ELF - and other
The University of Westminster
Your surname’s Jones, isn’t it?
> Yes, it is.
And you’re 27, aren’t you?
> Yes, that’s right.
You weren’t at home last night at 8, were you?
> No, I wasn’t. I was at the pub.
But you don’t have any witnesses, do you?
> Yes, I do. My brother was with me.
Your brother wasn’t with you, was he?
> How do you know?
Because he was at the police station. We arrested him last night.
Native speaker dominance?
It must be very strange to be back home after such a long time.
> Yes, it is. I … I mean, it’s lovely to see everybody and I really
appreciate my bed.
Let’s have a look at these photos, then.
> Well, they’re all mixed up at the moment. I’ve got to sort them out.
Um, this looks nice. Where is it?
> Where do you think it is?
Ah, well … it must be somewhere really hot. It looks like paradise. I
suppose it could be Thailand or Bali, or it could even be India.
> No. I’ll give you a clue. It’s an island in the Pacific Ocean.
No, I didn’t go to Hawaii.
Oh right. I thought you’d been everywhere. It’s probably Fiji, then.
Native speaker dominance?
1 Andy Kirkpatrick and /th/
2 “In international contexts, the simpler, the
3 Doublespeak: good, ungood, plusgood,
4 Jennifer Jenkins: “I like chilling out.”
5 Luke Prodromou and the corpora of non-
Excuse me. Is there an ATM machine near here?
A cash machine? To get money?
Sorry. I no English.
Oh! Yes! Yes!! Go there.
Meanwhile … back in the real world!
1 The reductionism of ELF-ers.
Great / boiling / Do you mind if I …? / I can’t stand it /I love it / spare time-key-
2 We assume competence - to avoid being patronising!
3 We can all accommodate ourselves - and grade down.
4 The concept of ‘native-like’ is all relative . . . and depends
The can of worms!
5 Students themselves often seek out ‘native-like’ language.
How long your tail! / Were you born in a barn? / I felt like a fish out of water.
6 Students also often translate expressions directly.
Do you think I have cucumbers on my eyes? / Do you think I was born yesterday?
7 Are we stifling creativity?
He drinks like a horse/I felt like a fish IN the water/I felt like a bird out of the sky.
Further complications . . .
• Just because many conversations are between non-
natives, it doesn’t mean people won’t also talk to natives.
• Many non-natives already speak near-native level
• Whose ELF is it anyway?
• What students really want.
• Ebonics and similar debates.
The issue of models
• Jennifer Jenkins and ELF pronunciation
• Barbara Seidlhofer and grammatical errors which do not
Dropping the 3rd. person -s/who and which/tag questions/redundant prepositions
• Collocational errors
The environment is a large theme in my thesis.
• Talking like me doesn’t mean being me!
• Are ELF-ers just opposed to bad teaching?
Is comprehensibility enough?
• Native-like does not mean NATIVE.
• Reuseability is central
• Teaching standards doesn’t mean IMPOSING them.
• Knowledge is power.
• Language teachers teach language.
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