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Title: English as a Lingua Franca: Negotiating Singapore's English language education
Authors: Pakir, A. 
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: Several discussions on English as a lingua franca have taken place in the early years of the twenty-first century (Pakir 2001; Seidlhofer 2004; Modiano 2005; Canagarajah 2006; Jenkins 2006a), within a decade of Kachru's (1996) seminal article. The English as Lingua Franca (ELF) 'movement' in Europe and the world Englishes (WE) paradigm originating first in the US and gaining currency in Kachru's Outer and Expanding Circles of English have each developed distinct theoretical models of 'lingua franca' with not too dissimilar pedagogical and educational implications. This chapter first explores the research in WE, a paradigm established in the mid-1980s onwards, and in ELF (first labelled as a 'movement' but in this chapter seen as an emerging paradigm) at the turn of the century. It also explores 'International English' (IE), a notion much assumed in discussions surrounding the emergence of English as an international language and, as a consequence, the nature of the language as it has to be taught to speakers of other languages. Second, it looks at how 'lingua franca' as a theoretical concept applied to the sociolinguistic realities of English use in Singapore may assist us in negotiating Singapore's English language education. Applied linguists, language educators and second language acquisition teachers in Singapore are already familiar with traditional and imported English Language Teaching (ELT) pedagogy for English-knowing bilinguals (Pakir 1992, 2000). However, this discussion of WE and ELF research has implications for English language education in Singapore and may challenge such well-established practices. The standard English and language standards debate, the assessment of English proficiency in the Outer Circle, as well as role modelling by native versus non-native teachers will all need to be re-examined. It is certain that the mobility and portability of English and its changing functions, values and meanings in localized contexts create hybrids and mixed varieties, some desired and some less so, posing challenges to language education and pedagogy, especially in the context of teaching English in Singapore. © 2010 by Hong Kong University Press, HKU. All rights reserved.
Source Title: English in Singapore: Modernity and Management
ISBN: 9789888028429
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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