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Lingua franca pedagogy
Emancipating
the foreign language learner
Kurt Kohn
University of Tübingen, Germany
kurt.kohn@uni-tuebingen.de
17th Asia TEFL International Conference
and 6th FLLT International Conference,
Bangkok, 27-29 June 2019
“ELT for Global Synergies across Disciplines and Multilingual Ambiences”
Preliminary remarks
Focus on foreign language learning in secondary and vocational schools in Europe:
➢ The language taught = production repertoire of linguistic means of expression
➢ Communicating about cultural and subject-related content
➢ Communicating with each other including intercultural communication
strategies and attitudes [Byram 1997]
Lingua franca pedagogy
Emancipating the foreign language learner
❏ Creativity
❏ Emancipation
❏ Pedagogical lingua franca
Part 1
Creativity
Perception of reality
Perceiving the external world
by creating your internal
version of it
Reality as a projected world
[Ray Jackendoff, 1983]
• In your minds and in social
collaboration
• Contextual and strategic
processing
• Guided and monitored
by your requirements of success
Communicating utterances
A: Did you enjoy your holiday
B: The beaches were crowded and the
hotel was full of bugs
[Diane Blakemore 1992]
Comprehension:
• engaging in contextual inferencing
(Relevance Theory: explicatures/implicatures)
• strategic processing monitored by your own
requirements of success
Production:
• enabling contextual inferencing
• strategic processing monitored by your own
requirements of success
• meaning-related (Beaches crowd, hotel bugs)
AND form-related
Cooperativity:
• assumption of cooperativity [Grice 1975]
• cooperative attitudes & skills: tolerance
for ambiguity, empathy, openness,
flexibility of behaviour [Byram 1997]
Learning English
From INPUT to INTAKE
➔ A creative difference!
➔ On the road towards the native speaker
target language
[S.P. Corder 1967]
Focus on the language taught, i.e. the English
means of expression intended for production
From a social constructivist perspective . . .
. . . speaker-learners process INPUT manifestations of
the language taught
➔ to CREATE their OWN version of it
in their minds, hearts and behaviour
➔ in COOPERATION with others
➔ influenced by individual & social SHAPING forces
➔ guided by their own REQUIREMENTS of success
MY language / MY English
[Kohn 2018a]
But things can go wrong
● We need to learn to use our ordinary creativity
● And we need to be allowed to do so!
from perception
to communication
to MY English
The ordinary creativity of ordinary people . . .
. . . is necessary for successful communication and learning!
Part 2
Emancipation
Emancipation
from the dominance of
standard native speaker English (SNSE)
as the language taught
Is this as straightforward as it seems ?
of ELF communication
despite deviations from SNSE
However, is ELF communication generally successful?
● Focus on intelligibility
● Assessment by external ELF researcher
→ Speaker-learner satisfaction
should be considered instead
Which English variety should be used
to replace SNSE ?
“I am not advocating that descriptions of ELF should directly and uniquely
determine what language is taught in the language classroom. [...]
What really matters is that the language should engage the learners’ reality and
activate the learning process. Any kind of language that is taught in order to
achieve this effect is appropriate, and this will always be a local decision.”
[Seidlhofer 2011: 198]
From an ELF communication perspective,
the language taught may not be the main problem
from SNSE as
the language taught
Shifting the focus
to its creative appropriation
as MY English
Changing/replacing the input variety of the language taught
because of its low sociocultural acceptance
→ need for an emancipatory language planning procedure
→ the study of ELF communication is of little help
Emancipation: two options and challenges
Changing the learning-teaching approach [Kohn 2018a]
▪ from STRICTLY copying the language taught
▪ to an OPEN social constructivist orientation
○ with room for an emancipatory ‘MY English’ development
○ monitored by the speaker-learners’ own requirements of communicative and
communal success
Part 3
English as a
pedagogical
lingua franca
ELF-inspired suggestions for ELT reform
emphasize the need for ELF awareness in teacher education
“[F]indings from the extensive studies of what ELF users know and how they
interact should inform lesson plans, teacher training curricula, textbooks,
policies, and assessment procedures in ways that will render the ELT
experience richer and deeper, and closer to a realistic experience of what has
come to be global communication via English." [Sifakis 2019: 293]
➢ An ELF-aware pedagogical solution is seen in observing ELF communication out there.
