English as a lingua franca (ELF) is the use of the English language as "a common means of communication for speakers of different first languages". ELF is also "defined functionally by its use in intercultural communication rather than formally by its reference to native-speaker norms" whereas English as a foreign language aims at meeting native speaker norms and gives prominence to native speaker cultural aspects. While lingua francas have been used for centuries, what makes ELF a novel phenomenon is the extent to which it is used – both functionally and geographically. A typical ELF conversation might involve an Italian and a Swede chatting at a coffee break of an international conference held in Brussels, a Spanish tourist asking a local for the way in Berlin, or a Punjabi Indian negotiating with a Tamil Indian salesperson in Chennai.
Extensive technological advances in the 21st century have enabled instant global communication, breaking the barriers of space and time, thereby changing the nature of globalization. With the world turned into an interconnected global system, there is a need for a mutual language. English has fulfilled this need by becoming the global lingua franca of the 21st century. Its presence in large parts of the world due to colonisation has led to it becoming the main language in which global trade, business, and cultural interactions take place. ELF is a unique lingua franca because of its global spread, its highly diverse nature, and its interactions which include native speakers.
Language and globalization affect each other. English has facilitated communication between Chinese people and the rest of the world and has proved to be important for international trade. The reshaping of communities due to globalisation means considerable changes in the English language. As English encounters new communities and cultures, it is shaped and adapted by these encounters to be used by local communities for local and international communication. Consequently, hybrid forms develop in which new words are created, while simultaneously, existing words may be assigned new meanings. This leads to a constant process of linguistic change.
Because of the use of English as a lingua franca, there is an unprecedentedlinguistic situation in which native speakers are outnumbered by non-native speakers of English. A consequence of this is a sense of ownership of the language by different communities, which is reflected in the way English has become ‘multiplex’.
The way English is used as a lingua franca is heavily dependent on the specific situation of use. Generally speaking, ELF interactions concentrate on function rather than form. In other words, communicative efficiency (i.e. getting the message across) is more important than correctness. As a consequence, ELF interactions are very often hybrid. Speakers accommodate to each other's cultural backgrounds and may also use code-switching into other languages that they know. Based on the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English (VOICE) and additional research, the following features of ELF lexicogrammar have been identified: 
However, these features are by no means invariant or “obligatory”. Rather, these forms do not seem to compromise effective communication within an ELF setting when they do occur.
Although some researchers hold that English as a lingua franca is a neutral and culture-free tool, others hold that it carries the culture and language of its speakers. Recent linguistic discussions by ELF experts treat the interactants' cultural and linguistic background as a factor influencing language performance. For Hülmbauer, for instance, “it seems likely that the ELF users develop their own markers of identity (be they a common 'European' or 'international' nature or more individual ones which are created online, depending on the community of practice they are emerging).” In this view, ELF is multicultural rather than culture-free.
ELF is used most often between non-native speakers of English but this fact does not mean that native speakers are excluded from ELF communication. However, very often they form a minority of the interlocutors. In ELF interactions, the importance lies on communication strategies other than nativeness, which can lead to communicative situations where those English native speakers who are not familiar with ELF and/or intercultural communication are at a disadvantage because they do not know how to use English appropriately in these situations.
Most data on ELF interactions has been drawn from the domains of business and higher education, and that in largely European contexts, perhaps factors accounting for the relatively rare instances of miscommunication. Studies of Medical English as a Lingua Franca (MELF) provide opportunities to investigate ELF interactions where communicative precision is critical, and the migration of healthcare practitioners across international borders (a phenomenon consistent with the "deterritorialisation" of ELF generally), have created conditions where MELF interactions are increasingly commonplace. A research study of MELF interactions where nurses negotiated a patient handover simulation indicated that areas of unintelligibility represented a potential threat to patient safety, through misrecognition of vocabulary related to medication, as well as other areas of lexical imprecision.
