The presence of English in Europe is increasingly pervasive: experiences “from above” in educational contexts combine with contacts with English “from below” in the linguistic landscape at large. In educational contexts, international school partnerships create increasingly frequent opportunities for learners at different school levels to experience language use in ELF contexts. International exchanges can thus be seen as a point of intersection between bottom-up and top-down contact with English, where learners step into the role of ELF users deploying their linguistic resources to communicate in international ELF settings. This paper explores how English is used in its role of a lingua franca in a set of written and spoken data gathered within two such international projects which took place in the Verona area, Italy, in School Years 2009-2011. As part of the Project primary school pupils aged 9-11 interacted with peers from European countries using English as the shared lingua franca of communication. Besides the children’s awareness of the presence of English and of the role of ELF in outside-school contexts, these interactions are characterised by several elements which are found in ELF communicative settings: for example, lexical innovations, code-switching employed to signal cultural identity, and deployment of pragmatic strategies in oral communication. In this way these young ELF users appear to stretch their linguistic resources of self-expression and communication. Therefore, findings can bear significant potential implications in terms of teaching practices.

ELF in international school exchanges: stepping into the role of ELF users

VETTOREL, Paola
2013

Abstract

The presence of English in Europe is increasingly pervasive: experiences “from above” in educational contexts combine with contacts with English “from below” in the linguistic landscape at large. In educational contexts, international school partnerships create increasingly frequent opportunities for learners at different school levels to experience language use in ELF contexts. International exchanges can thus be seen as a point of intersection between bottom-up and top-down contact with English, where learners step into the role of ELF users deploying their linguistic resources to communicate in international ELF settings. This paper explores how English is used in its role of a lingua franca in a set of written and spoken data gathered within two such international projects which took place in the Verona area, Italy, in School Years 2009-2011. As part of the Project primary school pupils aged 9-11 interacted with peers from European countries using English as the shared lingua franca of communication. Besides the children’s awareness of the presence of English and of the role of ELF in outside-school contexts, these interactions are characterised by several elements which are found in ELF communicative settings: for example, lexical innovations, code-switching employed to signal cultural identity, and deployment of pragmatic strategies in oral communication. In this way these young ELF users appear to stretch their linguistic resources of self-expression and communication. Therefore, findings can bear significant potential implications in terms of teaching practices.
English as a Lingua Franca (ELF); English Language Teaching
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/545549
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact