English as a lingua franca in higher education


English as a lingua franca (ELF)
English-medium education
EAP instruction
EAP testing
inglés como lengua franca (ILF)
inglés como medio de instrucción
enseñanza del inglés con fines académicos
evaluación del inglés con fines académicos

How to Cite

Björkman, B. (2011). English as a lingua franca in higher education: implications for EAP . Ibérica, (22), 79–100. Retrieved from https://www.revistaiberica.org/index.php/iberica/article/view/319


The last decade has brought a number of changes for higher education in continental Europe and elsewhere, a major one being the increasing use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) as the medium of instruction. With this change, EAP is faced with a new group of learners who will need to use it predominantly in ELF settings to communicate with speakers from other first language backgrounds. This overview paper first discusses the changes that have taken place in the field of EAP in terms of student body, followed by an outline of the main findings of research carried out on ELF. These changes and the results of recent ELF research have important implications for EAP instruction and testing. It is argued here that EAP needs to be modified accordingly to cater for the needs of this group. These revolve around the two major issues: norms and standards for spoken English and target use. If the aim of EAP instruction and testing is to prepare speakers for academic settings where English is the lingua franca, the findings of ELF research need to be taken into consideration and then integrated into EAP curriculum design and testing, rethinking norms and target use. The norms and standards used by EAP instruction must be based on this realistic English, and educational resources should be deployed more realistically, including the usage of ELF, thereby validating the pluralism of English. This paper argues that any practice that excludes this perspective would be reducing EAP qualitatively and quantitatively.

Copyright (c) 2011 Beyza Björkman

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