My talk is placed against the backdrop of the English language rapidly becoming a global lingua franca for a wide range of communication contexts and purposes including English for Special Purposes (ESP). Based on a social constructivist understanding of language learning and teaching, I first discuss some of the pedagogical implications of English as a lingua franca (ELF) (Kohn 2011). In this connection, special attention is given to the concept and principle of collaborative authentication and its manifestation in content and language integrated learning (CLIL). From a complementary angle, I then explore the pedagogical potential of web 2 enhanced virtual learning environments (VLEs) for supporting language learning and teaching in general and collaborative authentication in particular. In a third step, I move on to pedagogically designed web corpora of video-recorded ‘natural narrative’ interviews available from the European Lifelong Learning project BACKBONE (Kohn 2012). The interviews were conducted with native and non-native speakers of English and cover a wide range of general and specific subjects. Since they have been annotated with regard to pedagogically relevant thematic and linguistic characteristics, they can be flexibly searched for ESP learning and teaching purposes from listening comprehension to topic-related lexical and phraseological explorations. Pedagogical integration of BACKBONE corpus activities within e.g. a Moodle-enhanced blended learning environment offers further possibilities for written and spoken communicative interaction, thus creating a basis for truly collaborative and authenticated language learning experiences.
Kohn, Kurt. 2011. English as a lingua franca and the Standard English misunderstanding. In Annick De Hower & Antje Wilton (eds.), English in Europe today. Sociocultural and educational perspectives, 71-94. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Kohn, Kurt. 2012. Pedagogic corpora for content and language integrated learning: insights from the BACKBONE project. The Eurocall Review 20 (2). [http://www.eurocall-languages.org/review/20_2/index.html]