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Title: Investigating meaning-making in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF)
Author: Batziakas, Vasileios
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 8425
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This PhD research study looks at meaning-making practices in interactions of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). In particular, two research questions are investigated: Which wordings and features of discourse are characteristic of interactions in contexts where English is used as a lingua franca, and how do they contribute to meaning-making? To what extent do successful ELF interactions require competencies, skills and practices which are additional to those already described in the literature, and how can they best be described and accounted for? The data comprised naturally occurring spoken discourse from international students who were holding meetings in order to establish an international student society at the University London, and were analysed qualitatively drawing eclectically on the analytic traditions of ethnography and conversation analysis. In the first analytical chapter, it was found that the students were making specific meaning through translanguaging, and this contributed to the achievement of the pragmatic functions ‘filling in a lexical gap’ and ‘using some more precise lexis’. In the second chapter, it was shown that the students were again translanguaging setting out to be polite by achieving the pragmatic functions ‘displaying discursive sensitivity through avoiding profanity in English’ and ‘increasing politeness through showing awareness of the interlocutor’s linguistic background’. In the third analytical chapter, it was yielded that the students negotiated the meaning of culturally contested expressions, and thus the functions ‘refining the culturally contested elements of an expression’ and ‘replacing a culturally contested expression altogether’ were achieved. Finally, in the fourth analytical chapter, what was argued was that there were instances in which the students were attempting to manage the relational and build rapport with their interlocutors with word play through the functions ‘making an idiomatic expression more relevant to the rest of the in-group’ and ‘making an idiomatic expression more relevant to a wider audience’. Subsequently, the implications of the findings were discussed from the perspective of their significance regarding revising communicative competence and related models of competence, reconceptualising language functions and social semiotics, and reappraising the practice of translanguaging in superdiverse contexts. Finally, it was shown that these findings could be pedagogically useful for English language planning and policy from the particular perspective of curriculum and syllabus design, coursebooks and materials development, teaching approaches and methods, and testing and assessment.
Supervisor: Dewey, Martin ; Leung, Constant Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available