CAL Presentation

English as a Lingua Franca and the Need to Incorporate Learner-User Perspectives in ELT Policy and Practice

October 16, 2014 5:00 – 7:00pm
Mary Graydon Center 3

Presented at: American University-CAL Event
American University
October 16, 2014 5:00 – 7:00pm | Washington, DC

This presentation addresses challenges and issues posed by English in the role of a lingua franca and speculates on its fate in that role. Some predict the coming of a world in which English is the world’s primary second language, displacing the need to learn other languages, and this is happening in some contexts largely as a result of ELT educational policies and practices. Others decry the impact of English when it pushes other languages out of the curriculum, threatens the dominance of national languages, speeds the eradication of indigenous languages, or fails to deliver on the promise of social mobility. In considering these issues, this presentation notes the need to promote ELT educational polices that are sensitive to, and incorporate, learner-user perspectives in order to moderate the potential negative impact of English dominance while encouraging equity and learner-user agency.