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English as a Lingua Franca

Introduction

In the contemporary interpretation used in scholarly literature and teaching practice, the concept of English as a lingua franca (ELF) is conventionally utilized to denote a special sociolinguistic category. Thus, ELF should be viewed as a functional type of language that is used as a medium of communication and interaction between speakers of different languages ​​in certain spheres of interaction (Jenkins and Leung 2). Relying on the process of globalization, the world community began to experience the need for a sole communication tool to be used by people from different countries and regions.

In the modern world, English takes the position of a leading language used for global communication. The adoption of English as a lingua franca significantly influenced educators’ approaches to teaching this language and their own education. The debate of EFL “has led to some reconfigurations in teaching English as a lingua franca and critical teacher education models relevant to the current position of English language” (Deniz et al. 145).

However, regardless of the existing research on the effect produced by the status of English as a global communication language, the changes it inflicted on the education for English teachers remain under-researched. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a historical perspective on the establishment of English as a lingua franca and discuss the state of affairs today. It is aimed at examining the impact of the current status of English on teacher education, the way English is taught these days, and its use as an instrument for intercultural communication.

English as a Lingua Franca: A Historical Perspective

Initially, a lingua franca implied a specific language form based on the vocabulary of French, Provencal, and Italian languages. ​​These languages originated in the Middle Ages for the negotiations of Arab and Turkish merchants with Europeans and existed in the form of “Sabir” until the 19th century (Wansborough 42).

Later, English began to develop as a lingua franca due to a number of factors (trade and cultural relations, for example) that eventually led to its further transformation and popularization. The worldwide geographical distribution of English and the strong and influential position of the nations that used it as their native language made it reach every continent (Abdullah and Chaudhary 129-131). It became convenient for speakers of different languages to embrace English as a means of global communication.

The establishment of English as a lingua franca was observed during several centuries. The colonization practices of the British Empire and the United States and the amplification of their power after World War II contributed to adopting English for discussing political and social issues (Abdullah and Chaudhary 130-133). The final significant step towards settling English as a lingua franca was made at the onset of the information technology era (Sultana 216). Thus, the first and most popular computer programs were written with reference to English, and the spread of the Internet also added to the popularity of this language.

English as a ​​lingua franca was called differently, depending on time and individuals’ use of it. It was known as the “new English” (pidgin), newspeak, and English as a means of teaching and learning (Mallette 89). Therefore, different versions of the English language (World Englishes) became actively used for performing various functions in worldwide communication (Björkman 25). As a result, the earlier perception of English as the language spoken primarily in the United Kingdom and the United States has eventually changed.

The versatility of the English language that occurred due to its wide use for numerous purposes and by representatives of various cultures has been the focus of scholarly research since the 1980s (Schneider 59). The reason is that English became employed for various types of casual, professional, and official communication all around the world.

Still, the acceptance of English as the language of communication in such fields as business, commerce, medicine, and science in the twentieth century was associated with certain barriers. First of all, English was unevenly spread and taught in different parts of the world. Moreover, the use of this language was commonly associated with poor performance and command due to the interference with speakers’ native languages (Baker, “English as a Lingua Franca in Thailand” 8).

Furthermore, the quality of education in certain regions was inappropriate because of the lack of native speakers and resources (Jenkins, English as a Lingua Franca in the International University 78). Still, the norms and specifics of the language became adapted to guarantee that English develops into a flexible and universal language for science and commerce.

The fact that the key educational systems of the world (the UK, the US, Australia, and others) were based on the use of English also contributed to the further expansion of the language. The education of foreign citizens in schools and universities of these countries is supported by national trends and the active use of English as a means of instruction (Danielson 69). It is also important to note that English is also used for instruction in some other countries even though it does not have an official status there (House 60). For instance, in some Scandinavian countries, Master’s programs are proposed in English. Due to such a phenomenon, English is also known to function as an intermediary language between speakers within one nation in situations where none of these participants are native speakers.

ELF versus ENL and EFL

The current state of the process of globalization is reflected in a new paradigm of the forms and functions of the English language in contexts that go beyond its original national identity. The mentioned new English paradigm was proposed by Kachru, who distinguishes between the three circles of the utilization of English in the modern world, including inner, outer, and expanding ones (Kalocsai 19). The inner circle is limited by borders of the so-called native context of using English in countries that are historically considered to be English-speaking. They are, for instance, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, and South Africa, among others (Gu et al. 138). The above circle focuses on English as a Native Language (ENL).