➢ But there is no shortcut from ELF performance to the ELT classroom
➢ The creative richness of ELF communication is not ELF-specific but rather reflects
speaker-learners’ ordinary creativity.
➢ And the pedagogical gems are buried in a haystack of weak performance.
Exposure to ELF performance data
Pedagogical relevance
➢ Raising speaker-learners’ AWARENESS:
heterogeneity of ELF communication - conditions of success and speaker satisfaction
➢ Developing speaker-learners’ ELF-related COMPREHENSION skills:
unfamiliar pronunciation & structures, unclear utterances, weak discourse coherence
➢ Enabling speaker-learners to analyze COMMUNICATIVE INTERACTION:
problems and strategic solutions - what works and what doesn’t?
Of little and potentially confusing help for enabling speaker-learners to
develop their PRODUCTION repertoire of ‘MY English’ means of expression
The pedagogical lingua franca approach
Shifts the pedagogical perspective
from teachers’ awareness of ELF communication
to speaker-learners’ own involvement in pedagogically mediated
ELF communication
The PLF approach enables speaker-learners of different linguacultural backgrounds to use their
common target language as a pedagogical lingua franca.
They are encouraged to
➢ unleash their ordinary creativity as emancipated agents in ELT,
➢ learn from their own experiences through reflective practice,
➢ develop their OWN requirements of communicative-communal success,
➢ further improve their ELF competence.
[Hoffstaedter & Kohn 2017]
→ Learning English as a social constructivist process of creative appropriation
→ Going beyond the classroom by means of online communication
→ Pedagogical embedding of online intercultural encounters in the classroom
(--> blended learning, flipped classroom)
[Kohn 2018b, Kohn & Hoffstaedter 2015]
Pedagogical reconciliation between ELF and ELT
! The PLF approach is applicable to other target languages as well !
Now is the time !
As Musthafa, Hamied & Zein (2019) emphasize:
It is "important to empower students to become independent, strategic
learners", "to encourage every individual learner to take ownership of
their own learning", and "to create opportunities for students to use
English for communicative purposes in lingua franca situations, such as
when they talk with peers from Vietnam or Malaysia" (p. 180).
Intercultural PLF interactions across Europe
between secondary school students using digital
walls (Padlet), video communication, and the
TeCoLa Virtual World
www.tecola.eu
>> Resources
Communication Monitoring - Learner Agency
in pedagogical lingua franca exchanges in the TeCoLa Virtual World
Dutch-German student pairs (16-18 years, B1-C2) met and communicated orally
through their avatars from home.
Task: The TeCoLa learning path “Waste and waste avoidance” with 8 stations
prompting the students to
● discuss what they think happens with all the waste that we produce
● watch a video about waste problems
● discuss video-related statements displayed on four interactive multiple choice boards
● exchange personal experiences and opinions about waste
● sit around a table and come up with five ideas for waste avoidance
Monitoring for successful comprehension
C: What does ‘avoid’ mean?
S: ‘Avoid’ is, ehm ya, how can I explain it? Ehm, we are
trying not to, so.
C: Okay, okay.
S: Like most people trying not to produce waste.
lexical comprehension problem
paraphrase by partner
comprehension confirmation
Monitoring for successful production
! By far more frequent!
C: They are not allowed to produce more plastic, I don't
know, these things you put into your glass where you can
drink; it's long and thin.
S: Oh, straw.
C: Yes, yes, yes, 'Strohhalm' [the German equivalent]
T: Since, or not since, since 2020 or 21, I don't really know,
you can't buy plastic ehm plastic, these things you drink
from, these plastic –
G: Plastic bottles.
T: Plastic, not, no plastic bottles not ...
T: Plastic these, oh, let me just google it.
