Sunday, May 9, 2010

English as a Lingua Franca Can Promote Learning of Other Languages

LINEE Network

Using English as a lingua franca (ELF) does not necessarily discourage people from learning further languages: this is what interviews with Erasmus students and secondary school students indicate. They also indicate that native speakers’ English is considered a model, but not necessarily a desirable goal and that native speakers of English are less successful in communicating in multilingual contexts than non-native speakers.

LINEE researchers have investigated whether English promotes or hinders multilingualism, how students use their English and what their attitudes are towards ELF and native speakers’ English (see Study Outline). To do so, they interviewed Erasmus students and secondary school students and they analysed Internet forums on language issues.

Scope of Study

The study "English and Multilingualism, or English only in a Multilingual Europe?" covers mainly three questions: how does the dominant role of English limit the opportunities for students to become multilingual, what are students’ attitudes towards native speakers’ and non-native speakers’ use of English, and what role do native speakers play in multilingual contexts?

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