Susanne Ehrenreich, University of Munich

Susanne Ehrenreich is Senior Lecturer (Wissenschaftliche Assistentin) in Applied English Linguistics at Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich, Germany. She is currently researching the use of and attitudes towards English as a lingua franca in two multinational companies in Germany. Her other research interests include language and intercultural learning in the context of academic mobility, and teacher education. She is co-editor of Auslandsaufenthalte in Schule und Studium (Stays Abroad in Secondary and Tertiary Education), Waxmann.



The dynamics of English as a lingua franca in international business: bringing together contact linguistics and ELT

Contrary to popular belief, English for international business is synonymous neither with American nor with British English. It is a contact language used and shaped by speakers from diverse lingua-cultural backgrounds. Drawing on ethnographic data collected in two Germany-based multinational corporations and on contact linguistics as a frame of reference, I will describe several components characteristic of ELF contact scenarios (e.g. participants, languages, attitudes, power stratification) and the effects they have on the nature of the communicative processes and their linguistic outcome. Not surprisingly, in order to do justice to the complexities of ELF-based global interaction, several established assumptions of language contact theory need to be adapted. For example, as ELF is not the language of any given native community, the issue of the target model to which approximation is desirable is an open issue. Inspired by intriguing material in my data, I will also make an attempt at depicting the dynamic development of ELF in the domain of international business by applying and modifying Schneider's Dynamic Model of the evolution of Postcolonial Englishes (Schneider 2007). Familiarizing ELT professionals with the nature of contact phenomena involved in the use of ELF in international business is seen as an essential step towards a better understanding of how, in an individual domain, a shift in norm orientation has already been underway for quite a while now.



ELF Conference 2010 | Spitalgasse 2 | 1090 Wien