Examining authenticity from an ELF perspective: The development of listening test papers in Hong Kong (1986-2018)

J.Y.H. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined the degree of situational and interactional authenticity in Hong Kong’s listening examination papers throughout the history of colonisation and globalisation (1986–2018) with reference to world Englishes and particularly English as a lingua franca (ELF) research. By means of a detailed content analysis, the evaluation of situational authenticity was based on the context of language use (e.g., speech event type, nature of interaction, identity and accent of interlocutor) in the audio samples, while the evaluation of interactional authenticity centred on the speaker’s use of communicative strategies. Our findings suggest that the speech samples generally reflected the changing situations of language use over time by increasingly adopting dialogue (rather than monologue) and locally/globally relevant language use contexts, but only included native-speaker and (from 2012) Hong Kong English accents as speech models. Despite the lack of non-standardness and speakers of different cultures in the speech samples, there were numerous instances of explicitness strategies relevant to ELF interactions throughout the sample, probably owing to the intent of the listening examination to highlight key information for the candidates. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of these trends in listening paper design for the future development of English language teaching from an ELF perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-165
JournalJournal of English as a Lingua Franca
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021


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