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The University of Southampton
Centre for Global Englishes

English as a Lingua Franca and language assessment: Challenges and opportunities Seminar

8 November 2017
Building 65 LTC Avenue Campus SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Jennifer Jenkins at .

Event details

Part of the annual seminar series for the Centre for Global Englishes (CGE).

English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) communication represents one of the most significant challenges to language testing and assessment since the advent of the communicative revolution. On one hand, ELF destabilises the place of the native speaker, and the notion of assessing against a “stable variety” (Jenkins & Leung, 2014, p.4). At the same time, however, research emerging from ELF studies suggests opportunities for reconceptualising and expanding language constructs. In this talk I will discuss the challenges and opportunities afforded by an English as a Lingua Franca perspective on language assessment. In the first part of the talk, I will describe the two fundamental challenges ELF presents for language assessment, and connect these with broader debates around the nature of communicative competence. I will then discuss how the language testing and assessment community has addressed the ELF challenge thus far, with examples from both scholarship and testing practice. Third, I will sketch an ELF construct for assessment purposes, and present two cases of small-scale studies which have attempted to operationalise this construct. Finally, I will discuss some new directions for research at the interface of ELF and language assessment.

All welcome!

Speaker information

Dr Luke Harding, Lancaster University. Senior Lecturer

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