One study of a Japanese Medical English as a Lingua Franca (MELF) context showed that student doctors made use of empathic accommodation and solicitation strategies to make interactions more intelligible. Applying nonverbal cues was seen as being of importance to encourage simulated patients to express concerns, because silence may be interpreted as a sign of potential problems. Empathic doctor-patient communication then means not only mean understanding and sympathizing but having the ability to bridge the gap when patients are not willing to talk.
An important issue when discussing ELF is the notion of speakers of ELF being active language users in their own right, who do not need to adhere to native speaker norms but use ELF to meet their communicative needs. Proponents of ELF thus reject the notion that it is a form of ‘deficient’ English and describe ELF speakers as users of English, not as learners.
Several attitude studies on the topic of ELF have already been conducted. One overarching factor seems to be a discrepancy between perceptions on the role of ELF in everyday interactions all over the globe on the one hand, and the dominance of as well as reliance on native speaker norms on the other hand. Breiteneder argues that learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) often have an integrative motivation for learning and using English since they wish to identify with the culture and values of English native speakers. Thus, native speaker norms occupy a central place if English is studied as a foreign language. In contrast, English as Lingua Franca users tend to focus on effective communication with speakers of other linguistic backgrounds. In ELF interactions, intelligibility is key, which may not necessitate an advantage for native speakers (see above).
Criticism of ELF generally fall into three camps: Those who argue that the language studied consists of learner errors rather than authentic variation; those who argue that ELF scholars are perpetuating the idea that ELF is a reified variety of English; and those who feel it is upholding notions of neutrality in the face of global domination through languages and discourse.
Regarding the first stance, some linguists claim that variation in ELF is completely haphazard and devoid of any patterns, and therefore not worth studying. Most importantly, proponents of this view reject the idea that emerging insights into how English is used as a lingua franca can provide useful input with regard to the aims and methods of English language teaching.
Regarding the criticism of ELF and variety building, some claim that ELF research has inherited the legacies of traditional linguistics, which contain some obstacles when considering language use in context. For example, there are claims that variationist discourses have entered into some ELF accounts, creating too much emphasis on accounting for language forms and authenticating them numerically, rather than considering all the contextual factors and variations that constitute communicative practices across ELF settings. This leads to linear connections between intention, behaviour, culture, etc., and English usages, which can be false lines of corrolation. It also creates a focus on what is different rather than what is there, which moves from a descriptive agenda to a pragmatic (and, arguably, problematic) one. Such criticisms tend to be cooperative and complimentary to the ELF field of enquiry, and not as overtly confrontational as those who either take the previous or following stance.
The other line of criticism argues that concepts such as ELF provide a useful (terminological) veneer for continued (linguistic) domination by English-speaking countries through their political, educational, and cultural institutions. This concept of linguistic imperialism has been developed and heavily used by Robert Phillipson. Although Phillipson suggests this idea, there are some controversial facts which put Phillipson in a contrast situation.
Another example is the case of Juliane House, a German scholar who explains in her article "English as a lingua franca: A threat to multilingualism?" her relation to English after World War II. Contrastingly, Davies criticises the concept and argues that it is “inhabited” by two cultures: one is a culture of guilt ("colonies should never have happened") the other is that of romantic despair ("we shouldn’t be doing what we are doing").
Other terms with slightly different meanings have been used in the debate and research on the global spread of English, including "English as an International Language" (EIL), "Global English", "Global Englishes", "International English", "World English" and "World Englishes", and "Globish" (Global English). "Global Englishes" (GEs) is generally seen to align closely with ELF, seeing that language use is variable and is very much intermingled with cultural flows, situated contextualisation, and complex interactional alignment between people; whereas the other terms mentioned above tend to be seen as more linguistic in nature (e.g., "'Globish", proposing forms of simplified English needed for communication, vs. ELF and GEs, describing what people actually do when communicating [simple or not]; and "World Englishes", generally accounting for language features and commonalities by region/group, vs. ELF, looking at situated communicative use of English).
One of the key aspects of terminology used in the ELF field of enquiry is that a standardized version of any English variety is not implied, with the dynamic, situated and complex nature of language brought to the fore.
