Gifu JALT:

English as a lingua franca: Past, present, and our response

Date: Saturday, October 21st, 2017 Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Speaker: Alan Thompson, Gifu Shotoku Gakuen University

In most of the world, when English is used, it is used as a lingua franca - a language chosen for communication by people who do not share a first language. There is nothing new about this, but the extent of English as a lingua franca (ELF) is unprecedented, and the pace of variation and change in English may be quickening. What does this mean for English language educators?

This session will look at the the ELF phenomenon from several angles; for each, I will show some data and ask the audience to interpret. First, we will look at some historical cases of language variation and change (in England, and in its colonies). Next, we will consider diversity in today's ELF environments, especially at three authentic ELF environments in Japan, diverse in terms of purposes, event types, and participants (background experiences and language repertoires). Then, we will look at some concrete findings (addressing practices, question-and-answer routines, etc.), and also consider some misunderstandings about ELF. Finally, we will discuss how this perspective can improve the way we teach English.

Organization: Gifu Chapter of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (Gifu JALT)

Cost: JALT Members: free
Non-members: 1,000 yen; first visit and F/T uni students free

Venue: JR Gifu Station Heartful Square 2F (map)

Location: Gifu City, Gifu Prefecture, Japan


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Michael Sherbourne
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