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EIL, ELF, Global English: Teaching and Learning Issues


Edited By 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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STEVE BUCKLEDEE Global English and ELT Coursebooks 141


141 STEVE BUCKLEDEE Global English and ELT Coursebooks 1. What kind of English do learners need? It is generally accepted that speakers of English as a Second Lan- guage (ESL), as an International Language (EIL), or as a Lingua Franca (ELF) now comfortably outnumber native speakers. In both state and private schools throughout the world, the demand for Eng- lish language teaching continues to increase; indeed, Kirkpatrick (2006: 78) reports that in China alone estimates of the number of learners of English range from 200 million to 350 million. To put those figures into perspective, if we accept the higher estimate of 350 million, that means that there are more learners of English in China than there are native speakers of the language in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia combined. The majority of those Chinese learners may never encounter a native speaker of English, much less have need to communicate with one. As Kirkpatrick (2006: 78) notes: While native speakers will naturally be part of the group with whom these learners may need to communicate in the future, the majority will be fellow non-native speakers, whether they be Europeans, people from the Middle East, or Asians. The phenomenon of millions of people learning English in order to work with other ELF users raises the question of what variety of English should be presented to such learners as a model to seek to emulate. As regards coursebooks and audio materials, the current situa- tion is clear enough: a...

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