Bay Islands English is an English variety spoken on the Bay Islands Department (Guanaja, Roatán, Utila), Honduras. 22,500 native speakers (Caracoles) were reported in 2001. Mainlanders know this language as Caracol, which literally means "conch". Genetically this variety descends from Cayman Islands English.Bermudian English
Bermudian English is a regional accent of English found in Bermuda, a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic. Standard English is used in professional settings and in writing, while vernacular Bermudian English is spoken on more casual occasions. The Bermudian accent began to develop following settlement in the early 17th century, and retains traits of Elizabethan English.Casual observers tend to have difficulty in placing the Bermudian accent, as it differs from those that are clearly British, American or Caribbean; they also note that the accent tends to vary between individuals. To Americans, it sounds slightly British, while the British find it more American.Brunei English
Brunei English is a regional dialect of English that is widely spoken in Brunei Darussalam, even though the national language is Malay. Although the lingua franca in the country is generally the local dialect of Malay, all educated people are proficient in English, as it has been the medium of instruction from the fourth year of primary school since 1985.There are various features that make Brunei English distinct: for pronunciation, the sound at the start of a word such as three is often [t] rather than [θ], and there is usually a full vowel rather than [ə] in function words such as as, than, and of; for grammar, furnitures and jewelleries are treated as plural nouns, and there is variable use of the third-person −s suffix on present tense verbs; and for lexis, many words are borrowed from Malay to reflect local customs, including titah (a speech by the Sultan) and tudung (a head scarf). Some of these features are shared with other varieties of Southeast Asian English; but others make Brunei English a distinct variety.Cameroonian English
Cameroon English is an English dialect spoken predominantly in Cameroon, mostly learned as a second language. It shares some similarities with English varieties in neighbouring West Africa, as Cameroon lies at the west of Central Africa.It is a postcolonial variety of English, long in use in the territory (Southern Cameroons, now the northwest of the republic). Over the years, it has developed characteristic features, particularly in lexis but also in phonology and grammar. Those characteristics were once regarded as errors but are now increasingly accepted as distinctive Cameroonian contributions to the English language.Elf (disambiguation)
An elf is a mythological creature, originally from Germanic mythology.
Elf or Elves may also refer to:
Elf (Dungeons & Dragons)
House-elfEnglish in Barbados
Barbadian English or Bajan English is a dialect of the English language as used by Barbadians (Bajans) and by Barbadian diasporas. It should not be confused with Bajan Creole, which is an English-based creole language.Ghanaian English
Ghanaian English is a variety of English spoken in Ghana. English is the official language of Ghana, and is used as a lingua franca throughout the state. English is the most used of the 11 official languages spoken in Ghana.Henry Widdowson
Henry Widdowson (also H.G. Widdowson and sometimes Henry G. Widdowson) (born May 28, 1935) is an authority in the field of applied linguistics and language teaching, specifically English language learning and teaching. He gained a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh in 1973.Widdowson is perhaps best known for his contribution to communicative language teaching. However, he has also published on other related subjects such as discourse analysis and critical discourse analysis, the global spread of English, English for Special Purposes and stylistics.The Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning calls him "probably the most influential philosopher of the late twentieth century for international ESOL" (674). He has authored a number of highly influential papers. His 1994 paper in TESOL Quarterly, for instance, has become a key paper in the rationale behind English as a Lingua Franca and what has become known as the "Ownership" of English.
Widdowson is Emeritus Professor of Education, University of London, and has also been Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Essex and Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Vienna, where he holds an Honorary Professorship (Department of English). Since the 1990s, Widdowson lives and works in Vienna. He is the Applied Linguistics adviser to Oxford University Press and series adviser of Oxford Bookworms Collection. Widdowson is co-editor of Language Teaching: A Scheme for Teacher Education. He is the series editor of Oxford Introductions to Language Study and the author of Linguistics (1996) in the same series. He has also published Defining Issues in English Language Teaching (2002), and Practical Stylistics: An Approach to Poetry (1992).