In its turn, the outer circle is formed by national variants of the English language, World Englishes, which are still spoken in the countries of the post-colonial world (India, Malaysia, Singapore, and Kenya, for instance). Finally, the third circle of expanding English refers to the context of using it as a Foreign Language (EFL). In this case, it is not the second state language and does not play any role in the performance of the core state functions in political or social spheres (Saito 1071). Thus, English is considered a way of integration into a global economic, political, and educational space in the countries of Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

Kachru’s Three Circles Model has certain weaknesses associated with approaches to its interpretation, but it can be used to analyze the evolutionary development of English as a lingua franca. The ELF concept has developed as being juxtaposed to the Three Circles Model and addressing its key drawbacks to explain the phenomenon of using English for worldwide communication (Deterding 58). The ELF category is less focused on the geographical location of World Englishes, and it provides a more general and flexible perspective on the phenomenon of a global expansion of this language.

It is possible to note that, regardless of its applicability to specific situations of using languages, Kachru’s classification is less relevant than the ELF perspective (Berthoud et al. 56-58; Deterding 58). The reason is in the contemporary use of English as a universal tool for communication between representatives of different cultural speaking various native languages.

Specific features of ELF as a language variety have been studied by the Vienna-based group organized and led by Barbara Seidlhofer. The researcher established the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English (VOICE). According to the VOICE’s statute, ELF is defined as “any use of English among speakers of different first languages for whom English is the communicative medium of choice, and often the only option” (Seidlhofer 7). Focusing on spoken data, VOICE studies indicate that ELF is a category that is significantly separated from ENL because language contacts contributed to changing specifics of using English.

The hybrid nature, receptivity, and flexibility in relation to external influences are the defining features that allow English to develop. They also add to transforming the language and cultural identity of people speaking it (Cavalheiro 21-27). The reason is that international speakers of English as a lingua franca tend to transform the used language continuously by means of bringing new notions, adding concepts, and sharing knowledge (Cavalheiro 11).

These people choose to use English in more situations every day, and they add English words and notions when speaking other languages. In that way, speakers’ cultural identities begin to be shared and interact by expanding one another’s cultural identities. As a result, today, ELF is utilized all over the globe to embrace personal, professional, and cultural spheres of communication.

Features of ELF

The major characteristic of a global language is its wide use in various settings by speakers of different first languages, and speakers’ pronunciation can be heavily affected by external and internal factors. As a lingua franca, English has some core and non-core features that are required for its broad use and comprehension by non-native speakers. The core features in pronunciation are important for the maintenance of the language intelligibility between non-native speakers in international settings (Deterding and Mohamad 10-11). These features include the following ones:

  • all consonant sounds apart from [θ], [ð] and [ɫ];
  • initial clusters of consonants;
  • nuclear stress;
  • mid-central NURSE vowel [ɜː];
  • distinctions between lengths of vowels (Deterding and Mohamad 11).

When it comes to the non-core features, they do not play an essential role in the maintenance of a communicational success between international speakers of a lingua franca. The non-core features of English as a lingua franca include the following ones:

  • final clusters of consonants;
  • consonant sounds [θ], [ð] and [ɫ];
  • reduced and weak forms of vowels;
  • intonational tones;
  • lexical stress;
  • stress-based rhythm;
  • the individual vowel quality (Deterding and Mohamad 11).

The non-core features of the language are discussed as not obligatory to be included as part of a language teaching program. Referring to this controversial idea, some teachers disagree and believe that the lexical stress and vowel quality, for example, should be taught as essential features of the English language (Deterding and Mohamad 11). In addition, many experts argue about grammatical variations in different forms of English as a lingua franca (Sung 44-45).

The problem is that, due to alterations in the perception of language features that are more or less essential, the entire approach to teaching English will be affected in a school curriculum. Therefore, further research is required on whether distinguishing core and non-core features of English as a lingua franca is suitable for informal oral communication (Alsagoff et al. 33; Schmitz 277). The representatives of different regions of the world tend to disregard some non-core features and follow the others. Due to various vocal specificities of the world’s languages, the ways of the pronunciation of sounds in the English language may vary (Deterding and Mohamad 11-12). It is important to study whether these aspects can influence language intelligibility.

