Doing being reprehensive: Some interactional features of english as a lingua franca in a chat room

Christopher Joseph Jenks

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Great diversity exists in the way English is being used in the world today. It is now not uncommon to hear a Korean and a Brazilian do business in English, or a Syrian and a Norwegian debating politics in an English-speaking chat room. As opportunities to use English increase and evolve, researchers are left with the difficult challenge of understanding the many ways in which English as a lingua franca (ELF) is used. While the current literature overwhelmingly characterizes ELF interactants and interaction as being mutually supportive, in this article, I argue that this is not always the case. Specifically, analysis of multi-participant voice-based chat rooms show that ELF interactants are not inherently mutually supportive and do not always seek to build consensus; on the contrary, they highlight problems or troubles in communication through laughter, joking, and ridicule. These observations suggest that ELF interaction is fluid and dynamic, and provide much needed empirical data to an area of investigation that is still relatively new.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-405
Number of pages20
JournalApplied Linguistics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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