English in the mainstream: Heritage language or lingua franca?
Bruce, I. (2006). English in the mainstream: Heritage language or lingua franca? English in Aotearoa (59), 17-21.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2017
This article examines fundamental assumptions that relate to the nature and role of the English language in Aotearoa New Zealand, including its use in society generally and in the school curriculum specifically. As a framework for this discussion, the article begins by considering the contrasting classifiers of languages as heritage language and lingua franca. The historical and cultural backgrounds of users of English in Aotearoa New Zealand are then briefly examined and the position is argued that the cultural (and in many cases linguistic) roles and use of English in New Zealand may lie somewhat closer to that of a lingua franca than a heritage language. This is followed by an examination of existing heritage language assumptions underpinning the approaches taken towards English in education and their consequences. Finally the article discusses how the mainstream approach to teaching and learning English, currently predicated on a heritage language view, may change if a lingua franca view of English were to be adopted.
New Zealand Association for the Teaching of English
This article has been published in the journal: English in Aotearoa. Copyright New Zealand Association for the Teaching of English. Used with permission.