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.
Taipei, Dec. 8 (CNA) Almost 60 percent of office workers in Taiwan said their lack of English language skills has hampered their ambition to pursue an ideal job, according to the results of an online survey released Sunday.
A ministerial draft regulation on English learning and teaching reform with a greater emphasis on communication over has been drawn up by the Office of the Basic Education Commission's English Language Institute. It is expected to be finalised next week. The move follows Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng's call last September for English teachers to devise ways to improve language skills in schools.
Most startup conferences in Europe and the surrounding areas, no matter where they are held, are conducted almost entirely in English. The recent Webit conference in Istanbul was 100% English. Even Arabnet, an annual event in nearby Beirut, was almost entirely in English. But the panels and many of the talks at Riseup Summit are being done predominantly in Arabic. The Arabic-speaking Internet is one of the largest, and fastest-growing demographics. It is estimated that . . .
The UK-based FutureLearn will partner with the British Council, which already provides English language education, to pioneer MOOCs that teach the English language. It is the first time that a major MOOC provider has announced plans to offer language courses. The two organisations said there would be a portfolio of English language courses ready in 2014 which would be focused on preparing students whose native language is not English for studying higher education courses taught in English.
An international conference in Spain, “The role of English in Higher Education: Issues, policy and practice”, drew an international audience to debate the growth of English as a language of instruction.
Research shows a direct correlation between the English skills of a population and the economic performance of the country. Indicators like gross national income and gross domestic product go up. In our latest edition of the EF English Proficiency Index, the largest ranking of English skills by country, we found that in almost every one of the 60 countries and territories surveyed, a rise in English proficiency was connected with a rise in per capita income. And on an individual level, recruiters and human resources managers around the world report that job seekers with exceptional English skills compared to their country’s average earned 30 to 50 percent higher salaries.
A report published on online portal The Conversation said that Malaysia's poor scores in assessments by international students, declining language capabilities and persistent concerns over the employability of graduates did not augur well for its ambitious plans.
“The government may be able to build world-class facilities in Kuala Lumpur and attract international companies to operate in the new district by offering tax breaks and other incentives. However, without a supply of educated, English-speaking workers, hopes of challenging regional neighbours in Hong Kong and Singapore will remain a dream,” . . .
In what promises to give sleepless nights to Telugu-medium students, the Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) has changed its exam pattern this year, conducting the English language paper on the first day of the schedule. The move comes eight years after a decision was made to open exam week with second languages like Urdu, Sanskrit, Arabic or French, with a view to driving away the fear of English among students, who are mostly from Telugu medium background. It was then seen that a bad performance in the English exam, held on the very first day, led to low confidence levels that affected other papers too.
The Chinese Ministry of Education has released a draft reform plan for gaokao, the national college entrance examination, which will be open for public opinion soon, making it clear that English will not be included in gaokao in the future. The plan, which was released by the ministry on Friday, said English will not be a gaokao test subject in the future. Instead, students can take English tests more than once each year, and only the highest score will be counted.
With the Saudi economy growing, companies in the Kingdom have realized that proficiency in the English language is one of the best ways to communicate with the world. And with Saudis being hired in various job positions, corporate leaders have stressed the need for them to learn English, although many citizens are yet to realize the importance of the language. The government has made its policy known to international companies that they should employ Saudis and help them improve their English language skills, and even fund such training courses.
The Tokyo Board of Education has taken a bold move — perhaps its first ever — to raise the level of English at public schools. If its plan goes without a hitch, eventually all English teachers at Tokyo’s junior high and high schools will have to study and live in an English-speaking country for three months. The requirement is an attempt to improve English in Japan and should be warmly welcomed by anyone caring about Japan’s low level of English competence. ... The new move is obviously connected to the 2020 Olympics.
Living in a country far from home, where everyone speaks a language you didn’t grow up with, can be a challenge. For some international students, the English language can be a barrier that makes them feel lonely and excluded.
A report from the British Academy has warned that a lack of foreign language skills could undermine the UK’s future security and capacity for global influence.The report warns of an apathy towards language…...
The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education has decided to require third-year English teachers at public junior and senior high schools to go on three-month study-abroad programs starting next academic year, in an effort to boost English education ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
According to the education board, the system will send around 200 teachers a year on study-abroad programs to places including universities in English-speaking countries. They will receive certification for teaching English as a foreign language, and learn how to conduct class only in English and encourage active debate among students. Homestays for the teachers are also planned. The board is seeking around 600 million yen from the metropolitan government budget to cover the project's expenses.
Honda Motor Co. (7267), a Japanese carmaker counting on North America for almost half of sales, has made English the official language of global meetings as it shifts decision-making to regional units. [...]“Imagine the shock sent through the operation,” Mendel said in an interview yesterday. “The CEO stands up and says, ‘All discussions about global operations will be conducted in English and oh, by the way, if you don’t understand it, get an interpreter.’” [...]Honda isn’t the first Japanese automaker to make such a language shift. Carlos Ghosn, chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA, implemented a similar policy at Nissan more than a decade ago.
Today Oxford Dictionaries announces selfie as their international Word of the Year 2013. The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date. Language research conducted by Oxford Dictionaries editors reveals that the frequency of the word selfie in the English language has increased by 17,000% since this time last year.
The OED, which this month experiences a rare change in leadership, is different from other English dictionaries. Most obviously, it is much, much bigger. The first edition, published in 10 instalments between 1884 and 1928, defined more than 400,000 words and phrases; by 1989, when two further supplements of 20th-century neologisms were combined with the original to create the second, this had risen to some 600,000, with a full word count of 59m. Once the monumental task of revising and updating that last (and possibly final) printed incarnation is complete, the third edition is expected to have doubled in overall length.