T: Ah, I found it, it's a drinking straw.
lexical production problem
paraphrase and signal
solution provided by partner
solution confirmation
lexical production problem
paraphrase and signal
solution by partner
solution rejection
successful look-up by partner
Taking a stand
to verbalize one’s thoughts to one’s own satisfaction
M:...if you make a law which forbids to use, to produce plastic
bags for shopping malls, ya for shopping malls, then maybe
you have one, you have a big - Hah -
T: Yeah, I know what you mean. It's a bit difficult.
M:plastic usage will go down rapidly and if you also try to find
other ways to conserve all these fruits like eh the meats you
have in the plastic bags, maybe you find other ways to
conserve it that it stays fresh.
comprehension confirmation
face support
unsuccessful verbalization
and frustration
persistence
successful verbalization
propositional production problem
Over to the teacher
→ Develop a social constructivist understanding of language learning and
the ordinary creativity of ELF communication and learning
→ Give your students opportunities to engage in online and pedagogically
mediated intercultural ELF communication
→ Guide them to monitor their performance and reflect on their
experiences in the light of their own requirements of success
→ Make speaker satisfaction part of your assessment criteria
The nature of assessment decides on the
emancipatory quality of language learning
The biggest pedagogical challenge for teachers is not the language taught.
The acid test is how they deal with the inherent creativity of
communication and language learning.
Andy Kirkpatrick (2019) emphasizes the crucial role of assessment and
wisely adds that "developing tasks that are loyal to the principles behind
the ELF approach to language teaching is not an easy task." (p. 199)
A few references
Blakemore, D. (1992). Understanding utterances. Blackwell.
Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence. Multilingual Matters
Corder, S. P. (1967). The significance of learners‘ errors. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 5: 161-170.
Dewey, M. (2012). Towards a post-normative approach: Learning the pedagogy of ELF. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 1 (1), 141-170.
Grice, P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In Cole & J. Morgan (eds. ), Syntax and semantics, Vol. 3, Speech acts (pp. 41-58). Academic Press.
Hoffstaedter, P. & Kohn, K. (2017). Learner agency and non-native speaker identity in pedagogical lingua franca conversations: insights
from intercultural telecollaboration in foreign language education, Computer Assisted Language Learning, 30/5: 351-367.
Jackendoff, R. (1983). Semantics and cognition. MIT Press.
Kiczkowiak, M. & Lowe, R. J. (2019). Teaching English as a lingua franca. The journey from EFL to ELF. DELTA Publishing.
Kirkpatrick, A. (2019). From EFL to ELF. The time is right. In S. Zein (ed.), Teacher education for English as a lingua franca. Perspectives from
Indonesia (pp. 191-202). Routledge.
Kohn, K. (2018a). MY English: a social constructivist perspective on ELF. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 7/1: 1-24.
Kohn, K. (2018b). Towards the reconciliation of ELF and EFL: Theoretical issues and pedagogical challenges. In N. Sifakis & N. Tsantila (eds.),
English as a Lingua Franca for EFL Contexts (pp. 32-48). Multilingual Matters.
Kohn, K. & Hoffstaedter, P. (2015). Flipping intercultural communication practice: opportunities and challenges for the foreign language
classroom. In J. Colpaert, A. Aerts, M. Oberhofer & M. Gutiérez-Colón Plana (eds.), Task design & CALL. Proceedings of CALL 2015, 6-8 July
2015 (pp. 338-354). Universiteit Antwerpen.
Musthafa, B., Hamied, F. A. & Zein, S. (2019). Enhancing the quality of Indonesian teachers in the ELF era. Policy recommendations. In S.
Zein (ed.), Teacher education for English as a lingua franca. Perspectives from Indonesia (pp. 174-190). Routledge.
Seidlhofer, B. (2011). Understanding English as a lingua franca. Oxford.
Sifakis, N. (2019). ELF awareness in ELT: principles and processes. Applied Linguistics, 4/2: 288-306.
