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English as a lingua franca (ELF) is a thriving field of research which has found its place in applied linguistics in the last decade. During this time we have seen an increasing number of publications and research projects on ELF, such as the Vienna-Oxford International Corpus of English (VOICE) and the corpus of English as a Lingua Franca in Academic Settings (ELFA), the foundation of annual ELF conferences  and most recently the creation of a dedicated journal (Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, issue 1.1 published in March 2012) and an ELF book series (Developments in English as a Lingua Franca).

ELF research focuses on the use of English in intercultural situations where speakers with different linguacultural backgrounds share English as their common means of communication and as a dynamic and co-constructed linguistic resource. ELF research has been conducted on different linguistic levels, such as phonology, lexicogrammar, pragmatics and the intersections of these. In addition, studies on ELF have explored various domains, including business and academic settings, and have expanded in different dimensions of investigation, including attitudes and identity, (inter)cultural aspects and pedagogical implications.

With an increasing amount of empirical descriptions available, some of the burning questions about ELF concern applied linguistic matters of language teaching and communication training, language policy, language awareness and multilingualism. Other issues concern methodological questions, which relate to qualitative and quantitative approaches as well as to technological aspects of corpus linguistic applications. An important future development of ELF as a field in applied linguistics would seem to be furthering collaborations with researchers from different disciplines, within and outside linguistics.

It is the aim of this research network to serve as forum for debate, discussion and more extensive collaboration among researchers and applied linguists who are actively involved in ELF research. The network currently includes over 65 participants (from more than 20 countries) who have various areas of expertise within ELF research. They include scholars at different stages of their careers, ranging from PhD students to very experienced academics, all of whom will help advance ELF research and applied linguistics by bringing in their different disciplinary and cultural perspectives.

If you are actively involved in ELF research and are interested in joining the network please contact the ELF-ReN convenors:

Dr. Alessia CogoGoldsmiths, University of London
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Dr. Marie-Luise PitzlUniversity of Vienna 
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ELF-ReN Activities

The annual ELF conferences (University of Helsinki in 2008, University of Southampton in 2009, University of Vienna in 2010, Hong Kong Institute of Education in 2011, Bogaziçi University Istanbul in 2012) provide excellent opportunities for research exchange on ELF and for meeting other ELF-ReN participants. With the acceptance of this AILA ReN on ELF in February 2012, short ELF-ReN meetings will from now on be organized at each ELF conference.

The 1st ELF-ReN meeting was held at:

5th International Conference on English as a lingua franca (ELF5), Conference Theme: Pedagogical Implications of ELF in the Expanding Circle, 24-26 May 2012, Istanbul, Turkey.

The next ELF conference and ELF-ReN meeting was:

6th International Conference on English as a lingua franca (ELF6), Conference Theme: Intercultural Communication: new perspectives from ELF, 4-7 September 2013, Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy

ELF-ReN workshops

In addition to the ELF conferences, one or two themed smaller ELF-ReN workshops will be organized per year.

The 1st ELF-ReN workshop was held at:

1st ELF-ReN Workshop, Workshop Theme: ‘Teaching (B)ELF and/or Intercultural Communication?’, initiated by Susanne Ehrenreich & Marie-Luise Pitzl, 22-23 June 2012, TU Dortmund University. 

The 2nd ELF-ReN Workshop took place at the University of Southampton in Fall 2013. For any information please contact Alessia Cogo.