Presentation on theme: "English as a lingua franca Lingua Inglese 2 LM 2013-14 modulo B."— Presentation transcript:
English as a lingua franca Lingua Inglese 2 LM modulo B
- What does “English as a lingua franca” mean?
Franks: westerners/europeans OED historical definitions of ”frank”: 1) of Germanic origin, conquerors of Gaul 2) In the eastern Mediterranean region: a person of Western nationality. L17. cf Feringhee ”as a man of liberal views, it might have amused him to annoy Ali Pasha by selling the land to Frank Protestants” (Ottoman minister of state, 1861).
New Oxford Shorter: from Italian (+++), any language serving as a medium between different nations etc whose own languages are not the same; a system of communication providing mutual understanding. This looks as if a lingua franca is neutral, but is it?
English is destined to be in the next and succeeding centuries more generally the language of the world than Latin was in the last or French in the present age. John Adams to Congress, 1780
A class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, English in taste, in opinion, in morals and in intellect. Lord Macaulay, 1835
In 1838 the ‘Board of Foreign Missions of the USA’, 13 ‘colonies’, propounded ‘a belief in the manifest destiny of Anglo-Saxon culture to spread around the world’ Joel Spring, The cultural transformation of a Native American family and its tribe , Lawrence Erlbaum. The whole world should adopt the American system. The American system can survive in America only if it becomes a world system. President Harry Truman, 1947 cited in Pieterse, Jan N Globalization or empire. New York and London: Routledge, 131.
‘Science cannot be advanced without the English language and textbooks and students will make better progress in the sciences by taking the English textbooks and learning the English to boot than they will by giving exclusive attention to their own language and textbooks in our field
Who the first inhabitants of Britain were, whether natives or immigrants, remains obscure: one must remember we are dealing with barbarians Tacitus, AD 97 National British English: The Queen’s/Oxford/standard American English as an instrument for forming American national identity, Noah Webster, The American Dictionary of the English Language of 1828 became in 1890 Webster’s International Dictionary, while Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, 1961, aims at meeting the needs of the ‘whole modern English-speaking world’
”lingua franca” was the term (from Arabic) for the language of the Crusaders and the Franks It is now the term for the the crusade of global corporatisation, marketed as freedom, democracy (& human rights?).
A pernicious, invidious term if the language in question is a first language for some people but for others a foreign language. A misleading term if the language is supposed to be neutral and disconnected from culture. A false term for a language that is taught as a subject in general education.
Historical reasons: English is still used institutionally because of the legacy of British or American imperialism. Internal political reasons English provides a neutral means of communication between the different ethnic groups of a country and may be seen as a symbol of national unity or emerging statehood. External economic reasons the USA’s dominant economic position often acts as a magnet for international business and trade
Practical reasons English is the language of international air traffic control, international tourism, international politics, international business and academic conferences. Intellectual reasons Most of the scientific, technological, and academic information in the world is expressed in English. English is the gateway to Western culture. Entertainment reasons English is the main language of popular music, sat TV, computers and video games. Personal advantage/prestige Proficiency in English is often perceived as conferring higher status.
How do we classify the modern english as a lingua franca?
English as a foreign language (EFL) English as a second language (ESL) English as an International language (EIL) English as a lingua franca (ELF)
Global Englishes International English World Englishes Varieties of English
Three concentric circles which describe the spread of english worldwide - inner circle (english as a native/first language) - outer circle (english as a second language) - expanding circle (english as a foreign language)
inner circle ENL outer circle - ESL expanding circle - EFL Kachru, 1985 English as a second language English as a first language English as a foreign language
inner circle ENL outer circle - ESL expanding circle - EFL Kachru, million 380 million 1 billion
‘It is of course true that ELF research has had its primary focus on Kachru’s Expanding Circle, but obviously communication via ELF frequently happens in and across all three of Kachru’s circles. Research in the ‘world Englishes paradigm’, on the other hand, has been less concerned with the Expanding Circle’ (Seidlhofer, 2009a: 236)
‘In this book, I will use the term ‘ELF’ to refer to the use of English in an international context as a lingua franca between two people with a different L1, but excluding L1 speakers of English. I will use the acronym EIL to refer to the use of English in an international context as a lingua franca between people with a different L1, including L1 speakers of English when they are using English with L2 users.’ (Prodromou, 2008)
‘The term International English is sometimes used as a shorthand for EIL, but is misleading in that it suggests that there is one clearly distinguishable, codified and unitary variety called International English, which clearly is not the case.’ (Seidlhofer, 2004: 210)
“‘International English’” is indeed generally interpreted as the distribution of native- speaker Standard English rather than the way English has changed to meet international needs.’ (Seidlhofer, 2009a:237)
International business communication Academic communication Tourist communication Specific workplaces – air traffic control, university information services (e.g. for Erasmus students)