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Chinese university students' awareness of ELF and some pedagogical implications

Chinese university students' awareness of ELF and some pedagogical implications
Chinese university students' awareness of ELF and some pedagogical implications
English has long been central to the discourse of foreign language education in China. However, the unprecedented spread of English highlights the lingua franca role of this language today and points to the limitations of understanding English revolving its historical custody by native English speakers. Research into English as a lingua franca (ELF) has correspondingly set an agenda for ‘a relationship that has to be mediated’ between English as a subject matter and English as a sociolinguistic phenomenon (Widdowson 2003: 94). The mediation is foregrounded by the awareness of ELF as distinguishable from a set of beliefs residing with the function of English as a foreign language (EFL). This presentation examines Chinese university students’ awareness of ELF in order to explore how teachers can ‘mediate’ and support students in learning English purposively in China today, based on an interview study of 24 Chinese university students’ perceptions of English.
The study reveals predominant language beliefs centered on EFL among those students and shows their struggle generated by a perceived gap between English as existing in its sociolinguistic reality and English as prescribed in education policy. The presentation discusses within the ELF framework a few aspects of how current Chinese education enhances the status of EFL and raises aspirations for native speaker English exclusively. By so doing, I hope to invite the reflection on how far the ELF phenomenon is reflected in current English teaching practice in China and, further, the discussion of possible ways that ELF can be brought into language classrooms to suit the updated context of English.
Wang, Ying
dae44497-8e51-48ab-8173-7844f152f6e9
Wang, Ying
dae44497-8e51-48ab-8173-7844f152f6e9

Wang, Ying (2015) Chinese university students' awareness of ELF and some pedagogical implications. The 8th International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca, China. 25 - 27 Aug 2015.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)

Abstract

English has long been central to the discourse of foreign language education in China. However, the unprecedented spread of English highlights the lingua franca role of this language today and points to the limitations of understanding English revolving its historical custody by native English speakers. Research into English as a lingua franca (ELF) has correspondingly set an agenda for ‘a relationship that has to be mediated’ between English as a subject matter and English as a sociolinguistic phenomenon (Widdowson 2003: 94). The mediation is foregrounded by the awareness of ELF as distinguishable from a set of beliefs residing with the function of English as a foreign language (EFL). This presentation examines Chinese university students’ awareness of ELF in order to explore how teachers can ‘mediate’ and support students in learning English purposively in China today, based on an interview study of 24 Chinese university students’ perceptions of English.
The study reveals predominant language beliefs centered on EFL among those students and shows their struggle generated by a perceived gap between English as existing in its sociolinguistic reality and English as prescribed in education policy. The presentation discusses within the ELF framework a few aspects of how current Chinese education enhances the status of EFL and raises aspirations for native speaker English exclusively. By so doing, I hope to invite the reflection on how far the ELF phenomenon is reflected in current English teaching practice in China and, further, the discussion of possible ways that ELF can be brought into language classrooms to suit the updated context of English.

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More information

Published date: August 2015
Venue - Dates: The 8th International Conference of English as a Lingua Franca, China, 2015-08-25 - 2015-08-27
Organisations: Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 381273
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/381273
PURE UUID: d1286fe1-2a55-4fa4-ab78-940225af28c1

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Oct 2015 09:09
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:28

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Contributors

Author: Ying Wang

University divisions

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