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.
Gambia's president has said that he wants to implement a policy change that would shift the country's language from English to a local language. Yahya Jammeh said that "we no longer subscribe to the belief that for you to be a government you should speak English language" He spoke during the swearing-in ceremony of Gambia's new chief justice. He made the announcement months after the West African country announced it is withdrawing from the Commonwealth, a collection of 54 nations made up largely of former British colonies.
A committee examining the possibility of introducing English instruction in Israeli law schools has failed to reach agreement, and instead has submitted two contradictory opinions. . . .However, they suggested equalizing the admission requirements in the English and Hebrew programs, and stipulated that the number of students in the English program should not exceed half of the students in the Hebrew one. They also said the reading material should be identical in both programs and the English-language one must focus on Israeli law.
When I announced my plan to make English the official language of my Tokyo-based company, a lot of people said I was crazy. At least one fellow Japanese businessman said I was stupid. But three years later...
In an effort to modernize the methods used by the directorate, national security officials announced in a press conference that the agents and the officers of the urban police corps will receive in-service training. In addition to continuous vocational training, the police officers will learn English and Spanish.
European universities have introduced more than 6,400 programmes taught in English to achieve internationalisation objectives, such as recruiting more international students and improving the employability of graduates.
The city of Jerusalem, in cooperation with representatives of taxi drivers in the city, are set to begin providing 60 hours of English lessons to drivers to help them improve customer service to tourists.
Common language fosters global dialogue. And theology is not the only discipline that benefits from widespread English usage. Understandably, many do not welcome this trend. For instance, a recent study investigated the perceptions of Spanish scientists toward the prevalence of English in scientific discourse. Participants responded with resignation. As the researchers explain, "A surprisingly high proportion of subjects (83 percent) believe there is a need for one international language of science." At the same time, 96 percent of participants said the current system privileges native English speakers. Historically speaking, English is not the first language to function in this role as a common language that transcends borders and cultures. For instance, Persian, Sanskrit, and Arabic have also done so in certain times and places. Likewise, much of the church developed and communicated its theology through Greek and Latin. And today's theology students must study still more languages in their work, such as Hebrew, German, and French. In every case the language shaped the discourse in ways we cannot always comprehend.
Many people would agree that English is the language of globalization. English is almost always adopted as the official language of international events, including the Olympic Games. It does not mean, however, that the presumed global status of English is wholeheartedly accepted as I learned from over one thousand comments on a recent newspaper article about the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Should Malaysians be proud that only 37 per cent of teachers trained to teach English in the country have a high level of proficiency on par with their counterparts in the United Kingdom? Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin seems to be elated by this level of competency among English-language teachers in the country. One wonders what the proficiency level of the remaining 63 per cent of English-language teachers is.
One type of language that can potentially benefit from crowdsourced lexicography is World Englishes. One major stumbling block towards the balanced and comprehensive coverage of less widely used varieties of English in general-purpose dictionaries is the lack of textual evidence for them: published material in postcolonial English-speaking countries such as India, Singapore, and the Philippines still follow British or American standards, and there are as yet very few language corpora for these varieties that are large enough for lexicographical research. The crowdsourcing model can solve this problem by making it possible to gather word data for World Englishes directly from its speakers.
English trumps regional languages for the young - Several, including those who studied in English medium, are enrolling in English-speaking classes to acquire confidence and fluency and remove their vernacular 'accent'. A report by iValue Consulting projects the market for English language training in India to touch $4.65 billion in 2015 from $2.75 billion in 2012. More or less, English has replaced mother tongues in many urban homes. While the importance of English is growing, experts feel that Indian languages will lose their existence slowly. Pushplata Rajapure Tapas, head of the Marathi department at Mumbai university says, "The growth and love for English is market-driven. If market offers more job opportunities for people who studied in vernacular medium, our languages will grow too."
A fourth grade employee of a nationalized Bank has lost his job because he is was not competent in English. The reason behind his laying off was that he was unable to write digits in English, a desirable skill in all Indian banks. "Writing digits in Roman script in a bank is a must. Enormous problems can arise from a single digit difference," reasoned bank manager Narendra Paswan.
