Reports on ELF SIG Meetings in 2016

Third meeting, Chukyo University, July 23, 2016

  • First Presenter: Dr. James D’Angelo, Chukyo University
  • Title of the talk: The Relevance and Value of ELF for Japanese Higher Education
  • Report: Professor D’Angelo gave an overview of the three paradigms which
    view English from a pluralistic stance: World Englishes, English as an International Language, and English as a Lingua Franca. He then presented three sets of qualitative data from his doctoral dissertation study conducted at the Department of World Englishes at Chukyo University: a survey of graduates since 2006, a survey of teachers, and a series of observations of actual classes. The findings of the study indicated that a broader concept of English—one which has a goal of developing ELF-aware ‘educated users’ (Kachru 2003, Bamgbose 1982) of Japanese English, rather than adhering to outdated native speaker norms—can significantly enhance English pedagogy within the broader Japanese context. (Written by Paul McBride)
  • Second Presenter: Dr. Saya Ike, Sugiyama Jogakuen University
  • Title of the talk: Accommodating backchannel behaviour, negotiating turns, and sharing culture in ELF communication
  • Report: Professor Ike presented a detailed observation of backchannel behavior, which she equated with aizuchi in Japanese, in face-to-face dyadic English conversations between proficient Japanese speakers of English and Australian post graduate university students. She used a multimodal analysis of backchannel sequences and turn taking strategies to try to understand how the speaker and the listener elicited and subsequently negotiated and accommodated their backchannel behavior in the ELF conversations. She noted the importance in Japanese and Japanese English of rapport building backchannels, in contrast with the rarity in Australian English of extended backchannel sequences. Consequently she claimed that in ELF conversations where participants exhibit different backchannel behavior and thus have differing expectations, negotiation and accommodation of such behavior are necessary. (Written by Paul McBride)

 Second meeting, Waseda University, May 13, 2016

  • Presenter: Dr. Nicola Galloway, University of Edinburgh
  • Title of the talk: ELF and ELT materials
  • Report: On the basis of ELF research, Professor Galloway questioned established modes of practice in the selection of ELT materials. She highlighted Jenkins’ (2012: 487) observation that “the prevailing orientation in…ELT materials still remains undoubtedly towards ENL”. She commented that ELT materials are a central part of the learning and teaching process, “often seen as being the core of a particular programme” (McDonough, Shaw & Masuhara, 2013: 51) and serving as a major source of language input (Richards, 2001). The lack of suitable materials was noted as being one of the key barriers in incorporating a global Englishes perspective into the ELT classroom (Galloway and Rose, 2015). Professor Galloway proposed new conceptualizations of the very subject matter of ELT materials: the English language. She suggested that practitioners adopt and develop materials that reflect the growing use of ELF. (Written by Paul McBride)

 First meeting, Tamagawa University, April 23, 2016

  • Presenter: Dr. Masaki Oda, Tamagawa University
  • Title of the talk: CELF Reflection: A journey to the establishment of a university ELF program
  • Report: Following a tour of the newly renovated Center for English Lingua Franca (CELF), Professor Oda reflected on the long journey to establish the Center, which conducts a campus-wide English language program at Tamagawa University. He explained how the newly opened ELF Study Hall 2015 has been planned in accordance with the English as a Lingua Franca program, and offered a diachronic analysis of developments in applied linguistics in order to illustrate various difficulties the university has had to face. He reflected on the establishment of the CELF focusing on 1) Proficiency to be attained by the students; 2) Teacher recruitment; and 3) Relationships with various stakeholders. Finally, he made some suggestions for other institutions who are trying to start ELF programs and listed issues to be discussed further by the academic community. (Written by Paul McBride)