Guest lectures by Jennifer Jenkins 20-21 May

The Changing English project is hosting two guest lectures by Professor Jennifer Jenkins (University of Southampton). Everybody is warmly welcome! Please see the abstracts below.

Tuesday, 20 May, 14-16, room 8, Metsätalo (3d floor)
Topic: “Fit for purpose? Tests of English for entry into international universities”

I begin by exploring international students’ positions on the so-called ‘international’ English language university entry tests. I go on to consider what is missing in such tests, in particular, any response to the sociolinguistic implications of the international spread of English or to recent findings in relevant areas of applied linguistics research.
Of these areas, I will argue, research into English as a lingua franca (ELF) has the greatest relevance for English language entry tests, given that international universities are, by their very nature, ELF communities. Having briefly discussed the notion of ELF, I will return to the tests to examine the extent to which they are (not) fit for the purpose of assessing potential students’ skills for study in an English lingua franca environment. I will conclude by considering what kinds of changes the testers need to implement to bring themselves in line with such an environment (and the 21st Century).

Wednesday, 21 May, 14-16, room 12, Metsätalo (3d floor)
Topic “Revisiting pronunciation in ELF communication contexts”

Pronunciation was the first linguistic level to be explored in empirical ELF research. The earliest findings, published as Jenkins 2000, and in particular, the ‘Lingua Franca Core’ (LFC), proved highly controversial. Nevertheless, subsequent replications have generally supported the original research findings that underpinned the LFC. Subsequent researchers have also paid greater attention to the role of accommodation, which was a major (if usually overlooked) part of the original LFC research. Despite this, negative responses, themselves still often based on misinterpretations of the research, continue to this day. By contrast, the research has begun to have a positive influence on the educating of English language teachers, such as in the syllabuses of Cambridge English’s pre- and in-service teacher training qualifications, respectively, CELTA and DELTA. It is also the subject of a handbook for teachers (Walker 2010). In my talk, I will discuss the original ELF pronunciation research and the ‘fallout’ from it, and explore how the situation has developed over the years, particularly during the intervening years since I last talked on this subject in Helsinki in 2008.


Jennifer Jenkins holds the Chair of Global Englishes at the University of Southampton, where she is also founding director of the University’s Centre for Global Englishes. She has been researching English as a lingua franca since the 1980s, and has published numerous articles and chapters on the subject, as well as three monographs: The Phonology of English as an International Language (OUP 2000), English as a Lingua Franca: Attitude and Identity (OUP 2007), and English as a Lingua Franca in the International University (Routledge 2014). She has also published a university course book, World Englishes, whose third edition is currently in press as Global Englishes (Routledge). She is the founding editor of the book series, Developments in English as a Lingua Franca (De Gruyter Mouton).