|dc.description.abstract||This research investigated the use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) in the context of
China-ASEAN communication, where the ELF speakers are mainly bilinguals or
multilinguals, using English as non-native speakers. The focus of the study was on the
lexicogrammatical features of ELF, especially L1 Chinese ELF users, the pragmatic
competence of Asian ELF users in this defined context and the implications of ELF for
local language teaching. This research reviewed the key findings of previous research in
other ELF contexts and Chinese English as references and adapted an ELF
communicative competence model to analyse the linguistic features and pragmatic
competence of Asian ELF users.
Corpus-based methods were applied in this research, utilising the Asian Corpus of
English (ACE), which comprises one million words of naturally occurring ELF
interactions. The Chinese subset of ACE formed the primary data of this research,
including 18 recordings of naturally occurring ELF interactions. The total length of the
recordings was seven and a half hours, involving 45 speakers of 13 different first
languages. The data used in this study mainly comprised English talk shows on Chinese
TV stations and websites, with topics covering politics, economics, diplomacy, sports,
fashion, and popstars. The background information of most speakers and communication
contexts were acquired for discourse analysis.
In terms of non-standard forms of lexicogrammar of ELF by Chinese users, there are nine
lexicogrammatical features identified and their frequencies were noted. They were lexical
and phrasal innovation, non-standard use of prepositions, grammatical disagreement,
non-standard omission, subject pronoun copying (SPC), tag questions, self-repetitions,
response to general questions and the use of adjacent default tense (ADT). The findings indicate that Chinese ELF users are creative and flexible in using the language to meet
their communicative needs. Furthermore, there was no evidence to show these nonstandard
forms necessarily caused misunderstanding or communication breakdowns in
these China-ASEAN contexts. Mutual intelligibility appears more important than
conforming to native speaker’s norms when communicating with other Asian
multilingual ELF speakers.
The pragmatic competence of Asian ELF users in China-ASEAN contexts were examined
in terms of strategic competence, sociocultural competence and discourse competence.
Asian ELF users in this data were found to be active and flexible in using various
communicative strategies to overcome problems or to facilitate their communication. The
common strategies used by the ELF speakers included the use of lexical suggestion,
paraphrasing, code-switching, asking for clarification and avoiding the use of local
idioms. In addition, Asian ELF speakers were able to demonstrate a certain degree of
sensitivity and flexibility in dealing with cultural differences and changes. It is worth
noting that in emergent and dynamic ELF intercultural communication, Asian ELF
speakers can move beyond cultural stereotypes. Moreover, the study of discourse
competence indicates that Asian ELF speakers collaborate with and support each other
by frequently using backchannels and echoing.
These findings are of significance in local English language teaching. It is suggested that
the ELF approach is feasible and practical for language teaching for English majors in
Guangxi, where there is increasing communication with people from ASEAN countries.
The ELF communicative competence that has been described in this research, including
linguistic competence, strategic competence, discourse competence and sociocultural
competence, can be integrated into the pedagogical practice for English majors in Guangxi, with guidance of the five principles of ELF approach.||en_US