European Journal of Language Policy

English as a lingua franca in Europe: A mismatch between policy and practice

European Journal of Language Policy (2010), 2, (2), 271–293.

Abstract

In this article, we argue that the European Union, in which English has over the past couple of decades become the de facto lingua franca, should acknowledge the usefulness of English in this role, and that instead of ignoring what is happening in practice, should build English into EU language policy. This, we believe, will mean coming to terms with the kinds of language forms and skills involved in the use of European ELF (English as a Lingua Franca), and a corresponding move away from outdated assumptions that European speakers of English (if they 'must' use English at all) should defer to native English norms (the kind that are taught in traditional English as a Foreign Language, or EFL, classes). We begin the article by tracing the development of ELF, focusing particularly on Europe. We go on to present the findings of an empirical research project we conducted into ELF in European communication, and to consider recently changing perceptions towards the ELF phenomenon particularly among its younger European users. We conclude with a number of implications that our article raises for EU language policy.

Cet article propose que l'Union Européenne, où l'anglais est effectivement devenu pendant les vingt dernières années la lingua franca (langue véhiculaire), reconnaisse l'utilité de l'anglais dans ce rôle, et, au lieu d'ignorer ce qui se passe en pratique, inclue l'anglais dans sa politique linguistique. Cela signifie essayer de comprendre les types de formes et habilités linguistiques impliqués dans l'utilisation de l'ELF (English as a Lingua Franca) européenne, et par conséquent un éloignement de suppositions dépassées que les parlants européens d'anglais (s'ils 'doivent' utiliser l'anglais) devraient se remettre aux normes de l'anglais natif (le type qui est enseigné dans les cours traditionnels d'anglais langue étrangère, ou EFL). Cet article commencera par explorer le développement de l'ELF, en se concentrant sur l'Europe en particulier. Il continuera avec la présentation des résultats d'un projet de recherche empirique sur l'ELF dans la communication européenne puis les auteurs prendront en considération les perceptions de l'ELF qui ont récemment changé, en particulier parmi les jeunes européens. Les auteurs finiront par réfléchir sur les implications de cet article pour la politique linguistique européenne.

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Björkman, B. (2008). '"So where are we?" Spoken Lingua Franca English at a Technical University in Sweden', English Today 24.2: 35–41. "So where are we?" Spoken Lingua Franca English at a Technical University in Sweden English Today 24 35 41 Google Scholar

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Canagarajah, A. S. (2007). 'Lingua Franca English, Multilingual Communities and Language Acquisition', Modern Language Journal 91 (Focus Issue): 923–939. Google Scholar

CoEC (Commission of the European Communities) (2008a) 'An Inventory of Community Actions in the Field of Multilingualism and Results of the Online Public Consultation', Commission Staff Working Document, available at http://ec.europa.eu/education/languages/pdf/com/inventory_en.pdf Google Scholar

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Cogo, A., (forthcoming). '"French is French, English is English": Standard Language Ideology in ELF debates', in P. Studer and I. Werlen (eds.) Linguistic Diversity in the European Union: First findings of LINEE (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter). Google Scholar

Cogo, A., and M. Dewey (2006). 'Efficiency in ELF Communication: From Pragmatic Moves to Lexico-Grammatical Innovation', Nordic Journal of English Studies 5.2: 59–93. Efficiency in ELF Communication: From Pragmatic Moves to Lexico-Grammatical Innovation Nordic Journal of English Studies 5 59 93 Google Scholar

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Fiedler, S. (2010). 'Approaches to Fair Linguistic Communication', European Journal of Language Policy 1.2: 1–21. Approaches to Fair Linguistic Communication European Journal of Language Policy 1 1 21 Google Scholar

Firth, A. (2009). 'The Lingua Franca Factor', Intercultural Pragmatics 6.2: 147–170. The Lingua Franca Factor Intercultural Pragmatics 6 147 170 Google Scholar

Hall, J. K., A. Cheng and M. T. Carlson (2006). 'Reconceptualizing Multicompetence as a Theory of Language Knowledge', Applied Linguistics 27.2: 220–240. Reconceptualizing Multicompetence as a Theory of Language Knowledge Applied Linguistics 27 220 240 Google Scholar

