As Seidlhofer and Widdowson (2018) point out, ‘the global learning of English needs to be based on its global use’ and that this means that English as a lingua franca (ELF) ‘corresponds more closely for what is real for learners, and is a more realistic objective for them to achieve’. In this presentation I shall first show how the roles of English have been expanding in many so-called Expanding Circle countries with a focus on the countries of East and Southeast Asia and will illustrate how English has become the major lingua franca of the region. English has indeed moved from a foreign language (EFL) to a lingua franca (ELF). I shall then give examples from the Asian Corpus of English (ACE) of how English is being re-shaped by these Asian multilinguals who are using English as a lingua franca. My talk will then outline 5 principles for an ‘ELF-aware approach’ (e.g. Kirkpatrick 2018) to English language teaching which takes into consideration the diversity and complexity of ELF, while not underestimating obstacles that teachers might face in attempting to apply an ELF-aware approach to their own classrooms.
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