Kurt Kohn (2019). Lingua franca pedagogy. Emancipating the foreign language learner. Asia TEFL 2019, Bangkok, 27-29 June

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Kurt Kohn (2019). Lingua franca pedagogy. Emancipating the foreign language learner. Asia TEFL 2019, Bangkok, 27-29 June

  • 1. Lingua franca pedagogy Emancipating the foreign language learner Kurt Kohn University of Tübingen, Germany kurt.kohn@uni-tuebingen.de 17th Asia TEFL International Conference and 6th FLLT International Conference, Bangkok, 27-29 June 2019 “ELT for Global Synergies across Disciplines and Multilingual Ambiences”
  • 2. Preliminary remarks Focus on foreign language learning in secondary and vocational schools in Europe: ➢ The language taught = production repertoire of linguistic means of expression ➢ Communicating about cultural and subject-related content ➢ Communicating with each other including intercultural communication strategies and attitudes [Byram 1997]
  • 3. Lingua franca pedagogy Emancipating the foreign language learner ❏ Creativity ❏ Emancipation ❏ Pedagogical lingua franca
  • 5. Perception of reality Perceiving the external world by creating your internal version of it Reality as a projected world [Ray Jackendoff, 1983] • In your minds and in social collaboration • Contextual and strategic processing • Guided and monitored by your requirements of success
  • 6. Communicating utterances A: Did you enjoy your holiday B: The beaches were crowded and the hotel was full of bugs [Diane Blakemore 1992] Comprehension: • engaging in contextual inferencing (Relevance Theory: explicatures/implicatures) • strategic processing monitored by your own requirements of success Production: • enabling contextual inferencing • strategic processing monitored by your own requirements of success • meaning-related (Beaches crowd, hotel bugs) AND form-related Cooperativity: • assumption of cooperativity [Grice 1975] • cooperative attitudes & skills: tolerance for ambiguity, empathy, openness, flexibility of behaviour [Byram 1997]
  • 7. Learning English From INPUT to INTAKE ➔ A creative difference! ➔ On the road towards the native speaker target language [S.P. Corder 1967] Focus on the language taught, i.e. the English means of expression intended for production
  • 8. From a social constructivist perspective . . . . . . speaker-learners process INPUT manifestations of the language taught ➔ to CREATE their OWN version of it in their minds, hearts and behaviour ➔ in COOPERATION with others ➔ influenced by individual & social SHAPING forces ➔ guided by their own REQUIREMENTS of success MY language / MY English [Kohn 2018a]
  • 9. But things can go wrong ● We need to learn to use our ordinary creativity ● And we need to be allowed to do so! from perception to communication to MY English The ordinary creativity of ordinary people . . . . . . is necessary for successful communication and learning!
  • 11. Emancipation from the dominance of standard native speaker English (SNSE) as the language taught Is this as straightforward as it seems ?
  • 12. of ELF communication despite deviations from SNSE However, is ELF communication generally successful? ● Focus on intelligibility ● Assessment by external ELF researcher → Speaker-learner satisfaction should be considered instead Which English variety should be used to replace SNSE ?
  • 13. “I am not advocating that descriptions of ELF should directly and uniquely determine what language is taught in the language classroom. [...] What really matters is that the language should engage the learners’ reality and activate the learning process. Any kind of language that is taught in order to achieve this effect is appropriate, and this will always be a local decision.” [Seidlhofer 2011: 198] From an ELF communication perspective, the language taught may not be the main problem
  • 14. from SNSE as the language taught Shifting the focus to its creative appropriation as MY English
  • 15. Changing/replacing the input variety of the language taught because of its low sociocultural acceptance → need for an emancipatory language planning procedure → the study of ELF communication is of little help Emancipation: two options and challenges Changing the learning-teaching approach [Kohn 2018a] ▪ from STRICTLY copying the language taught ▪ to an OPEN social constructivist orientation ○ with room for an emancipatory ‘MY English’ development ○ monitored by the speaker-learners’ own requirements of communicative and communal success
  • 16. Part 3 English as a pedagogical lingua franca
  • 17. ELF-inspired suggestions for ELT reform emphasize the need for ELF awareness in teacher education “[F]indings from the extensive studies of what ELF users know and how they interact should inform lesson plans, teacher training curricula, textbooks, policies, and assessment procedures in ways that will render the ELT experience richer and deeper, and closer to a realistic experience of what has come to be global communication via English." [Sifakis 2019: 293] ➢ An ELF-aware pedagogical solution is seen in observing ELF communication out there. ➢ But there is no shortcut from ELF performance to the ELT classroom ➢ The creative richness of ELF communication is not ELF-specific but rather reflects speaker-learners’ ordinary creativity. ➢ And the pedagogical gems are buried in a haystack of weak performance.
