Ecological niches, emergent genres or emergent communities of

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Ecological niches, emergent genres or emergent communities of
Ecological niches, emergent
genres and emergent
communities of practice?
English as an academic lingua
franca at the French-German
bilingual University of FribourgFreiburg
C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner Helsinki, 3
September 2005
Plan of presentation
C E R LE
 English as a Lingua Franca
(drawing on Seidlhofer, Jenkins,
House, Mauranen; cf. handout)
 Local setting and ‘habitat factor’
 Psychology Lunchtime Seminars
 Phases and framing/embedding
 Reasons for using ELF
 Conclusion
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
English as a Lingua Franca
C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
 Majority use of English in the world
 Among speakers of different L1s
 Chosen language of communication,
often in influential networks
 Plurilingual speakers of ELF are
language users in their own right
 Great potential to innovate through
greater linguistic resources
 Certain degree of norm (in)dependence
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
ELF Corpora
 Computer-readable collections of
spoken ELF being compiled
 Empirical bases for linguistic description
 VOICE Vienna Oxford International
Corpus of English (Seidlhofer)
 ELFA English as a Lingua Franca in
Academic Settings (Mauranen)
C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
ELF as a spoken academic
lingua franca at Uni FR
C E R LE
 Working language in internationally
composed research teams (e.g.
Physics)
 Conferences, research colloquia (e.g.
Psychology)
 Master thesis-related activities (e.g.
Biology)
 Lunchtime events (e.g. Biochemistry’s
Beer & Lunch Seminars; Psychology)
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Lunchtime events: hypotheses
 Public ‘niches’ for ELF in institutionally
F/G bilingual academic setting
 ELF possibly embedded in plurilingual
practices
 (Semi-)scripted and unscripted
 Spoken data by speakers who may or
may not share other languages
 Monologic data possibly edited
C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Department of Psychology
C E R LE
 Two sections (one teaches through
G, the other through F) in shared
physical space
 Five chairs (three G, two F) with
staff
 Three (research) centres/institutes
(three more profs. with own staff)
 Depart. Psych. Counselling Centre
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Five Chairs
C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
 Lehrstuhl für Allgemeine
Psychologie
 Lehrstuhl für Klinische Psychologie
 Chaire de psychologie clinique
 Chaire pour psychologie générale
et pédagogique
 Lehrstuhl für Arbeits- und
Organisationspsychologie
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Studying psychology
 Selecting a language: parallel
programmes of study for G and F
 Combining languages: ‘Bilingual
Degree’ option
 Required reading in English
 Guest events (block courses, research
colloquia, guest lectures) in English
 optional English for Psychology course
C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Psych. Lunchtime Seminars
C E R LE
 Two organizers (one F-, one G-sp.)
 Monthly during term since 2003/04
 Thursdays 12 – 13, open to all
 Presenters from inside and outside
 Announced on website
 Email invitations to staff in
Psychology Dept., Education Dept.
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Lunchtime Language
C E R LE
 “Language of presentation: English
(although some presentations may
be given in German and some in
French)”
 Some local accommodation
(“habitat factor”) to be expected,
but also ‘referee-design’
(international psychological setting)
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Lunchtime Languages (plural!)
 Phases 1-3: French, German,
English
 Phases 4-8: English only
 Phases 9-12: French, German,
English
C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Overt reasons for using ELF
(global and local!)
 Need, choice, strategy vis-à-vis
English as the language of the field
 Internationalisation
 “Doing the Lunchtime Seminars in
English made it easier to get the
German side on board”
 “wegen der Zweisprachigkeit”
C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
ELF motivation & function
C E R LE
 Strategy of integration and
appropriation
 Community of practice: learning as
participation, becoming what one is
doing, practice constitutes
community
 Relational work across the
language divide, neutral ground
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Communities of Practice
C E R LE
 Social theory of learning (Wenger
1998)
 Learning through participation in a
community, practice is the source
of coherence of a community
 Practice as the property of a
community has three dimensions:
joint enterprise, mutual
engagement, shared repertoire
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Communities of Practice
C E R LE
 Eckert 2000 adopted it as a
sociolinguistic concept to account
for linguistic variation as a social
practice
 House 2003 suggests it for
describing ELF communication as
the three dimensions seem to
apply to ELF interactions
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Shared repertoire of
negotiable resources
 “…consists of English linguistic
resources, involving the joint
construction of a communicative
repertoire instrumental in greatly
varying contexts, both real and in
the minds of the interactants”
(House 2003:572f)
C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Conclusion
C E R LE
 ‘Niches’ for ELF in bi- and
plurilingual habitat
 Emergent genre of Lunchtime
events for ELF use
 Emergent community of practice:
learning and languaging
ways of doing and ways of being
ling. repertoire & Selbstverständnis
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Selbstverständnis
 Plurilingual self-image&confidence
 Don’t anthropomorphise language
 It is not languages that dominate,
it is people
 Awareness-raising for ELF
and support for ELF users
C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Main references (but cf. handout)
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C E R LE
LeFo Z eF
Iris Schaller-Schwaner
Helsinki, 3 September 2005
Eckert, P. 2000. Linguistic variation as social practise. The linguistic
construction of identity in Belten High. Oxford: Blackwell
House, J. 2003. “English as a lingua franca: a threat to
multilingualism?” Journal of Sociolinguistics 7/4: 556-578.
Jenkins, J. 2005b “EFL at the gate: the position of English as a Lingua
Franca” Ideas …Corpora 05 http://www.hltmag.co.uk/mar05/idea.htm
Mauranen, A. (2003). “The Corpus of English as Lingua Franca in
Academic Settings”. TESOL Quarterly 37: 513-527.
Seidlhofer, B. 2001. "Closing a conceptual gap: the case for a
description of English as a lingua franca" International Journal of
Applied Linguistics 11, 2:133-158.
Seidlhofer, B. 2004. "Research perspectives on teaching English as a
lingua franca", Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 24: 209-239.
Wenger, E. 1998. Communities of practice. Learning, meaning and
identity. New York: CUP

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