What are the English language needs and priorities of young adults in Europe? What kinds of English do 18-24 year olds want to speak, and why? Has the development of new technologies and online communication affected the ways in which young adults use English, and if so, how? Has the emergence of English as an international Lingua Franca affected people’s sense of their own identity? And what might this mean for English language teaching and learning? Northumbria University and King’s College London (both UK), in conjunction with the British Council, are surveying student and teacher perceptions of the English language needs of young adults in Europe, and the implications of this for English language teaching.
Everywhere they look, most of the words are still in Japanese. The majority of the people look Japanese. It’s like the rest of the world doesn’t exist, except on TV. The chances of a Japanese person having to use English appears to be about on par with needing an abacus. So in the schools it gets scarcely more attention than Art class or P.E., not that those aren’t also great subjects. I recently asked a class of university English majors how they intended to use English and their answers fell within the narrow range of “I don’t” to “I want to have foreign friends.” It’s like a mildly interesting hobby.
If English is an international language, there can be no native speaker of the tongue, argued linguist Julian Edge here on Friday. ... English, emphasis is often on accuracy, fluency and the social appropriateness of certain forms. However, the flexibility to communicate with people who do not speak English exactly the way you were taught to speak is equally important.
The German chancellor told British MPs that she had heard several times there were "very special expectations of my speech here today". But Angela Merkel said both sides of the argument on Europe would be disappointed by her speech as she delivered an historic address to both Houses of Parliament and spoke about Britain relations with the EU.
Most of her speech was in German, but part of it was in English.
It's an increasingly tired meme that we need more STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduates. Of course we do. Research shows we need more qualified workers to accommodate an economy that's increasingly reliant on engineering skills. But there's something else we need: English majors. Why? Because as important as the technology is that powers our lives, businesses also depend on liberal arts-centric communicators to articulate why the technology matters. Indeed, every technology company, and certainly every startup trying to make its imprint on the world, needs English majors. Perhaps many.
Communication mix ups between pilots and traffic controllers occur daily. Here's why you're still safe. . . . "Pilot and air traffic controller radiotelephony communication is an important part of training leading up to licensing for both functions," says an ICAO spokesperson. "ICAO guidance requires that both controllers and pilots use standardized phraseology in their communication exchanges. "ICAO is continuously reviewing and updating its standardized phraseology guidelines to better meet the needs of the air transport system and ICAO language proficiency requirements have been in place since March 2008." . . .
The Laotian Ministry of Education and Sports and IIG Education are working together to boost English-language proficiency and information-technology skills among teachers and students to international standards.
Lenovo is one of a growing number of multinationals from the non-Anglophone world that have made English their official language. The fashion began in places with small populations but global ambitions such as Singapore (which retained English as its lingua franca when it left the British empire in 1963), the Nordic countries and Switzerland. Goran Lindahl, a former boss of ABB, a Swiss-Swedish engineering giant, once described its official language as "poor English". The practice spread to the big European countries: numerous German and French multinationals now use English in board meetings and official documents. . . . Native English speakers often assume that the spread of their language in global corporate life confers an automatic advantage on them. In fact it can easily encourage them to rest on their laurels. Too many of them (especially Englishmen, your columnist keeps being told) risk mistaking their fluency in meetings for actual accomplishments.
Over the last few decades, a new understanding has emerged: English is more a skill than a language, it is universally Indian in character, a lingua franca that binds businesses across the country. It connects India to the world and is now seen as a social cum professional enabler. The numbers showcase the importance. Only 4 per cent Indians are fluent in English; those who speak the language fluently earn up to 34 per cent more than those who cannot, according to study conducted by Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy and National Council for Applied Economic Research.
Workers at a major distribution hub in Burton have been told that they can only speak English while at work – or face disciplinary action.
Bosses at Hobbycraft, based in Centrum 100, hauled staff in for a meeting on yesterday morning after difficulties arose with a host of nationalities conversing only in their native tongue. Staff were warned that the firm’s policy was that they should only use English during work hours...
When there are multiple languages in the workplace, issues like miscommunication can arise. Often, these issues can result in decreased productivity and collaboration as workers become frustrated trying to understand one another. According to a recent report from the British Council, Business English is a vital factor in bringing the international workforce together for successful interactions.