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EIL, ELF, Global English: Teaching and Learning Issues

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Cesare Gagliardi and Alan Maley

How can you teach the English language to global English speakers? Can English be taught as an international language? Is it worth teaching? Isn’t it more proper and profitable to learn a standard variety of English? How realistic and useful is the identification of an EIL/ELF variety? Can an EIL/ELF standard be identified? These are some of the questions the present volume has addressed with the contribution of some of the most qualified scholars in the field of English linguistics. The book is divided into four sections. The first part deals with the definition of English as an international language and English as a lingua franca. Section two takes six different teaching issues into consideration. The third section examines some learning issues and the last part of the volume debates the relationship between teacher and student in an English as a lingua franca environment.

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GIUSEPPE G. CASTORINA Plain English, Euroenglish and the Fight the FOG Campaign 45

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45 GIUSEPPE G. CASTORINA Plain English, Euroenglish and the Fight the FOG Campaign 1. The European Context The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) highlights an interesting concept of plurilingualism which challenges the myth of the ‘ideal native speaker as the ultimate model’, implies that the main purpose of languages is communication and gives legitimisation to non-standard functional forms of international communication, in principle putting on an equal footing native and non-native speakers of all EU languages. The implementation of this kind of plurilingualism requires a qualitative shift in language edu- cation, a new approach to the mother tongue and, in particular, to the study not only of its Europeanisms and internationalisms, but also of all its affixes, confixes, elements, roots, word-formation processes, and all the features that are shared, shareable and widespread in other European languages. This approach encourages the transferability of learning and communication strategies from the mother tongue to other languages, and the valorisation of each mother tongue as a pri- mary source of linguistic, metalinguistic and Eurolinguistic compe- tencies. It also implies a process that expands from monolingualism to bilingualism and to plurilingual competencies in which different languages interrelate and interact allowing various degrees and objec- tives of language use and communication from mere understanding to the highest possible level of specialization, creativity and effability among speakers of different languages. In this perspective native-like accuracy becomes less impor- tant than international intelligibility. The ideal Eurocitizen is a pluri- lingual speaker who owns the skills...

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