  • 18. Exposure to ELF performance data Pedagogical relevance ➢ Raising speaker-learners’ AWARENESS: heterogeneity of ELF communication - conditions of success and speaker satisfaction ➢ Developing speaker-learners’ ELF-related COMPREHENSION skills: unfamiliar pronunciation & structures, unclear utterances, weak discourse coherence ➢ Enabling speaker-learners to analyze COMMUNICATIVE INTERACTION: problems and strategic solutions - what works and what doesn’t? Of little and potentially confusing help for enabling speaker-learners to develop their PRODUCTION repertoire of ‘MY English’ means of expression
  • 19. The pedagogical lingua franca approach Shifts the pedagogical perspective from teachers’ awareness of ELF communication to speaker-learners’ own involvement in pedagogically mediated ELF communication The PLF approach enables speaker-learners of different linguacultural backgrounds to use their common target language as a pedagogical lingua franca. They are encouraged to ➢ unleash their ordinary creativity as emancipated agents in ELT, ➢ learn from their own experiences through reflective practice, ➢ develop their OWN requirements of communicative-communal success, ➢ further improve their ELF competence. [Hoffstaedter & Kohn 2017]
  • 20. → Learning English as a social constructivist process of creative appropriation → Going beyond the classroom by means of online communication → Pedagogical embedding of online intercultural encounters in the classroom (--> blended learning, flipped classroom) [Kohn 2018b, Kohn & Hoffstaedter 2015] Pedagogical reconciliation between ELF and ELT ! The PLF approach is applicable to other target languages as well !
  • 21. Now is the time ! As Musthafa, Hamied & Zein (2019) emphasize: It is "important to empower students to become independent, strategic learners", "to encourage every individual learner to take ownership of their own learning", and "to create opportunities for students to use English for communicative purposes in lingua franca situations, such as when they talk with peers from Vietnam or Malaysia" (p. 180).
  • 22. Intercultural PLF interactions across Europe between secondary school students using digital walls (Padlet), video communication, and the TeCoLa Virtual World www.tecola.eu >> Resources
  • 23. Communication Monitoring - Learner Agency in pedagogical lingua franca exchanges in the TeCoLa Virtual World Dutch-German student pairs (16-18 years, B1-C2) met and communicated orally through their avatars from home. Task: The TeCoLa learning path “Waste and waste avoidance” with 8 stations prompting the students to ● discuss what they think happens with all the waste that we produce ● watch a video about waste problems ● discuss video-related statements displayed on four interactive multiple choice boards ● exchange personal experiences and opinions about waste ● sit around a table and come up with five ideas for waste avoidance
  • 24. Monitoring for successful comprehension C: What does ‘avoid’ mean? S: ‘Avoid’ is, ehm ya, how can I explain it? Ehm, we are trying not to, so. C: Okay, okay. S: Like most people trying not to produce waste. lexical comprehension problem paraphrase by partner comprehension confirmation
  • 25. Monitoring for successful production ! By far more frequent! C: They are not allowed to produce more plastic, I don't know, these things you put into your glass where you can drink; it's long and thin. S: Oh, straw. C: Yes, yes, yes, 'Strohhalm' [the German equivalent] T: Since, or not since, since 2020 or 21, I don't really know, you can't buy plastic ehm plastic, these things you drink from, these plastic – G: Plastic bottles. T: Plastic, not, no plastic bottles not ... T: Plastic these, oh, let me just google it. T: Ah, I found it, it's a drinking straw. lexical production problem paraphrase and signal solution provided by partner solution confirmation lexical production problem paraphrase and signal solution by partner solution rejection successful look-up by partner
