Pedagogic Criticality and English as a Lingua Franca
AbstractThis article discusses the pedagogic relevance of recent theory and research in the use of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), particularly focusing on the implications of this field for language teacher education and development. Research in ELF has begun to pose some critical challenges to established principles and practice in English language teaching. The consensus among researchers is that ELF empirical data and theoretical discussions hold implications for all manner of professional concerns, including the language syllabus, teaching materials and language assessment. There has to date, though, been relatively little in-depth exploration of what teachers might do in order to respond to ELF in practice. Modifying the language syllabus or teaching materials in response to ELF requires substantial rethinking of current approaches. I report here on continuing attempts to incorporate an ELF perspective in the language classroom, using practitioner-oriented research to re-examine current methodologies and consider how we might develop materials and tasks that better incorporate aspects of English as used in lingua franca interactions. I examine the feasibility of developing an ELF orientation to language by adopting a critical approach to language pedagogy and professional development, exploring ways in which teachers might move beyond a conventionally norm-driven approach to additional language education.
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