Teaching communication strategies in China
A textbook analysis from an ELF perspective
Since English is now used as a Lingua Franca (ELF), it is important to explore how English learners may be trained to employ multiple Communication Strategies (CSs) to achieve mutual understanding, particularly in ELF contexts. This study explores which CSs were taught in recent years in China and how the teaching content is presented in domestic textbooks from an ELF perspective. Ten college English textbooks that were published in the past five years (2014–2019) were selected and evaluated based on an adapted framework of CSs. The findings revealed a notable inclination toward certain types of macro-strategies and were not systematically mapped out. Moreover, an initial effort in manifesting “cultural diversity” was observed but failed to construct intercultural contexts. Knowledge explanation as well as student-oriented exercises were found to be conducive in consolidating learners’ acquisition of forms. However, the function and context of the target CSs were neglected. Furthermore, an absence of sociocultural pragmatic concern resulted in a discrepancy between explicit knowledge explanation and context-based practice. Accordingly, this study suggests implications for both textbook writers and instructors in practice.
Keywords: communication strategies, English as a lingua franca, textbook analysis, second language acquisition, pedagogical practice