Beyza Björkman, Stockholm University

Beyza Björkman is a lecturer of English at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Currently, she is also in the completion of her doctoral thesis ‘Spoken lingua franca English at a Swedish technical university: an investigation of form and communicative effectiveness’ at Stockholm University, Department of English.


English as a lingua franca as the medium of higher education: The relationship between genre and ELF

A critical domain in which English is used as a lingua franca today is higher education. The development towards English-medium teaching in Europe in general is on the rise, resulting from increased academic mobility. This is clearly the case for Sweden, where higher education has become increasingly international and thus linguistically diverse, for educational, idealistic and financial reasons.
This paper will discuss some of the findings of a study that has investigated the form and pragmatics of spoken lingua franca English in the engineering domain in Swedish higher education. Drawing on a combination of qualitative and quantitative data, the differences between lectures (42 hours) and student group-work (28 hours) will be highlighted with reference to issues regarding form and pragmatic strategies. It is argued that a comparison of these two spoken genres reveals important differences. As regards form, there was substantially more non-standardness in group-work in comparison to lectures. With respect to pragmatic strategies, the group-work was richer in terms of both strategies that are traditionally found in monologic speech and those that are generally associated with dialogic speech. From these results, the notion of effectiveness in ELF settings emerges as being determined primarily by pragmatic ability and less by proficiency.


ELF Conference 2010 | Spitalgasse 2 | 1090 Wien