ENGLISH AS A LINGUA FRANCA (ELF) is the use of the English language as a koiné language , "a common means of communication for speakers of different first languages ". ELF is also "defined functionally by its use in intercultural communication rather than formally by its reference to native-speaker norms" whereas English as a foreign language aims at meeting native speaker norms and gives prominence to native speaker cultural aspects. While lingua francas have been used for centuries, what makes ELF a novel phenomenon is the extent to which it is used – both functionally and geographically. A typical ELF conversation might involve an Italian and a Swede chatting at a coffee break of an international conference held in Brussels, a Spanish tourist asking a local for the way in Berlin, or a Punjabi Indian negotiating with a Tamil Indian salesperson in Chennai.
* 1 Globalization and ELF * 2 Features * 3 "Neutrality" of ELF * 4 ELF and the native speaker * 5 Attitude and motivation * 6 Criticism * 7 Related terminology * 8 Notes * 9 References and Further Reading
GLOBALIZATION AND ELF
Extensive technological advances in the 21st century have enabled instant global communication, breaking the barriers of space and time, thereby changing the nature of globalisation . With the world turned into an interconnected global system, there is a need for a mutual language. English has fulfilled this need by becoming the global lingua franca of the 21st century. Its presence in large parts of the world due to colonisation has led to it becoming the main language in which global trade, business, and cultural interactions take place. ELF is a unique lingua franca because of its global spread, its highly diverse nature, and its interactions which include native speakers.
Language and globalisation affect each other. The reshaping of communities due to globalisation means considerable changes in the English language. As English encounters new communities and cultures, it is shaped and adapted by these encounters to be used by local communities for local and international communication. Consequently, hybrid forms develop in which new words are created, while simultaneously, existing words may be assigned new meanings. This leads to a constant process of linguistic change.
Because of the use of English as a lingua franca, there is an unprecedented linguistic situation in which native speakers are outnumbered by non-native speakers of English. A consequence of this is a sense of ownership of the language by different communities, which is reflected in the way English has become ‘multiplex’.
The way English is used as a lingua franca is heavily dependent on the specific situation of use. Generally speaking, ELF interactions concentrate on function rather than form. In other words, communicative efficiency (i.e. getting the message across) is more important than correctness. As a consequence, ELF interactions are very often hybrid. Speakers accommodate to each other's cultural backgrounds and may also use code-switching into other languages that they know. Based on the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English (VOICE) and additional research, the following features of ELF lexicogrammar have been identified:
* shift in the use of articles (including some preference for zero articles) as in our countries have signed agreements about this * invariant question tags as in you’re very busy today, aren't you? (and use of other similar universal forms) * treating ‘who’ and ‘which’ as interchangeable relative pronouns, as in the picture who or a person which * shift of patterns of preposition use, for example we have to study about * preference for bare and/or full infinitive over the use of gerunds, as in I'm looking forward to see you tomorrow * extension to the collocational field of words with high semantic generality, for example perform an operation * increased explicitness, for example how much time instead of how long * exploited redundancy, such as ellipsis of objects/complements of transitive verbs as in "I wanted to go with..." or "You can borrow...'"
However, these features are by no means invariant or “obligatory”. Rather, these forms do not seem to compromise effective communication within an ELF setting when they do occur.
"NEUTRALITY" OF ELF
While some researchers hold that English as a lingua franca is a neutral and culture-free tool, others hold that it carries the culture and language of its speakers. Recent linguistic discussions by ELF experts treat the interactants’ cultural and linguistic background as a factor influencing language performance. For Hülmbauer, for instance, “it seems likely that the ELF users develop their own markers of identity (be they a common 'European' or 'international' nature or more individual ones which are created online, depending on the community of practice they are emerging).” In this view, ELF is multicultural rather than culture-free.
ELF AND THE NATIVE SPEAKER
ELF is used most often between non-native speakers of English but this fact does not mean that native speakers are excluded from ELF communication. However, very often they form a minority of the interlocutors. In ELF interactions, the importance lies on communication strategies other than nativeness, which can lead to communicative situations where those English native speakers who are not familiar with ELF and/or intercultural communication are at a disadvantage because they do not know how to use English appropriately in these situations.
An important issue when discussing ELF is the notion of speakers of ELF being active language users in their own right, who do not need to adhere to native speaker norms but use ELF to meet their communicative needs. Proponents of ELF thus reject the notion that it is a form of ‘deficient’ English and describe ELF speakers as users of English, not as learners.
ATTITUDE AND MOTIVATION
Several attitude studies on the topic of ELF have already been conducted. One overarching factor seems to be a discrepancy between perceptions on the role of ELF in everyday interactions all over the globe on the one hand and the dominance of as well as reliance on native speaker norms on the other hand. Breiteneder argues that learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) often have an integrative motivation for learning and using English since they wish to identify with the culture and values of English native speakers. Thus, native speaker norms occupy a central place if English is studied as a foreign language . In contrast, English as Lingua Franca users tend to focus on effective communication with speakers of other linguistic backgrounds. In ELF interactions, intelligibility is key, which may not necessitate an advantage for native speakers (see above).
