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Evolving a post-native, multilingual model for ELF-aware teacher education

posted on 2023-06-08, 16:09 authored by Andrew Blair
If we conceive of language as social practice, and language change as natural and continuous (Aitchison, 2001), we also need to consider how best to teach a language such as English, used locally and globally for lingua franca purposes. An ELF perspective on pedagogy necessitates a better understanding by teachers and learners of inherent language variability and diversity (Jenkins et al., 2011). This suggests a greater focus on process than product, involving central roles for accommodation strategies, intercultural and pragmatic competence, flexibility and tolerance of variation. These conceptions should be reflected within ELT teacher education programmes, moving beyond the ‘native’/‘non-native’ distinction, traditional notions of speech community, proficiency and method towards a model based on principles of multilingualism and “meta-cultural competence” (Sharifian, 2009), reflecting these new sociolinguistic and pedagogical realities. Redefinition of “effective pedagogy” (James and Pollard, 2011) and the ‘ideal’ language teacher embraces multicompetence (V. Cook, 2002) and an understanding of ‘ELF-aware teaching’ relevant for a ‘post-native’ era. Therefore, the education of such teachers must also be reimagined, as a seed bed for future change in practice. If preparing their students to be ELF users in a wide range of fluid communicative contexts (Alptekin, 2010), how should teachers themselves be prepared? This chapter reviews these issues and presents proposals for change, drawing on a recent study of teachers who have taught and received part of their professional training in the UK. These individuals have ‘crossed borders’, and represent many aspects of a redefined paradigm for ELT, though they also express paradoxes and uncertainties in their own positions regarding linguistic and pedagogical goals. They are successful L2 users, role models for learners, and form the next generation of practitioners and teacher educators. The long-term future of ‘effective ELF pedagogy’ rests with them, and it is the responsibility of current teacher educators and researchers to inspire them and this evolution in attitudes and practice.


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  • Published

File Version

  • Accepted version


De Gruyter Mouton



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Book title

Current perspectives on pedagogy for English as a Lingua Franca

Place of publication





Developments in English as a Lingua Franca [DELF]

Department affiliated with

  • Sussex Centre for Language Studies Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes


Yasemin Bayyurt, Sumru Akcan

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