The teacher survey on ELF

At the end of the two phases of this project, two pencil-and-paper ethnographic questionnaires, based on Dornyei (2010), were administered to students and their five teachers. The purpose of this ethnographic survey, some of whose results were published in Grazzi (2013: 107-138), was to collect quantitative and qualitative data concerning a) the respondents' use of ELF in online communication from home and from school, b) the respondents' opinions on the use of ELF at school, and c) their opinion on cooperative writing and fanfiction as learning tools.

Let us now focus on the teacher questionnaire, and in particular on Part 4, shown in Table 4.1, which concerns teachers' attitudes towards the use of ELF as an integral part of their syllabuses.

Table 4.1 Teacher survey: ELF

Part 4 ELF (English as a Lingua Franca)

9. In this part, you can say how much you agree or disagree with the following statements by simply circling (O) a number from 1 to 6. Please do not leave out any of the items.

Strongly disagree

Disagree

Slightly disagree

Slightly agree

Agree

Strongly agree

1

2

3

4

5

6

1.

ELF refers to the use of standard English as a global language, for international communication.

1 2 3 4 5 6

2.

ELF refers to the pronunciation and intonation of English spoken by L2 users.

1 2 3 4 5 6

3.

ELF is a sort of "broken" English used by L2 users for international communication.

1 2 3 4 5 6

4.

ELF refers to different world Englishes emerging locally and used globally for international communication.

1 2 3 4 5 6

5.

Standard English belongs to native-speakers, while ELF belongs to non-native speakers.

1 2 3 4 5 6

6.

Both native and non-native speakers of English contribute to the evolution of ELF 'glocally'.

1 2 3 4 5 6

7.

Non-native teachers of English should take ENL (English as a Native Language) as their target model.

1 2 3 4 5 6

8.

Non-native teachers of English should take the SUE (Successful User of English) as their target model.

1 2 3 4 5 6

9.

Standard English and native-speaker competence are the appropriate targets of ELT (English Language Teaching).

1 2 3 4 5 6

10.

The main target of ELT is to make learners become SUEs, who are able to use multiple skills in different discourses and communicative contexts, while maintaining their socio-cultural identity.

1 2 3 4 5 6

11.

L2 users gain prestige and have better opportunities if they speak ENL.

1 2 3 4 5 6

12.

Taking ENL as a model of proficiency in ELT reinforces linguistic imperialism and entails the loss of one's socio-cultural identity.

1 2 3 4 5 6

13.

The use of ELF should not be allowed at school as it easily turns into a students' pidgin.

1 2 3 4 5 6

14.

ELF is informed by EFL and is emergent at school when learners carry out authentic communicative activities in their 'glocal' socio-cultural environment.

1 2 3 4 5 6

15.

The students' L1 and socio-cultural identity interfere with the learning of English and cause errors.

1 2 3 4 5 6

16.

The students' L1 and socio-cultural identity are resources that can enrich English and adapt it to their interactive needs.

1 2 3 4 5 6

17.

ELT materials should only present learners with examples of how native-speakers use their different varieties of ENL.

1 2 3 4 5 6

18.

ELT materials should present learners with examples of how ENL and ELF are used by SUEs (including both native speakers of English and L2 users).

1 2 3 4 5 6

The results of this part of the survey show that three out of the five teachers involved in this project consider NS English as the target model in ELT and a key to success for their students. According to them, the successful L2-user is a non-native speaker (NNS) of English who conforms to the norms of SE and also affirms his/her cultural identity. In other words, even though language standards of accuracy and fluency correspond to the NS model, this is hardly perceived as a threat to or limitation of the learner's right to appropriate the foreign language and express his/her sociocultural identity. It is as if learning English essentially consisted in a neutral system of lexicogrammar rules to be acquired as such in order to be able to express oneself correctly in an additional language. Consequently, ELF is conceptualised rather vaguely and the respondents sometimes give contradictory answers: on the one hand they seem to agree (albeit half-heartedly) with the idea that NNSs and language learners contribute to the emergence of English glocally and that the L1 linguaculture can enrich English, but on the other hand they think that the students' native tongue interferes with the acquisition of proper English, i.e. SE. In addition, even though respondents agree that ELT materials should present learners with examples of how ENL and ELF are used by both NSs and successful users of English (SUE) (Prodromou 2008: ix), they seem to assume that ELF should conform to NS English norms, and that its diversity from ENL basically consists in the fact that it is spoken by NNSs in international contexts.

As for the other two teachers, one answered only the final question in the grid, therefore that part of her questionnaire was considered irrelevant, while the other provided answers which are absolutely in line with the theories and conceptualisations of ELF that have been presented previously in this chapter.

All in all, the results of this survey indicate that the teachers of English involved in this project recognised the educational potential of NBLT and were favourable to the incorporation of innovative learning activities like cooperative writing and fanfiction into the school syllabus. However, respondents also revealed their resistance to the idea that whenever SUEs are involved in authentic communication in multilingual and multicultural contexts, ELF emerges naturally and becomes an integral part of the nonnative speaker's linguacultural identity.

 
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