House, J. (2006). 'Unity in Diversity: English as a Lingua Franca for Europe', in C. Leung and J. Jenkins (eds.), Reconfiguring Europe. The Contribution of Applied Linguistics (London: Equinox), pp. 87–103. Unity in Diversity: English as a Lingua Franca for Europe Reconfiguring Europe. The Contribution of Applied Linguistics 87 103 Google Scholar

Hülmbauer, C. (2007). 'The Relationship between Lexicogrammatical Correctness and Communicative Effectiveness in English as a Lingua Franca', Vienna English Working Papers 16.2: 3–35. The Relationship between Lexicogrammatical Correctness and Communicative Effectiveness in English as a Lingua Franca Vienna English Working Papers 16 3 35 Google Scholar

Jenkins, J. (2000). The Phonology of English as an International Language (Oxford: Oxford University Press). The Phonology of English as an International Language Google Scholar

Jenkins, J., (2006). 'Points of View and Blind Spots: ELF and SLA', International Journal of Applied Linguistics 16.2: 137–162. Points of View and Blind Spots: ELF and SLA International Journal of Applied Linguistics 16 137 162 Google Scholar

Jenkins, J., (2007). English as a Lingua Franca: Attitude and Identity (Oxford: Oxford University Press). English as a Lingua Franca: Attitude and Identity Google Scholar

Jenkins, J., (2009). 'English as a Lingua Franca: Interpretations and Attitudes', World Englishes 29.2: 200–207. English as a Lingua Franca: Interpretations and Attitudes World Englishes 29 200 207 Google Scholar

Jenkins, J., (in press, 2010). 'Accommodating (to) ELF in the International University', Journal of Pragmatics. Google Scholar

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Jenkins, J., and B. Seidlhofer (2001). 'Bringing Europe's lingua franca into the classroom', the Guardian Weekly, 19 April. Website at http://www.guardian.co.uk/GWeekly/Story/0,3939,475315,00.html Google Scholar

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Klimpfinger, T. (2007). '"Mind you, sometimes you have to mix" – The Role of Code-Switching in English as a Lingua Franca', Vienna English Working Papers 16.2: 36–61. "Mind you, sometimes you have to mix" – The Role of Code-Switching in English as a Lingua Franca Vienna English Working Papers 16 36 61 Google Scholar

LINEE (Languages in a Network of European Excellence) (n. d.). Website at http://www.linee.info Google Scholar

Peckham, D., K. Kalocsai, E. Kovács and T. Sherman (forthcoming). 'English and Multilingualism, or English only in a Multilingual Europe?', in P. Studer and I. Werlen (eds.) Linguistic Diversity in the European Union: First Findings of LINEE (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter). Google Scholar

Peng, L. and J. Ann, (2000). 'Stress and Duration in Three Varieties of English', in World Englishes 20.1: 1–27. 'Stress and Duration in Three Varieties of English', in World Englishes 20 1 27 Google Scholar

Pennycook, A. (2009). 'Plurilithic Englishes: Towards a 3D model', in K. Murata and J. Jenkins (eds.), Global Englishes in Asian Contexts (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan), pp. 194–207. Plurilithic Englishes: Towards a 3D model Global Englishes in Asian Contexts 194 207 Google Scholar

Phillipson, R. (2003). English-Only Europe? Challenging Language Policy (London: Routledge). English-Only Europe? Challenging Language Policy Google Scholar

Pitzl, M.-L., A. Breiteneder and T. Klimpfinger (2008). 'A World of Words: Processes of Lexical Innovation in VOICE', Vienna English Working Papers 17.2: 21–46, available at http://anglistik.univie.ac.at/fileadmin/user_upload/dep_anglist/weitere_Uploads/Views/views_0802.pdf Google Scholar

