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.
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.
Notions like ‘Globish’ have been suggested, proposing an artificially reduced and lexically impoverished code for international communication. This represents what I call ‘language implosion’ – English getting reduced to just bare bones properties, few words, simple structures.
Inadvertently, this intention prolongs a long line-up of failed attempts at constructing artificial languages or simplified Englishes, from ‘Anglic’ to ‘Basic English’. At first sight this may seem a useful notion – but I am positive it is not. It suffers from the same mistaken prescriptive attitude that sometimes wishes to eradicate dialects and ‘bastardized’ usage.
Languages work and evolve in communication; normally they cannot be engineered.
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.”
Let’s say you have an app. It’s specifically designed for users in the USA, or the UK, or some other country where English is primary language. In an English-dominated market, translation is probably the furthest thing from your mind. After all, why would you bother to translate an app into another language when it’s targeted to pizza-lovers in Chicago, or grocery shoppers in Scotland? Fair question. And the answer might be unexpected. Even if you never plan to go overseas, Read more
I had no choice but to approach the information counter and asked the staff if they could help to make an announcement in Mandarin to help locate my missing brother-in-law, who does not understand a word of English.
The counter staff replied that they were not able to do so as they are only allowed to make announcements in English. I was flabbergasted and I asked the staff why, since Chinese is an official language of Singapore as well. Her reply came swift and matter-of-fact: “No, English is THE official language of Singapore.” And she reiterated it more than once.
Linguists and educators believe that it is necessary to create a local CEFR-V, that is, a Vietnamese version of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, a set of standards used in teaching of English in Vietnam.
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