Finland, Helsinki

English as a Lingua Franca: Changing Language Practices

when 8 August 2017 - 24 August 2017
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 5 ECTS
fee EUR 990

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 develop and how does it affect language practices?

Following Mauranen (2012), this course examines the phenomenon of English as a lingua franca (ELF) from three different but interrelated perspectives: cognitive, microsocial and macrosocial. We will start by looking at the linguistic features of ELF and thinking how cognitive properties of multilingual processing can explain them. Moving on to the microsocial perspective, the students will get a chance to observe ELF interaction in the private sphere, paying special attention to misunderstandings and pre-empting them as well as multilingual practices. At the macrosocial level, we will deal with such issues as language ideologies, linguistic imperialism and language ownership. Exploring a very recent concept of ‘translanguaging’, we will discuss the complex and fluid ways in which people use multiple languages, including English, in international communication, and especially in higher education. We will continue by considering the ways speakers monitor and intervene in their own or each other’s language use in ELF interaction/writing, and conclude by taking an applied perspective on ELF and looking at its practical implications for teaching and assessment, among other professional fields. Each lecture topic will be further developed with students in a collaborative workshop format.

For more information on our research and resources, see the ELFA project webpage:

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 or applied linguistics.

Course aim

The students will get acquainted with the concept of ELF and its theoretical framework. They will think of the implications of the phenomenon of ELF for the future of English as well as its practical consequences, for example in the field of education. In addition, they will get hands-on experience of working with authentic linguistic data and applying different research methods, such as corpus linguistics, discourse analysis and conversation analysis.

Fee info

EUR 990: Degree and PhD students
EUR 1490: Professionals

Register for this course
on course website