English Language Teaching and ELF

The most common peculiarities that occur in the course of ELF teaching are described in existing scholarly research. Among typical “errors,” one may note the loss of inflection -s/-es of modern verbs in the form of the third person and the use of relative pronouns “who” and “which” as interchangeable. Additional errors also include the use of redundant prepositions (of phrases) and wordiness (Cogo and Dewey 62; Jenkins, English as a Lingua Franca in the International University 78). In this respect, a number of questions arise: should English teachers develop skills of using such forms? Should they show tolerance when students use them inappropriately? Should they pay attention to them and correct them as mistakes?

There are two opposite views on the approach to teaching English as a lingua franca. Some researchers support the idea that a simplified form of English can be taught to avoid discussing the abovementioned non-core elements of the language (Sowden 90-92). Other researchers state that avoidance of teaching all the language aspects is irresponsible, and even with the focus on ELF, students need to know all the norms and rules of English (Deniz et al. 142).

Furthermore, in countries of the expanding circle, the goal of education should be to choose a variant of English that has a lot in common with the inner circle English. However, students should be prepared for communication with users of different versions of English with their specific features, not just British or American English (Murray 322). Thus, the receptive acquaintance with the peculiarities of ELF expands students’ linguistic consciousness and implies the formation of productive skills of reproducing learning options.

In order to introduce students to different versions of the English language, the inclusion of samples of World Englishes in teaching activities can transform the course of learning. Among the participants of learning, there are representatives of countries of the inner circle and those belonging to outer and expanding circles (Jenkins, “English as a Lingua Franca from the Classroom to the Classroom” 489). This approach forms the students’ understanding that English is an intermediary in communication between citizens of the whole world and prepares them for communication with potential interlocutors.

The local English-language press seems to be a rather beneficial source of information regarding local versions of English of a particular region. The examples include The Times of India (India), The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), and The Straits Times (Singapore) (Ke and Cahyani 31; Kirkpatrick 136). Furthermore, it is possible to ask students to compare the websites of English-language newspapers of two different countries for lexical and grammatical differences. From this perspective, teaching English as a lingua franca involves learning the correct pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary, as well as the formation of intercultural literacy (Paltridge and Starfield 19).

To cope with such a task, non-native speakers of the language are to make every effort to become rather successful bilinguals who have intercultural views, skills, and knowledge (Hynninen 302; MacKenzie 33). At the same time, it is evident that the methodological aspects of ELF teaching require a deeper study in order to present the efficiency of communication to a multicultural community (O’Regan 548). Thus, additional research is needed and important in this field.

English as a Lingua Franca and Culture

Non-native speakers use ELF in accordance with various cultural references. The international and intercultural nature of a lingua franca influences the approach of how this language needs to be taught, taking its unique paradigm into consideration. The reason is that ELF should be viewed as the mixture of projections of various identities that it contains due to its continuous transformation. Being a lingua franca, the English language is used by representatives of different cultures as a link maintaining their connection with each other (Deniz et al. 142-143). English becomes affected by the versatility of cultures in the context of which it is used, and this aspect influences the teaching approach because the vision of the standard paradigm of English needs to be transformed.

Not many investigations raise the question of culture-related teaching in the ELF paradigm. One of the new studies of intercultural communication among seven users of English in Thailand by Baker demonstrated the use of different “cultural frames of reference” while speaking English (“The Cultures of English” 567).

That aspect allowed speakers to move “between global, national, local, and individual orientations” while using English in the context of their specific culture but for the purpose of global communication (Baker, “The Cultures of English” 567). To be more specific, cultural perceptions of speakers created the context for using the English language. Thus, it needs to be taught, taking into account cultural sensitivity principles because the perception of culture can change according to the needs of interlocutors in the ELF context.

The use of English as a lingua franca in intercultural communication changes the correlations between the language, culture, and nation. The representatives of various nations speak English using the word order, structures, and phrases other than native speakers while following the rules embedded in their culture and languages. Thus, “the underlying motives of intercultural interactions are mutual understanding and negotiating meaning, rather than projecting native-like command of the language” (Dombi 186).

Due to the fact that interlocutors in an ELF context possess different cultural frames than native speakers, the focus should be on teaching them to use English to guarantee mutual understanding and effective communication.

