprises and, in turn, diverting attention from the changes needed in English language teaching. Finally, taking note of work in the field of critical language assessment and paying attention to empirical findings regarding ELF-mediated communication, the factors that need to be taken into account in order to enrich the agenda for future developments are considered.
intercultural communication, language for academic purposes, lingua franca
9781118411360
Wiley Blackwell
Jenkins, Jennifer
7daf0457-86d0-4c08-af4b-79641d1f7fd0
Constant, Leung
711548aa-7a0d-48cf-b7e4-d889466a2674
Kunnan, Anthony John
Jenkins, Jennifer and Constant, Leung (2014) English as a Lingua Franca In, Kunnan, Anthony John (eds.) The Companion to Language Assessment. Chichester, Wiley Blackwell (doi:10.1002/9781118411360.wbcla047).

Jenkins, Jennifer and Constant, Leung (2014) English as a Lingua Franca In, Kunnan, Anthony John (eds.) The Companion to Language Assessment. Chichester, Wiley Blackwell (doi:10.1002/9781118411360.wbcla047).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

Speakers of English as a lingua franca (ELF) represent the largest contemporary group of English users around the world. Much empirical research into the phenomenon of ELF over the past 10 years or so has focused on identifying the linguistic regularities of their English in diverse contexts of use. More recently, research has demonstrated the extent to which ELF is characterized by extensive online variability, with speakers accommodating their English to an extent not found in other language use, so as to make it appropriate to the interaction in hand and the diverse interlocutors involved.

The acknowledged variability of ELF has resulted in a dilemma for English language teaching and assessment. That is, grammatical and pragmatic norms conventionally associated with an idealized “standard” version of the native language no longer seem appropriate as benchmarks, because the majority of ELF use takes place among non-native English speakers. English language assessment thus needs to develop new benchmarks that are able to evaluate the degree to which ELF users’ English is fit for purpose.

This chapter begins by discussing ELF from the perspective of teaching and learning, and, in doing so, dispels the myth that ELF eschews any kind of standards. It goes on to explore the notion of “standard” English and the extent to which it is grounded in language ideology rather than appropriate use of language in context, as well as the ways in which this ideology is being reinforced by the powerful transnational English language testing enterprises and, in turn, diverting attention from the changes needed in English language teaching. Finally, taking note of work in the field of critical language assessment and paying attention to empirical findings regarding ELF-mediated communication, the factors that need to be taken into account in order to enrich the agenda for future developments are considered.

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More information

Published date: 2014
Keywords: intercultural communication, language for academic purposes, lingua franca
Organisations: Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 349032
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/349032
ISBN: 9781118411360
PURE UUID: a7a08d46-98e1-41a0-ba08-e1caa114f6bc

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Date deposited: 25 Feb 2013 10:29
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 04:45

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Author: Leung Constant
Editor: Anthony John Kunnan

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