English as a Lingua Franca: Approaches to Bridge the Gap Between Theory and Practice

English as a Lingua Franca: Approaches to Bridge the Gap Between Theory and Practice

Aicha Rahal (Aix-Marseille University, France)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1219-7.ch004
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English has occupied a unique place in today's interconnected world. The emergence of ELF opens questions revolving around the change of the teaching and learning habitus. Researchers point to the disparity between theory and practice in this new paradigm and the need for bridging gap between them. The suggested study tries to explore this problem. Its purpose is to reflect on new approaches, which go hand in hand with how English is currently being used, and how it can also be integrated in classrooms. It first presents the development of ELF. The monolingual view of language and language use and the plurilingual view are also highlighted. Then, the discussion will be turned to the central topic of the study. It focuses on approaches to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
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English As A Lingua Franca

Seidelhofer (2011) defines English as a lingua franca as “any use of English among speakers of different first languages for whom English is the communicative medium of choice, and often the only option” (p. 7). Jenkins (2000) also provides her definition of this concept, which is as follows: “ELF emphasizes the role of English in communication between speakers from different L1s, …” (Jenkins, 2000, p. 11). Moreover, Gnutzmann (2000) explains this phenomenon as “[w] hen used as a lingua franca, English is no longer founded on the linguistic and sociocultural norms of native English speakers and their respective countries and cultures” (p. 358). ELF refers to global English, to a common language of its speakers. It is no longer the language of the natives.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Lingua Franca: Language that is used as a means of communication between people with different mother tongues or main languages.

World Englishes: Different and/or newborn varieties of English.

English Language Teaching: Ways, approaches, and techniques that are used in teaching English.

Theory: Set of abstract ideas and principles on which the practice is based.

Practice: Language practice refers to the practice of working with languages. It means how language is presented and performed.

Conceptual Gap: In this study, the conceptual gap refers to the mismatch between theory and practice in teaching English as a lingua franca.

English as a Lingua Franca: The use of English as a common language between people who do not share the same native language. In other words, English is used for communication among speakers of different languages.

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