During intercultural communication in ELF contexts, the perception of cultures is constantly changing in response to the needs of interlocutors. Cultural frames of reference switch from the global to local levels at every moment when a person needs to use a new strategy in his or her speech (Meierkord 57). The changing nature of references in an ELF context attests to the absence of any particular culture in such intercultural communication. Nevertheless, a language cannot exist without any culture. All interlocutors contribute their cultural references creating a common medium for communication with predefined anticipations and beliefs (Dombi 186; MacKenzie 33).

According to Deniz et al., this specific cultural aspect needs to be taken into account when focusing on ELF because it determines how speakers will use English for their interactions (142). Furthermore, representatives of various cultures will refer to ELF in a different manner depending on dissimilarities in their backgrounds and native languages.

At the same time, the participants of intercultural communication in an ELF context develop a new perception of their society. Thus, they can use various cultural frames of reference suitable for particular situations and their application of English changes (Deniz et al. 144; Dombi 186). Therefore, the use of English as a lingua franca is crucial for the development of cultural frames of references and abilities to communicate effectively across cultures. Still, the theoretical knowledge about the correlations between the language and national culture is important, but it does not give an intuitive understanding of different references on the global, cultural, and individual levels.

Using English as a lingua franca, non-native speakers include not only their cultural references in the communication but also their limited understanding of either British or American English. They create unique rules of communication based on their basic understanding of several languages and intuition. Therefore, people speaking English as a lingua franca develop their own cultural references with characteristics that can differ from the sum of all cultural references typical of their native language (Illes 4). Two distinct approaches to using a lingua franca exist depending on the type of communication (Baker, “Culture and Language” 71).

According to Baker, ELF “studies, intercultural communication research and English language teaching (ELT) have all been concerned with ideas of ‘successful’ communication and the competencies needed to achieve this” (“Culture and Language” 70). Thus, some non-native speakers use the English language chiefly for business and professional cooperation and learning purposes. Other non-native speakers use English in their daily life, and approaches to teaching it should be different.

The idea of using ELF also depends on the concept of turn in the communication of non-native speakers. All people taking part in the discourse follow the unspoken rule of turn-taking. Thus, interlocutors have to speak fluently one after another to be understood, and, in a lingua franca communication, this rule should be discussed in detail.

The reason is that the parties often do not understand the English language to the extent needed for fast switching between interlocutors. Baker claims “that overlapping speech is regarded as being erroneous and a violation of some rule” in cases when non-native interlocutors do not speak English fluently (“Culture and Language” 75). People get used to the smooth change between speakers, and abrupt interjections are considered to be rude, even though they might sound neutral in native-speaker communication.

In lingua franca interactions, in most cases, interlocutors are able to predict the words and phrases of others for a quicker exchange of thoughts and ideas. However, it is important to note that the overlapping speech creates hindrances for this course of action (Crystal 34-39; Deniz et al. 149-150). Therefore, the culture of lingua franca communication contains some unique rules that must be obeyed by all interlocutors for the effective exchange of ideas.

English as a lingua franca creates a new communication culture based on different functions of words and structures that are traditionally used in the English language. According to House, “speakers of English as a lingua franca in academic consultation hours tend to strategically re-interpret certain discourse markers” (57). The purpose of such use of discourse markers (for example, “yes” or “yeah”) is “to help themselves improve their pragmatic competence and thus function smoothly in the flow of talk” (House 57). The speakers of English as a lingua franca use these makers chiefly to connect their thoughts and produce an easily understandable text or speech.

Still, non-native interlocutors experience difficulties in finding appropriate linking structures in English. The discourse makers help them to continue speaking even if they lose the main thread of their speech. The words “yes” or “okay” are often used to express the agreement with some facts, but in this case, they mark the end of each individual thought expressed by a speaker (Dombi 184). Therefore, English as a lingua franca possesses its unique communication culture based on specific rules of pragmatic use.

English as a Lingua Franca in Intercultural Communication

In order to guarantee successful communication between representatives of different cultures and nations, it is necessary to use one common language as a lingua franca. Today, this role is performed by English, and researchers pay much attention to investigating its importance for intercultural communication (Deniz et al. 149-150; MacKenzie 22). Communication between representatives of different cultures can involve both non-native speakers of English or interlocutors for whom English is a native tongue and speakers who use another language. In these situations, English is used in a different manner, affecting the quality of interaction and understanding because of depending on interlocutors’ knowledge of this language and their fluency in using it.