Rindler-Schjerve, R., and E. Vetter (2007). 'Linguistic Diversity in Habsburg Austria as a Model for Modern European Language Policy', in J. ten Thije and L. Seevaert (eds.) Receptive Multilingualism (Amsterdam: John Benjamins), pp. 49–69. Receptive Multilingualism 49 69 Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B. (2003). A Concept of International English and Related Issues: From 'Real English' to 'Realistic English'? (Strasbourg: Council of Europe). A Concept of International English and Related Issues: From 'Real English' to 'Realistic English'? Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B., (2004). 'Research Perspectives on Teaching English as a Lingua Franca', Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 24: 209–239. Research Perspectives on Teaching English as a Lingua Franca Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 24 209 239 Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B., (2009a). 'Common Ground and Different Realities: World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca', World Englishes 28.2: 236–245. Common Ground and Different Realities: World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca World Englishes 28 236 245 Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B., (2009b). 'Accommodation and the Idiom Principle in English as a Lingua Franca', Intercultural Pragmatics 6.2: 195–215. Accommodation and the Idiom Principle in English as a Lingua Franca Intercultural Pragmatics 6 195 215 Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B., (forthcoming, 2011). Understanding English as a Lingua Franca (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B., A. Breiteneder and M.-L. Pitzl (2006). 'English as a Lingua Franca in Europe: Challenges for Applied Linguistics', Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26: 3–34. English as a Lingua Franca in Europe: Challenges for Applied Linguistics Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26 3 34 Google Scholar

Studer, Patrick, Felicia Kreiselmaier and Mi-Cha Flubacher, 2008. 'Language policy-planning and the interactive turn: The case of the European Union', in Ik-Hwan-Lee and Chai-song Hong (eds.), Current Issues in Unity and Diversity of Languages (Seoul: Linguistic Society of Korea). Language policy-planning and the interactive turn: The case of the European Union Current Issues in Unity and Diversity of Languages Google Scholar

van Els, T. (2006). 'Multilingualism in the European Union', International Journal of Applied Linguistics 15.3: 263–281. Multilingualism in the European Union International Journal of Applied Linguistics 15 263 281 Google Scholar

VOICE (Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English), available at http:www.univie.ac.at/voice/ Google Scholar

Wright, S. (2009). 'The Elephant in the Room. Language issues in the European Union', European Journal of Language Policy 1.2: 92–120. The Elephant in the Room. Language issues in the European Union European Journal of Language Policy 1 92 120 Google Scholar

Björkman, B. (2008). '"So where are we?" Spoken Lingua Franca English at a Technical University in Sweden', English Today 24.2: 35–41. "So where are we?" Spoken Lingua Franca English at a Technical University in Sweden English Today 24 35 41 Google Scholar

Böringer, H., C. Hülmbauer and B. Seidlhofer (2010). 'Dylan Working Paper 4: 17–29', available at http://www.dylan-project.org/Dylan_en/dissemination/page102/WoPa4/assets/WoPa4_WP4_23Feb10.pdf Google Scholar

Breiteneder, A. (2005). 'The Naturalness of English as a European Lingua Franca: The Case of the "Third Person -s"', Vienna English Working Papers 14.2: 3–26. The Naturalness of English as a European Lingua Franca: The Case of the "Third Person -s" Vienna English Working Papers 14 3 26 Google Scholar

Breiteneder, A., (2009). 'English as a Lingua Franca in Europe: An Empirical Perspective', World Englishes 28.2: 256–269. English as a Lingua Franca in Europe: An Empirical Perspective World Englishes 28 256 269 Google Scholar

Canagarajah, A. S. (2007). 'Lingua Franca English, Multilingual Communities and Language Acquisition', Modern Language Journal 91 (Focus Issue): 923–939. Google Scholar

CoEC (Commission of the European Communities) (2008a) 'An Inventory of Community Actions in the Field of Multilingualism and Results of the Online Public Consultation', Commission Staff Working Document, available at http://ec.europa.eu/education/languages/pdf/com/inventory_en.pdf Google Scholar

CoEC (Commission of the European Communities), 2008b). 'Languages Mean Business', Recommendations from the Business Forum for Multilingualism established by the European Commission, available at http://ec.europa.eu/education/languages/pdf/davignon_en.pdf Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Cogo, A., (2009). 'Accommodating Difference in ELF Conversations: A Study of Pragmatic Strategies', in A. Mauranen and E. Ranta, (eds.), English as a Lingua Franca: Studies and Findings (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholar Press), pp. 254–273. Accommodating Difference in ELF Conversations: A Study of Pragmatic Strategies English as a Lingua Franca: Studies and Findings 254 273 Google Scholar

