ELF in Model United Nations Simulations. When East meets West


Abstract – MUN simulations can be considered a community of practice since they possess Wenger’s (1998) three criteria – mutual engagement, a negotiated joint enterprise, and a shared repertoire. House (2003) argues that ELF too can be considered a community of practice since “its diffuse alliances and communities of imagination and alignment fits ELF interactions well because ELF participants have heterogeneous backgrounds and diverse social and linguistic expectations” (p. 573). Speaking English as an L1 offers no guarantee of an ability to interact successfully with a wide variety of interlocutors; there are many varieties of English, many of which are mutually incomprehensible (Ur 2010) and similarly, native speakers of these many varieties of English are not guaranteed to be successful interlocutors with users of ELF (Litzenberg 2013). Indeed, English native speakers are in especially acute need of training to adjust to a lingua franca world (Carey 2013). This short paper will report on observations of ELF-speaking MUN delegates from Japan and Germany to get a sense of some of the shortcomings that native speakers display when communicating with ELF speakers in the context of MUN simulations and will make recommendations for their training.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v24p73

Keywords: community of practice; MUN simulations; comprehensibility; English Lingua Franca; communication strategies


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