English as a lingua franca in the Gulf Cooperation Council states

Authored by: Nuha Alharbi

The Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138855328
eBook ISBN: 9781315717173
Adobe ISBN:


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The phenomenon of English as a lingua franca (ELF) has become a subject of considerable research during the past decade, and findings from different parts of the world continue to enrich our understanding of this phenomenon. Research into ELF, however, has been carried out extensively in a relatively limited number of geographical locations: predominantly in Europe and East Asia. Therefore, investigating ELF in other parts of the world is essential if we want a better understanding of how it operates. My principal research objective is to help fill this empirical gap by providing an in-depth investigation of ELF in the context of the Middle East, an area that has not yet been investigated (the only notable exception is Zoghbor’s (2009) research on teaching Lingua Franca Core (LFC) to Arab learners). In this chapter, I attempt to present a brief account of the use of English as a de facto lingua franca in the Gulf Cooperation Council (henceforth GCC) states. I start this account by presenting a historical account of English in the GCC area. I then look at the current uses of English in the GCC area and attitudes toward its widening use.

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