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ERIC Number: EJ854402
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0019-042X
Doing "Not" Being a Foreign Language Learner: English as a "Lingua Franca" in the Workplace and (Some) Implications for SLA
Firth, Alan
International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (IRAL), v47 n1 p127-156 Mar 2009
The main goal of this paper is to shift the focus on "learning" away from the traditional locus of inquiry in SLA--the L2 classroom--in order to extend the SLA empirical database, and by so doing extend and broaden our understanding of what it means to learn and use (in mutually reinforcing and enlightening ways) an additional, or second, language. I examine instances where participants are using English as a lingua franca in an international workplace setting. I show that although parties produce non-standard linguistic (lexical, morphosyntactic, etc.) forms that may mark their speech as non-standard, they go to great lengths, interactionally, to disavow any intimations of "learner" status, and artfully deflect attention from and circumvent potential or actual language-encoding difficulties. However, in order for this to occur, various kinds of local learning is taking place within the micro-moments of interaction; for example, the interactants are compelled to assess, in situ, the language competence of their co-participants, and implicitly calibrate their own linguistic and interactional behaviour accordingly. Such calibrations, I argue, entail learning.
Walter de Gruyter. P.O. Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172-0960. Tel: 800-208-8144; Tel: 703-661-1589; Fax: 703-661-1501; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A