One of his recent books is Text, Context, Pretext. Critical Issues in Discourse Analysis (2005), published by Blackwell's.Hong Kong English
Hong Kong English (Chinese: 港式英文) is the English language as it is used in Hong Kong. The variant is primarily a result of Hong Kong's British overseas territory history and the influence of native Cantonese speakers.International English
International English is the concept of the English language as a global means of communication in numerous dialects, and also the movement towards an international standard for the language. It is also referred to as Global English, World English, Common English, Continental English, General English, Engas (English as associate language), or Globish. Sometimes, these terms refer simply to the array of varieties of English spoken throughout the world.
Sometimes, "international English" and the related terms above refer to a desired standardisation, i.e., Standard English; however, there is no consensus on the path to this goal. There have been many proposals for making International English more accessible to people from different nationalities. Basic English is an example, but it failed to make progress. More recently, there have been proposals for English as a lingua franca (ELF) in which non-native speakers take a highly active role in the development of the language. It has also been argued that International English is held back by its traditional spelling. There has been slow progress in adopting alternate spellings.Jennifer Jenkins (linguist)
Jennifer Jenkins, FAcSS (born 1950) is a British linguist and academic. She is Chair Professor of Global Englishes at the University of Southampton. She is a leading figure in the study of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), and is an expert on communication in English between non-native speakers. This is a relatively new field of study and her opinions are sometimes seen as controversial. Her interests include attitudes to the international range of "Englishes", English as a lingua franca in higher education, and the implications of ELF for ways of teaching English as a foreign language. She has published and lectured widely and is a founder editor of the Journal of English as a Lingua Franca.Joachim Grzega
Joachim Grzega (born 9 September 1971) is a German linguist. He studied English and French at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Paris-Sorbonne University and the University of Graz. He has taught since 1998 at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. Grzega obtained his doctorate in 2000 in Romance, English and German linguistics. He obtained his habilitation (i.e. post-doctoral degree) in 2004. Professor Grzega has held interim or guest professorships in Münster, Bayreuth, Erfurt, Freiburg, and Budapest.
His focus is on onomasiology, eurolinguistics, intercultural communication, teaching of English as a lingua franca, language teaching in general and the role of language and communication in the transfer of knowledge. He also developed the Basic Global English (BGE) system for English teaching. With Onomasiology Online (Onon), he created one of the first peer-reviewed free access German linguistics journals. His second journal is specially dedicated to the relatively young branch of eurolinguistics: Journal for EuroLinguistiX (Jelix). He is also involved in the field of university-level language teaching, particularly in the development and dissemination of the Learning by teaching model founded in the 1980s by Jean-Pol Martin.Language dominance
Language dominance may refer to:
English as a lingua francaLanguages of Cameroon
Cameroon is home to nearly 250 languages. These include 55 Afro-Asiatic languages, 2 Nilo-Saharan languages, 4 Ubangian languages, and 169 Niger–Congo languages. This latter group comprises 1 Senegambian language (Fulfulde), 28 Adamawa languages, and 142 Benue–Congo languages (130 of which are Bantu languages).French and English are official languages, a heritage of Cameroon's colonial past as a colony of both France and the United Kingdom from 1916 to 1960. Eight out of the ten regions of Cameroon are primarily francophone, representing 83% of the country's population, and two are anglophone, representing 17%. The anglophone proportion of the country is in constant regression, having decreased from 21% in 1976 to 20% in 1987 and to 17% in 2005, and is estimated at 16% in 2015 (whose 4th census should take place in 2015).The nation strives toward bilingualism, but in reality very few Cameroonians speak both French and English, and many speak neither. The government has established several bilingual schools in an effort to teach both languages more evenly, however, in reality most of these schools separate the anglophone and francophone sections and therefore do not provide a true bilingual experience. Cameroon is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie. German, the country's official language during the German colonial period until World War I, has nowadays almost entirely yielded to its two successors. However, as a foreign language subject German still enjoys huge popularity among pupils and students, with 300,000 people learning or speaking German in Cameroon in 2010. Today, Cameroon is one of the African countries with the highest number of people with knowledge of German.Most people in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest provinces speak Cameroonian Pidgin English as a lingua franca. Fulfulde serves the same function in the north, and Ewondo in much of the Center, South, and East provinces.Camfranglais (or Frananglais) is a relatively new pidgin communication form emerging in urban areas and other locations where Anglophone and Francophone Cameroonians meet and interact. Popular singers have used the hybrid language and added to its popularity.Education for the deaf in Cameroon uses American Sign Language, introduced by the deaf American missionary Andrew Foster.There is little literature, radio, or television programming in native Cameroonian languages. Nevertheless, a large number of Cameroonian languages have alphabets or other writing systems, many developed by the Christian missionary group SIL International, who have translated the Bible, Christian hymns, and other materials. The General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages was developed in the late 1970s as an orthographic system for all Cameroonian languages.
