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In today’s world, English is not learnt to communicate primarily with native speakers of English. Instead, ELF is defined firstly by its use in intercultural communication – and only secondly by its reference to native language norms.
But it is still not entirely clear what this means for the teaching and learning of English. It cannot be enough to teach discourse conventions typical for British or American English (or even both), since varieties of “Englishes” go far beyond these. Teachers and learners are therefore often uncertain about what to teach and how.
The development of English as a global lingua franca affects all areas of our teaching from the basics to methods and to pragmatics, i.e. social skills such as context-relevant appropriacy, politeness, flexibility and more.
The Council of Europe’s new Companion Volume to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (2018 / 2020) provides many valuable insights.