The major role of English in Asia today is as a lingua franca. English is the de facto lingua franca of the grouping of Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) and with the signing of the ASEAN Charter in February 2009 assumed official status as the sole working language of ASEAN. English is also the working language of the extended grouping known as ASEAN + 3, which includes the ten states of ASEAN plus China, Japan and Korea. To put is another way, the use of English by English-knowing mulilinguals for whom English is not a first language represents today’s major role of English in Asia. When, for example, Thais, Vietnamese, Indonesians and Chinese meet, the language they are most likely to use a medium of communication is English as a lingua franca. The Research Centre into Language Education in Multilingual Societies (RCLEAMS) in Hong Kong is coordinating data collection in seven Asian countries and territories. In order to build the corpus RCLEAMS is working with its regional partners to identify suitable events, ensure balance in terms of events, age, gender and linguistic background and cooperate with organizations to get access for data collection. In mirroring the Vienna Oxford Corpus of English (VOICE), transcribed ACE data will be stored in a central server and made accessible to academics studying corpus linguistics who will also then be able to compare the linguistic features of ‘Asian’ ELF with those of ‘European’ ELF.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|