Criticism of ELF generally fall into three camps: Those who argue that the language studied consists of learner errors rather than authentic variation; those who argue that ELF scholars are perpetuating the idea that ELF is a reified variety of English; and those who feel it is upholding notions of neutrality in the face of global domination through languages and discourse.
Regarding the first stance, some linguists claim that variation in
ELF is completely haphazard and devoid of any patterns, and therefore
not worth studying. Most importantly, proponents of this view reject
the idea that emerging insights into how English is used as a lingua
franca can provide useful input with regard to the aims and methods of
Regarding the criticism of ELF and variety building, some claim that ELF research has inherited the legacies of traditional linguistics, which contain some obstacles when considering language use in context. For example, there are claims that variationist discourses have entered into some ELF accounts, creating too much emphasis on accounting for language forms and authenticating them numerically, rather than considering all the contextual factors and variations that constitute communicative practices across ELF settings. This leads to linear connections between intention, behaviour, culture, etc., and English usages, which can be false lines of corrolation. It also creates a focus on what is different rather than what is there, which moves from a descriptive agenda to a pragmatic (and, arguably, problematic) one. Such criticisms tend to be cooperative and complimentary to the ELF field of enquiry, and not as overtly confrontational as those who either take the previous or following stance.
The other line of criticism argues that concepts such as ELF provide a useful (terminological) veneer for continued (linguistic) domination by English-speaking countries through their political, educational, and cultural institutions. This concept of linguistic imperialism has been developed and heavily used by Robert Phillipson . Although Phillipson suggests this idea, there are some controversial facts which put Phillipson in a contrast situation.
Another example is the case of Juliane House, a German scholar who explains in her article "English as a lingua franca: A threat to multilingualism?" her relation to English after World War II. Contrastingly, Davies criticises the concept and argues that it is “inhabited” by two cultures: one is a culture of guilt ("colonies should never have happened") the other is that of romantic despair ("we shouldn’t be doing what we are doing").
Other terms with slightly different meanings have been used in the
debate and research on the global spread of English, including
"English as an International Language" (EIL), "Global English",
"Global Englishes", "
International English ", "World English" and
* ^ Vienna Oxford International Corpus of English : FAQ
* ^ Hülmbauer, Cornelia et al. 2008 "Introducing English as a
lingua franca (ELF): Precursor and partner in intercultural
communication." Synergies Europe 3, 25-36. p.27
* ^ (cf. ibid 2008: 27-28)
* ^ Sergeant, Philip. 2012. "English and linguistic globalisation".
In: Sergeant, P. and Swan, J. (eds). English in the World: history,
diversity, change. Abingdon, Oxford: Routledge, 178-187.
* ^ A B C Paradowski, Michał B. 2013. Understanding English as a
Lingua Franca: A Complete Introduction to the Theoretical Nature and
Practical Implications of English used as a Lingua Franca. Barbara
Seidlhofer. The Interpreter and Translator Trainer 7(2) , 312–20 .
* ^ Cogo, Allessia. 2008. “English as a Lingua Franca. Form
follows function.” English Today 95 (3), 58-61.
* ^ Firth, Alan. 2009. “The lingua franca factor.”
Intercultural pragmatics 6: 2, 147-170. p.161-163
* ^ A B Cogo, Alessia and Dewey, Martin. 2006. “Efficiency in ELF
communication. From pragmatic motives to lexico-grammatical
innovation.” Nordic Journal of English Studies.
* ^ Seidlhofer, Barbara. 2006. “Towards making ‘Euro-English’
a linguistic reality.” In: Bolton, Kinglsey; Kachru, Braj B. (eds.).
World Englishes. Critical Concepts in Linguistics. Volume III. London:
* ^ House, Juliane . 2002. “Developing pragmatic competence in
English as a Lingua Franca.” In Knapp, Karlfried; Meierkord,
Lingua franca communication. Frankfurt am Main:
* ^ House, Juliane. 2003. “English as a lingua franca: A threat
to multilingualism?” Journal of Sociolinguistics 7: 4, 556-578.
* ^ Klimpfinger, Theresa. 2005. “The role of speakers' first and
other languages in
English as a lingua franca talk.” Unpublished MA
Thesis, University of Vienna.
* ^ Pölzl, Ulrike. 2005. “Exploring the third space. Negotiating
culture in English as a lingua franca.” Unpublished PhD thesis,
University of Vienna
* ^ Pölzl, Ulrike; Seidlhofer, Barbara. 2006. “In and on their
own terms. The ‘habitat factor’ in English as a lingua franca
interactions.” International Journal of the Sociology of Language
* ^ Meierkord, Christiane. 2002. “’Language stripped bare’ or
‘linguistic masala’? Culture in lingua franca conversation.” In:
Knapp, Karlfried; Meierkord, Christiane (eds.). Lingua franca
communication. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 109-133.
* ^ Hülmbauer, Cornelia. 2007. “'You moved, aren't?' The
relationship between lexicogrammatical correctness and communicative
effectiveness in English as a lingua franca.” Views 16: 2, 3-36.
* ^ Paradowski, Michał B. 2008, Apr. Winds of change in the
Links: ------ /wiki/English_language /wiki/Koin%C3%A9_language /wiki/First_language /#cite_note-1 /#cite_note-2 /wiki/English_as_a_foreign_language /#cite_note-3 /wiki/Lingua_franca /#Globalizatio