The present paper focuses on the use of English in BELF contexts, bearing in mind both teaching and practice in the professional field. After an overview of the state of the art in ELF and BELF research over the last twenty years, the topic is tackled from three different perspectives, which mirror the studies carried out by the unit of the University of Verona in a three-year-long nationally funded research. Firstly, we will address BELF in professional settings, to shed light on what facilitates success in online interactions, with a special focus on e-mail exchanges. Secondly, still addressing e-mail exchanges, we will suggest a broadening of the notion of BELF communication strategies that goes beyond sheer successful, mutual understanding in the professional field. Finally, bearing the first two steps of our research in mind, we will turn to the teaching environment, overviewing if and to what extent international business ELT coursebooks deal with BELF communication strategies at different levels of competence, so as to provide hints and suggestions for more effective materials in this field.
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