This site points to interesting papers and materials related to the description of English as an international lingua franca, with an emphasis on teaching, learning, assessment, curriculum design, implementation and evaluation, and teacher education.
English as a lingua franca (ELF) can be defined as “an additionally acquired language system which serves as a common means of communication for speakers of different first languages”. Here's the Wikipedia entry for ELF.
Kaschula, a professor of African language studies at Rhodes University, in South Africa, said he wanted to challenge one of the “myths” about English instruction: “that one must choose one language of instruction.” Kaschula said he doesn't doubt that English is increasingly being used at universities all over the world by students and faculty members for whom it is not a first language -- and that the trend will continue. But he said that there is no reason that this must be at the expense of local languages. His was among a number of comments at a panel here at Going Global, the annual international education meeting of the British Council, that suggested that many of the issues about the rise of global academic English have been oversimplified or ignored.
In France, 99.4 percent of students take significant amounts of English by secondary school. It’s 100 percent in the Czech Republic and, yes, the Netherlands, and mostly over 90 percent elsewhere in Europe (for the slackers in Hungary, it’s just 78 percent, and in Portugal for some probably political reason, 47 percent, by far the lowest on the continent).
Research has shown that students who spend time playing online computer or console games reap an added benefit – good grades in English. The study by Helsinki University research student Olli Uuskoski shows that boys in particular tend to enjoy a big payoff, since they can more often be found with a game controller in hand than girls. As English grows in popularity among students, other languages are being left behind.
Nicos Sifakis's insight:
Yet another study that can be used in support of the view that, in Expanding Circle contexts, English is not really a foreign language (in the sense that other "major" languages, such as German, French, etc are).
English speakers are being offered a unique opportunity to spend a month living inside the world’s most secretive state. "The country has made it clear that it’s looking to grow its tourism sector in the coming years,” David Thompson from JTS told the Guardian paper. “To do so will require both international tourism expertise and foreign language skills.”
MOHALI: In Punjab, 80,278 of the 3,78,628 Class-10 government school students flunked English exam this year. Reason: they were taught by those who themselves struggle to write a simple correct sentence in the language.
But the enthusiasm for English isn’t universal. Skeptics note that switching to English does not solve all the underlying problems of troubled educational systems. Some see the turn away from their native language as a threat to Arab identity. Others worry that English-language education exacerbates the divide between the haves and have-nots. For a small minority of graduates, like Mr. Hamdy, English is the gateway to the global economy. But millions more are left behind.
France’s Minister of Culture, Fleur Pellerin, the chief guardian of the French language, told The Local on Wednesday that she saw no point in protecting French from outside influence like English - a sign that the famous blockade against English words has been lifted.
English will still dominate a century from now, but it will no longer share the planet with thousands of other languages. Instead, expect fewer but simpler modes of oral communication on every continent.
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