English as a Lingua Franca (ELF)

English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) refers to “international English” used between and among speakers who are not part of what Braj Kachru calls the “inner circle” (Jenkins 160). For example, suppose a diplomat from Hungary meets with an Argentine businessman. The business speaks no Hungarian, and the diplomat knows only “sí” and “por favor.” Luckily, both of them speak English, and this is how they communicate. This is the essence of ELF.

While some might remain skeptical about the logistics and outcomes derived from implementing ELF perspectives in EFL classrooms and teaching materials (Bruthiaux 368), ELF is valuable in that it complicates and subverts the traditional native/non-native construct, as well as notions of how English functions as a vehicle for international communication.


Bruthiaux, Paul. “World Englishes and the Classroom: An EFL Perspective.” TESOL Quarterly, vol. 44, no. 2, 2010, pp. 365–369. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/27896729.

Jenkins, Jennifer. “Current Perspectives on Teaching World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca.” TESOL Quarterly, vol. 40, no. 1, 2006, pp. 157–181. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/40264515.