In the late 19th century, the Bamum script was developed by Sultan Ibrahim Njoya to write the Bamum language.Lingua franca
A lingua franca ( (listen); lit. Frankish tongue), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language is a language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when it is a third language that is distinct from both of the speakers' native languages.Lingua francas have developed around the world throughout human history, sometimes for commercial reasons (so-called "trade languages" facilitated trade) but also for cultural, religious, diplomatic and administrative convenience, and as a means of exchanging information between scientists and other scholars of different nationalities. The term is taken from the medieval Mediterranean Lingua Franca, a Romance-based pidgin language used (especially by traders and seamen) as a lingua franca in the Mediterranean Basin from the 11th to the 19th century. A world language – a language spoken internationally and learned and spoken by a large number of people – is a language that may function as a global lingua franca.Myanmar English
Myanmar English is the register of the English language used in Myanmar, spoken as first or second language by an estimated 2.4 million people, about 5% of the population (1997).Nordic Journal of English Studies
The Nordic Journal of English Studies is a Swedish peer-reviewed academic journal focusing on English language and literature. It was established in 2002 and published by the University of Oslo until 2006. It is currently published by the University of Gothenburg and associated with the Nordic Association of English Studies. It features a review section that is particularly concerned with publications from the Nordic countries. The current editor in chief is Karin Aijmer. The journal is published two-three times a year.
A number of thematic issues have been published, including:
English for Academic Purposes
Literature as Communication
English as a lingua francaSouth Atlantic English
South Atlantic English is a variety of the English language which is spoken on islands in the Southern hemisphere. South Atlantic English is spoken on Tristan da Cunha and Saint Helena, but its spread on other islands is unknown. An intelligibility with British English, a linguistic variety of the same country, exists. The numbers of speakers of South Atlantic English is less than 10,000. South Atlantic English does not have official status anywhere.Technical translation
Technical translation is a type of specialized translation involving the translation of documents produced by technical writers (owner's manuals, user guides, etc.), or more specifically, texts which relate to technological subject areas or texts which deal with the practical application of scientific and technological information. While the presence of specialized terminology is a feature of technical texts, specialized terminology alone is not sufficient for classifying a text as "technical" since numerous disciplines and subjects which are not "technical" possess what can be regarded as specialized terminology. Technical translation covers the translation of many kinds of specialized texts and requires a high level of subject knowledge and mastery of the relevant terminology and writing conventions.
The importance of consistent terminology in technical translation, for example in patents, as well as the highly formulaic and repetitive nature of technical writing makes computer-assisted translation using translation memories and terminology databases especially appropriate. In his book Technical Translation Jody Byrne argues that technical translation is closely related to technical communication and that it can benefit from research in this and other areas such as usability and cognitive psychology.In addition to making texts with technical jargon accessible for a wider ranging audience, technical translation also involves linguistic features of translating technological texts from one language to another.Translation as a whole is a balance of art and science influenced by both theory and practice. Having knowledge of both the linguistic features as well as the aesthetic features of translation applies directly to the field of technical translation.