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Vortrag am 13.01.2015

Dr. Gaëtanelle Gilquin (Louvain): “Two worlds of non-native Englishes, and how corpus linguistics can build a bridge between them"

English is the most widely used L2 in the world, and non-native speakers of English far outnumber native speakers. Yet, it is important to realise that the notion of "non-native speaker of English" covers many different realities. In this presentation, I will focus on two populations of non-native speakers, namely learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and speakers of English as a Second Language (ESL, understood here as indigenised varieties of English). After a description of their respective contexts of acquisition, I will illustrate how the tools and techniques of corpus linguistics can be applied to the comparison of these two varieties of English. The differing contexts of acquisition will help explain some of the differences in language use between the two populations, while general principles of language acquisition will account for certain common features. More generally, by highlighting similarities between the two varieties, this comparative corpus-based approach will bring EFL and ESL closer together, and thus contribute to bridging the paradigm gap that has been shown to exist between second language acquisition research (the study of foreign language varieties) and contact linguistics (the study of indigenised language varieties).