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English as a Lingua Franca - Modelling the Role of the Native Speaker
In these times of globalisation, the English language is not only used as an international language among native and non-native speakers of English, but more increasingly so as a common medium of communication among speakers of different mother tongue backgrounds other than English. This use of English as a lingua franca is invariably extending, particularly in tertiary education in non-English speaking countries, where English-medium-of-instruction (EMI) degree programmes have sprung up like mushrooms in recent years. In current applied-linguistic discussion, this reality has given rise to the ongoing debate on whether native speaker norms are and should continue to be relevant in ELF communication. The twin question involved in the debate is whether it is possible at all to maintain the traditional strict distinction between native and non-native speakers.
The aim of this study is twofold: (1) as a theoretical contribution to the study of English as a Lingua Franca (ELC), it addresses a lacuna in most previous research, namely the continuing role of the native speaker - be it as an occasionally present participant or as an absent but influential provider of linguistic norms. (2) As an applied case stud of ELF use in one specific EMI Master's degree programme, it assessesrecommendations for improving the quality of learning and teaching.
The empirical data consists of research participants' attitudes and beliefs as elicited in qalitative interviews, questionnaires and a verbal guise test, complemented by field notes from longitudinal participatory observation and substantial amounts of spoken and written discourse (transcribed recordings of classroom interaction, e-mail correspondence and essays).