Cogo, A., (forthcoming). '"French is French, English is English": Standard Language Ideology in ELF debates', in P. Studer and I. Werlen (eds.) Linguistic Diversity in the European Union: First findings of LINEE (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter). Google Scholar

Cogo, A., and M. Dewey (2006). 'Efficiency in ELF Communication: From Pragmatic Moves to Lexico-Grammatical Innovation', Nordic Journal of English Studies 5.2: 59–93. Efficiency in ELF Communication: From Pragmatic Moves to Lexico-Grammatical Innovation Nordic Journal of English Studies 5 59 93 Google Scholar

Cook, V. (1992). 'Evidence for Multicompetence', Language Learning 42.4: 557–592. Evidence for Multicompetence Language Learning 42 557 592 Google Scholar

De Swaan, A. (2007). 'The Language Predicament of the EU since the Enlargements', Sociolinguistica 21: 1–21. The Language Predicament of the EU since the Enlargements Sociolinguistica 21 1 21 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Fiedler, S. (2010). 'Approaches to Fair Linguistic Communication', European Journal of Language Policy 1.2: 1–21. Approaches to Fair Linguistic Communication European Journal of Language Policy 1 1 21 Google Scholar

Firth, A. (2009). 'The Lingua Franca Factor', Intercultural Pragmatics 6.2: 147–170. The Lingua Franca Factor Intercultural Pragmatics 6 147 170 Google Scholar

Hall, J. K., A. Cheng and M. T. Carlson (2006). 'Reconceptualizing Multicompetence as a Theory of Language Knowledge', Applied Linguistics 27.2: 220–240. Reconceptualizing Multicompetence as a Theory of Language Knowledge Applied Linguistics 27 220 240 Google Scholar

House, J. (2006). 'Unity in Diversity: English as a Lingua Franca for Europe', in C. Leung and J. Jenkins (eds.), Reconfiguring Europe. The Contribution of Applied Linguistics (London: Equinox), pp. 87–103. Unity in Diversity: English as a Lingua Franca for Europe Reconfiguring Europe. The Contribution of Applied Linguistics 87 103 Google Scholar

Hülmbauer, C. (2007). 'The Relationship between Lexicogrammatical Correctness and Communicative Effectiveness in English as a Lingua Franca', Vienna English Working Papers 16.2: 3–35. The Relationship between Lexicogrammatical Correctness and Communicative Effectiveness in English as a Lingua Franca Vienna English Working Papers 16 3 35 Google Scholar

Jenkins, J. (2000). The Phonology of English as an International Language (Oxford: Oxford University Press). The Phonology of English as an International Language Google Scholar

Jenkins, J., (2006). 'Points of View and Blind Spots: ELF and SLA', International Journal of Applied Linguistics 16.2: 137–162. Points of View and Blind Spots: ELF and SLA International Journal of Applied Linguistics 16 137 162 Google Scholar

Jenkins, J., (2007). English as a Lingua Franca: Attitude and Identity (Oxford: Oxford University Press). English as a Lingua Franca: Attitude and Identity Google Scholar

Jenkins, J., (2009). 'English as a Lingua Franca: Interpretations and Attitudes', World Englishes 29.2: 200–207. English as a Lingua Franca: Interpretations and Attitudes World Englishes 29 200 207 Google Scholar

Jenkins, J., (in press, 2010). 'Accommodating (to) ELF in the International University', Journal of Pragmatics. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Jenkins, J., and B. Seidlhofer (2001). 'Bringing Europe's lingua franca into the classroom', the Guardian Weekly, 19 April. Website at http://www.guardian.co.uk/GWeekly/Story/0,3939,475315,00.html Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Kalocsai, K. (2009). 'Erasmus Exchange Students: A Behind-the-Scenes View into an ELF Community of Practice', Apples – Journal of Applied Language Studies 3.1: 25–49. Erasmus Exchange Students: A Behind-the-Scenes View into an ELF Community of Practice Apples – Journal of Applied Language Studies 3 25 49 Google Scholar

