Almost ten years ago, Barbara Seidlhofer (2005: 339) described English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) as: “part of the more general phenomenon of ‘English as an international language’ (EIL) or ‘World Englishes’”. This was an interesting claim, given some salient paradigmatic differences between the ELF and the World Englishes perspectives, and it has not always been easy to reconcile with scholarship in the ELF tradition.
I was therefore very interested to learn that Professor Jennifer Jenkins will be addressing this confusion in the Fourth Annual CLERA Distinguished Lecture at Aston University (Thursday 13th November 2014). Here’s the abstract of her talk, titled: Diverse Englishes, intercultural communication, and ‘international’ universities:
Global diversity in English has existed since the early days of British colonisation, and from the late 1970s, research into the English of speakers for whom it is not the mother tongue has grown dramatically. The first to study it were World Englishes scholars, whose interest was in the different English varieties used within the postcolonial countries. More recently, English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) scholars have been exploring how English is used in intercultural communication. In my talk I will discuss the differences between these two research paradigms, consider the next logical development, then turn to a context in which ELF as both phenomenon and field of research is particularly prevalent: Higher Education. Focusing on the UK, I will consider some of the problems and contradictions relating to English language policies and practices (including entry testing) that exist in universities that consider themselves to be international.
Interested participants can register online.