The death of the non-native speaker? English as a lingua franca in business communication: A research agenda

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Language Teaching


Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015. The impact of globalisation in the last 20 years has led to an overwhelming increase in the use of English as the medium through which many business people get their work done. As a result, the linguistic landscape within which we now operate as researchers and teachers has changed both rapidly and beyond all recognition. In the discussion below, I will outline a research agenda for English as a lingua franca (ELF) in business communication of relevance for scholars and practitioners with an interest in teaching language. I will discuss three main areas of enquiry, which are: (1) the further development of the existing theory concerning the use of English in business and how this impacts language teaching, including the role played by native speakers of English, (2) the influence of culture and context on the production and interpretation of English in business contexts, and (3) the extension of our existing understanding of the use of English in business contexts in order to take increasingly advanced levels of proficiency into account, as well as developing an understanding of what constitutes professional communicative competence in business. For each of these key areas I will suggest a number of tasks which could help to give substance to our research in the future.

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Author First name, Last name, Institution

Catherine Nickerson, Zayed University