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Teacher perceptions of teaching and learning English as a lingua franca in the expanding circle: A study of Taiwan: What are the challenges that teachers might face when integrating ELF instruction into English classes?

  • Wen-Hsing Luo

Extract

This study examines Taiwanese English teachers’ perceptions of English as a lingua franca (ELF) in relation to English teaching in classrooms. The definition of ELF is: English used as a lingual medium of communication among people of different linguacultural backgrounds (Jenkins, 2009: 200). Concerning the use of English, Taiwan is regarded as a country of ‘the expanding circle’ (Kachru, 1985, 1992), where English is not an official language, but is learned as a foreign language (EFL) at school and is considered essential for international communication. In Taiwan, English has been traditionally taught as a school subject and learners rarely have opportunities to use English outside the classroom, whereas the design of English pedagogy and curricula in Taiwan, following an EFL approach, is based on native-speaker (NS) norms with the aim of helping learners achieve native-like competence (cf. Suzuki, 2011). Due to the global spread of English, the majority of users of English for international communication are non-native speakers (non-NSs) (Crystal, 1997; Graddol, 1997, 2006); non-NSs of English now outnumber their native-speaker counterparts. In the global context, second language (L2) learners of English will mostly encounter non-NSs, whose ‘Englishes’ might deviate from NS English usage. Traditional EFL approaches to English teaching, which favor NS norms, may not ‘adequately prepare’ L2 learners of English to effectively interact and communicate with speakers ‘from other English-speaking contexts’ (Matsuda & Friedrich, 2011: 332). It has become important that English curricula and instruction are designed to prepare English learners to cope with international communication in which English variations are evident.

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Teacher perceptions of teaching and learning English as a lingua franca in the expanding circle: A study of Taiwan: What are the challenges that teachers might face when integrating ELF instruction into English classes?

  • Wen-Hsing Luo

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