Andy Kirkpatrick, Hong Kong Institute of Education


Andy Kirkpatrick is Chair Professor of English as an International Language at the Hong Kong Institute of Education and Director of the Institute’s Research Centre into Language Education and Acquisition in Multilingual Societies. English as a Lingua Franca in ASEAN: a Multilingual Model, is to be published by Hong Kong University Press later this year, as will Routledge’s Handbook of World Englishes, of which he is the sole editor. Chinese Rhetoric and Persuasion and An Introduction to Academic Writing in Chinese are to be published by Klincksieck and Parlor Press respectively.


"English as an Asian Lingua Franca: Implications for Policy and Pedagogy"


The concept of English as a lingua franca (ELF) has caused a great deal of recent controversy, much of it based on a misunderstanding of ELF. In this presentation I shall first compare and contrast two major Asian lingua francas – Bahasa Indonesia and Putonghua Chinese – in order to show how different their developmental paths have been, both from each other and from the way English has developed as an Asian lingua franca. The presentation will then consider the current role that English is playing as a lingua franca in the Asian region, with a focus on its role in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia and how this suggests the appropriateness of a ‘multilingual model’ for English language teaching in the region. In particular, it will address a key issue facing the Asian region (and many others), that is English might complement local languages rather than replace them. There have been predictions that that, if the current trend to learn only national languages and regional or international lingua francas persists, more than half the world’s 6500 languages will have died out by the end of this century. Drawing on a number of Asian contexts, the presentation will therefore conclude with suggestions on ways in which English, if taught with an understanding of its role as a lingua franca, might become complementary to national and local languages, rather than presenting a serious threat to their existence.


ELF Conference 2010 | Spitalgasse 2 | 1090 Wien