HENK03901U English - Free topic 3: English as a Lingua Franca (exam form A,B,C)

Volume 2015/2016

When English is used as a means of interaction between speakers with different first languages we say that English is used as a lingua franca. Arguably, this may be the most common way for English to be used worldwide today, and it therefore makes perfect sense that ‘English as a lingua franca’ (or ‘ELF’ for short) in recent years – despite much controversy – has been established as an object of study in its own right. Through a mix of teacher-led discussions, data sessions and student presentations this course will treat some of the central questions addressed within the area of ELF research: What is English as a lingua franca – and why should we study it? Is ELF a new variety of English? What characterizes the interaction we find in ELF encounters? Is it different from the interaction we find in situations where English is used as a shared first language? Is ELF merely a tool for communication, or is it also a medium that speakers can use to express or establish identity? Does ELF represent a challenge to standard language ideology? And what are the implications of ELF research for language teaching? Since ELF is currently being examined from several different perspectives, the course will introduce students to a range of disciplines and methodologies within the general area of linguistics, including sociolinguistics, conversation analysis and corpus linguistics. Students who are interested in pursuing ELF research further will have ample opportunity to generate ideas for future research projects as part of the course. For advice on readings prior to the course, please contact Janus Mortensen at jamo@hum.ku.dk.

Preliminary list of readings

Cogo, Alessia & Martin Dewey. 2012. Analysing English as a Lingua Franca: A corpus-driven investigation. London: Continuum. http:/​/​kbdk.eblib.com/​patron/​FullRecord.aspx?p=894551

Dewey, Martin. 2012. Towards a post-normative approach: Learning the pedagogy of ELF. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca 1(1). 141–170. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1515/​jelf-2012-0007

Firth, Alan. 1996. The discursive accomplishment of normality: On ‘lingua franca’ English and conversation analysis. Journal of Pragmatics 26(2). 237–259. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1016/​0378-2166(96)00014-8

Jenkins, Jennifer & Constant Leung. 2013. English as a lingua franca. Antony John Kunnan (ed.) The Companion to Language Assessment. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1002/​9781118411360

Mauranen, Anna. 2006. Signaling and preventing misunderstanding in English as lingua franca communication. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 177, 123-150. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1515/​IJSL.2006.008

Milroy, James. 2001. Language ideologies and the consequences of standardization. Journal of Sociolinguistics 5(4). 530–555. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1111/​1467-9481.00163 

Mortensen, Janus. 2013. Notes on the use of English as a lingua franca as an object of study. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 2(1), 25–46. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1515/​jelf-2013-0002

Widdowson, Henry. 2015. ELF and the Pragmatics of Language Variation. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca 4(2), 359–372. http:/​/​dx.doi.org/​10.1515/​jelf-2015-0027


The following books are also of interest, but unfortunately not available online through the university library at present. Links will be provided when they are ready.

Mauranen, Anna. 2012. Exploring ELF. Academic English shaped by non-native speakers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Seidlhofer, Barbara. 2011. Understanding English as a Lingua Franca. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 176,75
  • Total
  • 204,75
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assesment