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.
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.
If you were redesigning English, and you could make it do anything that any other language in the world does, what would you change? In the video below, YouTuber Tom Scott talks about four fantastic features in other languages that he wishes were found in English.
Nicos Sifakis's insight:
Here's an interesting video to use with your class. Different learners can do different things with it (keep the input the same but differentiate tasks) -- any ideas?
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.
BY SAHITH AULA - Many states have attempted to make English the medium of instruction for all schools in an attempt to assuage the demands of the poor--however, the shortage of teachers who can even speak English is surreal. All of this while the vast majority is able to communicate in their respective mother tongues.
PESHAWAR, Pakistan — There's a new terrorism title in the increasingly crowded field of glossy propaganda publications. Al Qaeda has "Inspire" and "Resurgence," the Afghan Taliban has "Al-Somood" and now Pakistan's Taliban has submitted its own English-language magazine to the pile of jihadi militant periodicals. . . .
Have you ever sent an email to someone or some people in the United States, Canada, Britain or some other English-speaking Western country and didn't get a response? Well, it is entirely possible that your email didn't even make it to their inbox. If it did, it is also possible that certain uniquely Nigerian expressions in your email that were popularized in the West by Nigerian email scam artists triggered a scam alarm and caused you to be ignored. What are these "419 English" expressions that are like waving a red flag in front of a bull in the West?
Nicos Sifakis's insight:
Clearly, "the West" needs some serious ELF-aware training, and fast.
Two Norwegian scientists have won the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine - for work published in the English language. Historian of science Michael Gordin explains why they wrote in the language of Dickens and Twain rather than Ibsen and Hamsun.
It's Nobel Prize season. While scientists throughout the world will be awarded this prestigious prize, there's a good chance all of their research was written up in English. Michael Gordin, a professor of the history of science at Princeton, wrote a new book, "Scientific Babel" that explores the intersection of the history of language and science.