Edited By Edith Esch and Martin Solly
This volume brings together scholars and researchers from a wide range of different educational contexts and turns a sociolinguistic lens on some of the key areas of concern for researchers in language education: critical awareness of power and identity issues; competence in dealing with new sociolinguistic repertoires, modalities and literacies; ethical concerns for all who are involved. The ‘case study’ approach enables the reader to reflect on and critically engage with these issues in a rich variety of contextual situations, and the volume as a whole provides a useful overview of (second) language education in the world today.
STEVE BUCKLEDEE Are Cambridge ESOL Examinations Appropriate for Users of English as a Lingua Franca? 223
STEVE BUCKLEDEE Are Cambridge ESOL Examinations Appropriate for Users of English as a Lingua Franca? 1. Introduction By now it is beyond dispute that non-native speakers (NNSs) of Eng- lish comfortably outnumber native speakers (NSs), although the ma- thematics of the question remains a contentious issue: for McArthur (1992: 355) there are two NNSs for every NS, while Crystal (2003: 69) puts the ratio at three to one, and Kachru asserts that there are “at least four non-native speakers for every native speaker” (1996: 241). Such disagreement even among highly regarded scholars is unsurpris- ing given the difficulties involved in collecting information from a great number of countries with highly differing procedures for gather- ing data. Furthermore, opinions may vary as to the level of commu- nicative competence required for an individual to be defined as a user of English rather than someone who has studied the language but can- not really employ it for any useful purpose. Despite the lack of precise figures, however, the overall picture is clear: the great majority of people using English in the Outer and Expanding Circles (Kachru 1985) are NNSs who need English to communicate with other NNSs. Indeed, Gnutzmann (2000: 357) notes that: “It has been estimated that about 80% of verbal exchanges in which English is used as a second or foreign language do not involve native speakers of English”. According to Crystal (2003: 61), in the Expanding Circle be- tween 500 and 1,000 million people use ELF (English as...
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