Finland, Helsinki

English as a Lingua Franca – a New Language?

when 4 August 2015 - 20 August 2015
duration 3 weeks
credits 5 ECTS
fee EUR 640

English has become a global language of intercultural communication and is used worldwide as a contact language between people who do not share a common native language. Non-native speakers of English are increasingly using the language with each other in areas such as academia, business, diplomacy, sport and personal relationships. How does this new sociolinguistic situation affect the language itself? This course looks at linguistic questions around the use of English as a lingua franca (ELF). Students will get hands-on experience with features of authentic ELF data and explore the ways in which cognitive properties of multilingual processing can explain them. The course will move from linguistic investigations to conclude with the implications of ELF research for language teaching and testing.

The course content is structured around a series of lectures by several ELF researchers, with each lecture topic developed with students in a collaborative workshop format. Strategies for successful communication in a lingua franca will be discussed throughout the course. Topics such as cross-linguistic interference, multilingual resources, code-switching, approximate forms in second language use, and accommodation strategies which are important for successful communication in international settings will be taken up. Different linguistic databases used in our own ELF research will also be employed in the course.

Course leader

Dr. Svetlana Vetchinnikova

Target group

The course is suitable for students at Master's and Doctoral levels as well as language professionals who have an interest in English studies, general linguistics or language teaching and assessment.

Course aim

The students will get acquainted with the concept of ELF and its theoretical background. They will think of the implications of ELF research for the future of English as well as its applications for language teaching and testing. In addition, they will get hands-on experience of working with linguistic databases, applying corpus methodology as well as doing qualitative analysis of interaction.

Fee info

EUR 640: This fee applies to degree and PhD students who pay the fee before June 1, 2015.