English as a lingua franca and the Standard English misunderstanding

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This article adopts a social constructivist and developmental perspective on English as a lingua franca (ELF). On this basis and with reference to the My English condition, it explores the conflict generally perceived between non-native speaker-learners’ claim of ownership of English and their preference for Standard English target models. The conflict is shown to result from a conceptual misunderstanding caused by the conflation of Standard English as an object of linguistic description and Standard English as a cognitive, emotional and social construct by the speaker-learners themselves. With the constructivist reconciliation of ownership and target language preference, the role of Standard English in second language learning and teaching appears in a new and refreshing light.


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