How written communication is changing under the influence of electronic media and new contexts of use
Part One: Communicating in ELF
37 Part One Communicating in ELF 38 39 II. EFL Learners or ELF Users1? A number of studies carried out in different domains of social con- tact, particularly those of business, education (both school and uni- versity settings), tourism, politics, technology and the media, have clearly proved that NNSs are perfectly able to negotiate their own identity and establish themselves as language users rather than as language learners, when involved in intercultural encounters. Tak- ing into account a small corpus including thirteen interviews and a panel discussion recorded from BBC World and CNN International, this chapter will claim that, in international encounters, when En- glish constitutes the main or only means of communication and the primary preoccupation is mutual intelligibility, it is more appropri- ate to refer to ELF (English as a Lingua Franca) users rather than EFL (English as a Foreign Language) learners. 1. The rationale of the study In its early stages, research on the communication practices of NNSs of English tended to focus on NNS-NNS interactions (Firth 1996; Jenkins 2000). However, at present ELF research does not exclude NSs of English. In fact, the present analysis aims to provide evidence of how the ‘contact language’ used by the NNSs who interact with NNSs and NSs alike can actually promote successful communication, qualify- ing them as efficient language users, rather than simply as learners. 1 Proponents of ELF reject the notion that it is a form of ‘deficient’ English and describe ELF speakers as users of English, not...
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