In the context of intercultural communication, researchers are inclined to oppose the use of Standard English as a specific monolithic form of English and ELF. The reason is that non-native speakers and participators of cross-cultural communication usually have no enough knowledge and skills to use Standard English norms in spite of the fact that they are usually educated to apply the British English or American English norms in their speech. The problem is that the use of ELF is associated with the impact of other different languages on non-native speakers’ application of the English language rules. Still, researchers also pay attention to the tendency of referring to the US English as Standard English that can also be used as ELF in most cases because of its spread around the globe (Dombi 185; Kirkpatrick 122).

However, despite the fact that researchers and practitioners have no single idea regarding the most effective approach to teaching and using ELF, it is almost impossible to ignore the global community’s focus on applying English in all spheres and businesses as an appropriate means of intercultural communication.

Issues in ELF and Teacher Education

In regard to teaching English as a lingua franca, culture teaching is focused on presenting the language as an effective means for intercultural communication. In particular, the flexibility of ELF teaching can be guaranteed only with reference to the absence of a single target culture as the carrier of specific language norms to follow (Bowles 197; Grazzi 57-58). In other words, the development of cultural awareness and sensitivity is to be the major focus of the new teaching paradigm in the context of viewing English as a lingua franca.

Specifics of teaching English as a lingua franca are also influenced by the fact that this language is used by a great number of speakers who affect it with reference to their cultures. Thus, the number of speakers of English for whom this language is not native outnumber native speakers of English (Dombi 184).

As a result, the English language becomes heavily impacted by the contexts in which it is used, and this aspect further affects approaches to teaching and learning it. Additionally, from the ELF perspective, English should be no longer viewed as used or shared only by one or several native-speaking cultures. Therefore, the way this language is taught will change both by means of dropping the image of a single carrier culture and by focusing on the role of this language as an intercultural communication tool. In turn, the change in the context of discussing English and how it is taught and presented to learners requires alterations in the way English language teachers are trained for practice all around the world.

New teacher education programs are needed because many professionals working for decades in their sphere hesitate to change their views on the approaches to teaching the English language. According to Cavalheiro, “teacher education programs are therefore the ideal way to introduce new approaches to ELT, as both theory and practice play a crucial role in the training and development of trainees” (3).

This idea could be applied to all types of teaching, but it is crucial in the ELF context. According to Sifakis, “there is evidence to suggest the existence of a mismatch between what ESOL teachers seem to believe about the English that they teach to their non-native learners and the competencies and abilities that they believe these learners need when communicating” (346). For example, educators can avoid paying attention to the peculiarities in the use of ELF in specific cultural contexts believing in the effectiveness of their traditional teaching methods. As a result, the quality of ELF teacher education can decrease in this situation.

New educational courses can help to develop teachers’ perception of ELF as a means of intercultural communication. In all countries around the globe, language teachers know about the international position of English, but they generally do little to enhance or adapt their methods. For example, educators can be oriented to teaching only the norms of Standard English that can be inappropriate while discussing the issue of ELF (Sifakis 348). Teachers should realize the position and the use of ELF in intercultural communication to accept the need for change in their methods.

Active exchange of experience among language professionals will lead to the development of their view on English as a lingua franca. Unfortunately, previous practice in language teaching can hinder the enhancement of new approaches because people tend to support their attitudes to new methods and techniques with their prior positive or negative experiences (Cavalheiro 17). As a result, young teachers are usually more willing to broaden their views on ELF than their senior colleagues are. The problem is that experienced and novice teachers have different approaches regarding individuals’ motives to learn English, and their methods and strategies differ significantly.

The development of English as a lingua franca calls for the appearance of innovative teacher education programs. On the one hand, the focus on teaching the standardized model of English as the core for most ELT programs can be viewed as appropriate because the effectiveness of these programs is supported by researchers. They state that English learners need to understand and use the rules of Standard English to succeed in communication not only with other learners of the language but also with native speakers (Sifakis 317).

On the other hand, the other group of investigators accentuates the idea that a non-standardized variant of English is more typical of participants on intercultural communication, and more advanced approaches to teaching English are required. From this perspective, the existing teaching models and strategies are viewed as ineffective to address the needs of English learners and users today (Deniz et al. 149-150; Kirkpatrick 123). Thus, the reference to outdated teaching models is viewed as unrealistic and ineffective because it does not address the expectations and needs of the modern global community.

