English as a Lingua Franca in Flanders
A study of university students’ attitudes
This article reports on a study that examines the attitudes of 69 Flemish university students towards the emerging conceptualization of English as a lingua franca (ELF) on the basis of a questionnaire survey. Built on the notion of ELF as a functional term theorized on sociolinguistic grounds, this study seeks to understand the relation between ELF as a theoretical construct and ELF as a reality in the life of these language students through their experiences of engagement with English, both within and outside the academic community. The results show that the students have embraced some ideas of the ELF phenomenon on a macro level, but retain a strong belief in the native standard norm on a micro level.
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