Challenging the interlanguage hypothesis: The convergence of EFL and ELF in the English classroom


This paper follows from the PRIN Conference (PRIN 2015 Prot. 2015REZ4EZ) on ELF that was held in Lecce, Italy, at the University of Salento, on December 4-6, 2019. Here, the PRIN Unit of the Roma Tre University presented the findings of their three-year study in a panel session entitled: English as a Lingua Franca: challenges and new paradigms for native and non-native teachers, insights from the language classrooms and implications for teacher education. One of the main aims of this article is to show how possible it is to find a convergence between English as a foreign language (EFL) and English as a lingua franca (ELF) in second language education, by means of the learner’s performance. This assumption is based on the author’s critical analysis of the interlanguage hypothesis in English language teaching (ELT), seen through the lens of ELF theory. One of the fundamental tenets of this study is that today’s plurilithic dimension of English as a global language entails a reconceptualization of the second-language learner’s ‘errors’, which challenges the prescriptive role of standard English. Given the dynamics of English as a contact language, it is assumed that a more effective pedagogical approach should take into consideration the sociocognitive processes connected to language variability and the learner’s linguacultural identity

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v38p277


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