Exploring L2 learners’ use of communicative strategies: An English as a lingua franca (ELF) perspective

Jim Chan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Since the era of globalisation, the language use of English speakers in international communication has been the focus of considerable research in the emerging research paradigm of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), which has seen second language (L2) speakers become the majority in international communication. Based on a number of large-scale corpus projects (e.g. Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English (VOICE), Lingua Franca in Academic Settings (ELFA)), ELF studies has revealed shared language features (e.g. lexis, lexicogrammar, pragmatics, phonology) in L2-L2 speech interactions that are different from their first language counterparts.More crucially, real-life ELF communication places greater emphasis on communicative functions (than language forms) that ensure mutual understanding. Against this background, this study seeks to investigate the interactional speech patterns of Hong Kong L2 learners in a spoken corpus from an ELF perspective, the ultimate purpose of which is to provide recommendations for students’ learning of communicative competence for English use in international contexts. Specifically, a learner corpus was established by recording the communicative patterns of senior secondary students (around 150 students of different English proficiency levels) in a semi-authentic group interaction task. Discourse analysis was conducted to identify, categorise and quantify their use of communicative strategies, which are subsequently compared to findings derived from the VIOCE and ELFA corpora. Our findings suggest that students with a relatively a lower academic ability tended to rely on some pre-taught formulaic expressions during the group discussion, while academically more capable students demonstrated some degrees of mutual support that is crucial for ELF communication. The paper concludes by providing recommendations to promote ELF-oriented communication strategies and awareness in teaching English as an international language.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 1st International Conference on Corpus Analysis in Academic Discourse
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

The 1st International Conference on Corpus Analysis in Academic Discours, Valencia, Spain, 22-24 November 2017


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