In the literature, researchers discuss the idea that teaching English with the focus on achieving native speakership is not a suitable decision for all cases. In spite of the fact that teachers are oriented toward teaching students using this approach, they often cannot achieve significant results because non-native speakers cannot demonstrate the required level of language competency in most cases.

Thus, researchers view this approach that is typical in the sphere of teacher education as a linguistic myth that needs to be overcome (Deniz et al. 150). The reason is that such a one-sided approach tends to limit English learners in their intention to actively use the language while speaking with representatives of different cultures (MacKenzie 35). Moreover, the promotion of this traditional concept in teacher education does not correspond with applying English as a lingua franca.

A modern approach to preparing the English language teachers is proposed to be based on the idea that the content and principles of teaching should not be limited by specifics of the culture of English-speaking nations. On the contrary, more attention should be paid to developing the idea of ELF in the context of concentrating on developing both teachers’ and students’ intercultural knowledge. From this perspective, teaching English as a lingua franca should be perceived as realized in multicultural environments (Dombi 185; MacKenzie 12). As a result, in learning English, individuals receive opportunities to refer to their diverse multicultural and linguistic backgrounds, and teachers are expected to apply an innovative approach to explaining the rules of English to learners.

Referring to the results of studies on English as a lingua franca and the issue of teacher education in this context, it is important to state that today researchers propose reconsidering the traditional teaching approach. They explain this suggestion while stating that the English language teachers should adapt to changes in the global use of ELF, and the focus only on native-speaker norms can be inappropriate in the future (Deterding and Mohamad 8).

Supporting the status of English as a language for international communication, it is important to emphasize the needs of non-native speakers who learn and use it (Crystal 52; Seidlhofer 44). This aspect influences the development of a unique multicultural community in which English is used from the perspective of the sociolinguistic reality, but not according to specific norms and standards. When referring to standardization and various native norms, it is not always possible to achieve expected results in learners’ level of language acquisition and use.

The problem is that different rules should be used when teaching non-native speakers with a focus on the concept of ELF, and teachers need to become aware of these particular features. They include the focus on pronunciation, grammar rules, and punctuation, among other language aspects that are studied by native speakers and non-native speakers in a different manner (Crystal 34; Dombi 185). Therefore, new paradigms are expected to be used by the English language teachers in their work with diverse students who plan to use this language while communicating in different cross-cultural situations.

Conclusion

It took a long time for the English language to grow into one of the most commonly used languages all around the globe. As a result, it is eventually transformed into the universal means of communication between representatives of different cultures. Thus, over the last century, English has cemented its position as a lingua franca – the language that speakers of various mother tongues use in order to understand one another. English is also the language that dominates such essential fields as science, education, business, and commerce. In the contemporary world, researchers and language professionals agree that English as a lingua franca represents a unique category as it serves as a functional means of intercultural and international communication.

The success of English is being used all around the globe depends on the fact that his language possesses a set of characteristics and features that have made it easy to learn and understand. The establishment of English as a lingua franca has been a prolonged but productive historical and social process that was prompted by many significant global events, including colonization, wars, and the rapid development of technology.

Due to all these events, the English language had an opportunity to find its way to be spread on all continents and in most countries of the world. At first, this language was seen mostly as inseparable from its major native cultures and countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, among others. However, over time it grew into a lingua franca – the language that seems to belong to the entire world. As a result, it needs to be transformed and taught in accordance with the diversity of nations that actively use it for intercultural communication.

The role and existence of ELF in the global community can be described from two perspectives, which functional and descriptive ones. For the correct analysis of English as a lingua franca, it is necessary to define who, under which circumstances, and for what purposes realize this function. Taking a descriptive approach, it is crucial to underline that communication arising from the implementation of ELF does not always contain the structures and word order of Standard English, and this aspect influences the teaching approach.

Many researchers studied the relations between teaching the English language and applying the ELF concept, stressing the need for reformations in ELT for more effective implementation of ELF. Thus, the methodological aspects of ELF require deeper study and subsequent reform and changes in order to enhance the efficiency of communication in a multicultural community. The role and implementation of ELF in intercultural communication were described in the existing literature with special attention to cultural references implied by all interlocutors.

As a result, new teacher education programs can be viewed as needed to enhance the views of professors on ELF and improve teaching processes. The reason is that the influence of various cultures on teaching English as a lingua franca in diverse settings requires further adaptation of educational programs and improvement of educators’ skills to the needs of learners.

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