Klimpfinger, T. (2007). '"Mind you, sometimes you have to mix" – The Role of Code-Switching in English as a Lingua Franca', Vienna English Working Papers 16.2: 36–61. "Mind you, sometimes you have to mix" – The Role of Code-Switching in English as a Lingua Franca Vienna English Working Papers 16 36 61 Google Scholar

LINEE (Languages in a Network of European Excellence) (n. d.). Website at http://www.linee.info Google Scholar

Peckham, D., K. Kalocsai, E. Kovács and T. Sherman (forthcoming). 'English and Multilingualism, or English only in a Multilingual Europe?', in P. Studer and I. Werlen (eds.) Linguistic Diversity in the European Union: First Findings of LINEE (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter). Google Scholar

Peng, L. and J. Ann, (2000). 'Stress and Duration in Three Varieties of English', in World Englishes 20.1: 1–27. 'Stress and Duration in Three Varieties of English', in World Englishes 20 1 27 Google Scholar

Pennycook, A. (2009). 'Plurilithic Englishes: Towards a 3D model', in K. Murata and J. Jenkins (eds.), Global Englishes in Asian Contexts (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan), pp. 194–207. Plurilithic Englishes: Towards a 3D model Global Englishes in Asian Contexts 194 207 Google Scholar

Phillipson, R. (2003). English-Only Europe? Challenging Language Policy (London: Routledge). English-Only Europe? Challenging Language Policy Google Scholar

Pitzl, M.-L., A. Breiteneder and T. Klimpfinger (2008). 'A World of Words: Processes of Lexical Innovation in VOICE', Vienna English Working Papers 17.2: 21–46, available at http://anglistik.univie.ac.at/fileadmin/user_upload/dep_anglist/weitere_Uploads/Views/views_0802.pdf Google Scholar

Rindler-Schjerve, R., and E. Vetter (2007). 'Linguistic Diversity in Habsburg Austria as a Model for Modern European Language Policy', in J. ten Thije and L. Seevaert (eds.) Receptive Multilingualism (Amsterdam: John Benjamins), pp. 49–69. Receptive Multilingualism 49 69 Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B. (2003). A Concept of International English and Related Issues: From 'Real English' to 'Realistic English'? (Strasbourg: Council of Europe). A Concept of International English and Related Issues: From 'Real English' to 'Realistic English'? Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B., (2004). 'Research Perspectives on Teaching English as a Lingua Franca', Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 24: 209–239. Research Perspectives on Teaching English as a Lingua Franca Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 24 209 239 Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B., (2009a). 'Common Ground and Different Realities: World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca', World Englishes 28.2: 236–245. Common Ground and Different Realities: World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca World Englishes 28 236 245 Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B., (2009b). 'Accommodation and the Idiom Principle in English as a Lingua Franca', Intercultural Pragmatics 6.2: 195–215. Accommodation and the Idiom Principle in English as a Lingua Franca Intercultural Pragmatics 6 195 215 Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B., (forthcoming, 2011). Understanding English as a Lingua Franca (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Google Scholar

Seidlhofer, B., A. Breiteneder and M.-L. Pitzl (2006). 'English as a Lingua Franca in Europe: Challenges for Applied Linguistics', Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26: 3–34. English as a Lingua Franca in Europe: Challenges for Applied Linguistics Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26 3 34 Google Scholar

Studer, Patrick, Felicia Kreiselmaier and Mi-Cha Flubacher, 2008. 'Language policy-planning and the interactive turn: The case of the European Union', in Ik-Hwan-Lee and Chai-song Hong (eds.), Current Issues in Unity and Diversity of Languages (Seoul: Linguistic Society of Korea). Language policy-planning and the interactive turn: The case of the European Union Current Issues in Unity and Diversity of Languages Google Scholar

van Els, T. (2006). 'Multilingualism in the European Union', International Journal of Applied Linguistics 15.3: 263–281. Multilingualism in the European Union International Journal of Applied Linguistics 15 263 281 Google Scholar

VOICE (Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English), available at http:www.univie.ac.at/voice/ Google Scholar

Wright, S. (2009). 'The Elephant in the Room. Language issues in the European Union', European Journal of Language Policy 1.2: 92–120. The Elephant in the Room. Language issues in the European Union European Journal of Language Policy 1 92 120 Google Scholar

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Author details

Cogo, Alessia

Jenkins, Jennifer