ERIC Number: EJ1047500
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
English as a Lingua Franca: An Immanent Critique
O'Regan, John P.
Applied Linguistics, v35 n5 p533-552 Dec 2014
Over the past 15 years or so there has developed a school of thought within English language education and applied linguistics globally which refers to the phenomenon and use of English as a lingua franca (ELF). The thinking of ELF movement researchers has placed their work at the centre of current debates about the form, function and legitimacy of the English that is used by speakers from diverse linguacultural backgrounds when they are in interaction with one another. In this article, I intervene in the arguments of the ELF movement from the perspectives of Marxism, globalization theory and poststructuralism by means of an immanent critique. This shows that in the articulation of its discourse the ELF movement reifies and hypostatizes "ELF" as a seemingly stable form, that in its ideology it exhibits an idealist rationalism which blinkers it to the political economy and class stratification of English in a globalized world, and that in its theory it combines a rationalist, positivist and objectivist epistemology with a transformationalist, postmodern and poststructuralist sensibility which is both incommensurable and undertheorized.
Descriptors: Language Role, Official Languages, English, English (Second Language), Second Language Instruction, Applied Linguistics, Epistemology, Postmodernism, Researchers, Cultural Background, Native Language, Criticism, Political Attitudes, Global Approach, Social Stratification, Language Attitudes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
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