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.
An extensive new survey, released by the teaching company Education First, comes to another surprising conclusion: In most of the countries that were surveyed, women were better than men at learning English as a non-native language. In total, 70 countries were part of the analysis. The findings confirm other surveys, such as the results from the international Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, in which women also outperformed men.
Sarawak has adopted English as the official language of the state administration, apart from Bahasa Malaysia, Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said today. Adenan told the state civil service gathering this morning that official government correspondence can be in both languages, adding that it was a practical and logical step. ...
EF Education First released today the 5th annual edition of its EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), the world's largest ranking of countries by English skills. The report identifies global and regional English language learning trends and analyzes the relationship between countries' English proficiency and their economic competitiveness. This year's EF EPI report profiles all 70 ranked countries, using test data from 910,000 adult English language learners.
Eight percent of Pakistan's population speak the language as its native tongue. Only one word of it — “ka,” meaning “of” — is in the country's three-stanza, 56-word national anthem. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court of Pakistan in August ordered the government to replace English with Urdu as its official language. English has been the country's recognized language since its independence 68 years ago. Citing Article 251, the court noted that the 1973 constitution declared Urdu the official language of Pakistan and the government was to arrange for its use for official and other purposes within 15 years of the constitution's adoption, or by 1988. The constitution allowed that “the English language may be used for official purposes until arrangements are made for its replacement by Urdu.” The government never really made the switch, however, . . .
European Union nurses who want to work in the UK will in the future be required to pass an International English Language Testing System exam if they cannot prove they are proficient in using English, despite concerns about the test’s robustness.
Rachel Mills, of PFD, described The Book of Mirrors as “a really well-plotted murder mystery”. She added: “It is such an incredible novel, so sophisticated. You would never know it was written by someone whose first language wasn’t English.”
In Lebanon, hellos, thank-yous and how-are-yous are often said in French. Arabic is the core language, but kids are taught in French or English at school. French- and English-language schools have been around since the 1800s, when Catholic and Anglican missionaries arrived in the region. Then, after World War I, the French ruled Lebanon until the 1940s.
India will soon export English teachers to southeast Asia to cater to massive demand from the region and earn some foreign exchange in return. Sources said India and Malaysia will sign a memorandum of understanding during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit next month and the first batch of 100 teachers will land in Malaysia next year.
“The way Musio communicates and its correct pronunciation will make users feel as if they were living in a different country,” said AKA executive Brian Lee during a preview demonstration to media in Tokyo this week. According to the company, the goal is to provide a natural English-speaking environment for children in nonnative speaking countries.
Malaysians should embrace proficiency in both Bahasa Malaysia and English as they only stand to benefit from bilingualism, former international trade minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said today. The woman known as Malaysia’s “Iron Lady” for her tough no-nonsense approach even on the global stage advocated a system so that students could use both languages and master them together, saying she became bilingual only because English was “forced” upon her. ...
A proposal to make English the second official language in Taiwan was discussed at a conference Sunday in Tainan, the city that is leading the push. [...] With more than 70 countries around the world having designated English as their second official language, Taiwan's English education policy, however, is being challenged by a lack of funds and the dispute over its squeezing funds out of the budget for mother-tongue programs, . . .
Norwegians often think they speak and understand English well, but monotone delivery, poor pronunciation and a torrent of useless words can creep into their speech. That, in turn, can seriously undermine their message and their authority.
Nicos Sifakis's insight:
This coming from a native speaker researcher's perspective though...
THE Oregon Shakespeare Festival has decided that Shakespeare’s language is too difficult for today’s audiences to understand. It recently announced that over the next three years, it will commission 36 playwrights to translate all of Shakespeare’s plays into modern English.
No town in Japan is without an English Conversation School. Leaders of foreign governments are bankrolling scholarships for study in the United States. Some people are even snipping the roots of their tongues to improve their pronunciation of English. . .
Nearly 400 years ago, the chief minister to King Louis XIII established l’Académie Française, a council whose aims were to prevent “impurity” from sullying the French language. The Académie operates to this day as a coven of cloak wearers who preside over matters of linguistic importance: A recent decision had them lowering their shields against the scourge of Anglophone terms like “email” and “chicken nuggets.”
France’s stuffiness about its mother tongue is one of the reasons why pop music with English lyrics became standard for the country’s native bands since the dawn of the rock’n’roll era—it represented the rebellious antithesis of traditional chanson française. [...] “These days, it’s almost tacky to sing in English [...] It means sacrificing your creative desires for the promise of an international career—which, as we know, only happens for a select few acts, and rarely the most credible ones.”
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