  • 26. Taking a stand to verbalize one’s thoughts to one’s own satisfaction M:...if you make a law which forbids to use, to produce plastic bags for shopping malls, ya for shopping malls, then maybe you have one, you have a big - Hah - T: Yeah, I know what you mean. It's a bit difficult. M:plastic usage will go down rapidly and if you also try to find other ways to conserve all these fruits like eh the meats you have in the plastic bags, maybe you find other ways to conserve it that it stays fresh. comprehension confirmation face support unsuccessful verbalization and frustration persistence successful verbalization propositional production problem
  • 27. Over to the teacher → Develop a social constructivist understanding of language learning and the ordinary creativity of ELF communication and learning → Give your students opportunities to engage in online and pedagogically mediated intercultural ELF communication → Guide them to monitor their performance and reflect on their experiences in the light of their own requirements of success → Make speaker satisfaction part of your assessment criteria
  • 28. The nature of assessment decides on the emancipatory quality of language learning The biggest pedagogical challenge for teachers is not the language taught. The acid test is how they deal with the inherent creativity of communication and language learning. Andy Kirkpatrick (2019) emphasizes the crucial role of assessment and wisely adds that "developing tasks that are loyal to the principles behind the ELF approach to language teaching is not an easy task." (p. 199)
  • 29. A few references Blakemore, D. (1992). Understanding utterances. Blackwell. Byram, M. (1997). Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence. Multilingual Matters Corder, S. P. (1967). The significance of learners‘ errors. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 5: 161-170. Dewey, M. (2012). Towards a post-normative approach: Learning the pedagogy of ELF. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 1 (1), 141-170. Grice, P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In Cole & J. Morgan (eds. ), Syntax and semantics, Vol. 3, Speech acts (pp. 41-58). Academic Press. Hoffstaedter, P. & Kohn, K. (2017). Learner agency and non-native speaker identity in pedagogical lingua franca conversations: insights from intercultural telecollaboration in foreign language education, Computer Assisted Language Learning, 30/5: 351-367. Jackendoff, R. (1983). Semantics and cognition. MIT Press. Kiczkowiak, M. & Lowe, R. J. (2019). Teaching English as a lingua franca. The journey from EFL to ELF. DELTA Publishing. Kirkpatrick, A. (2019). From EFL to ELF. The time is right. In S. Zein (ed.), Teacher education for English as a lingua franca. Perspectives from Indonesia (pp. 191-202). Routledge. Kohn, K. (2018a). MY English: a social constructivist perspective on ELF. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 7/1: 1-24. Kohn, K. (2018b). Towards the reconciliation of ELF and EFL: Theoretical issues and pedagogical challenges. In N. Sifakis & N. Tsantila (eds.), English as a Lingua Franca for EFL Contexts (pp. 32-48). Multilingual Matters. Kohn, K. & Hoffstaedter, P. (2015). Flipping intercultural communication practice: opportunities and challenges for the foreign language classroom. In J. Colpaert, A. Aerts, M. Oberhofer & M. Gutiérez-Colón Plana (eds.), Task design & CALL. Proceedings of CALL 2015, 6-8 July 2015 (pp. 338-354). Universiteit Antwerpen. Musthafa, B., Hamied, F. A. & Zein, S. (2019). Enhancing the quality of Indonesian teachers in the ELF era. Policy recommendations. In S. Zein (ed.), Teacher education for English as a lingua franca. Perspectives from Indonesia (pp. 174-190). Routledge. Seidlhofer, B. (2011). Understanding English as a lingua franca. Oxford. Sifakis, N. (2019). ELF awareness in ELT: principles and processes. Applied Linguistics, 4/2: 288-306.