As a field of study, English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) saw a meteoric rise during the first decade of the 2000s – ELF publications were frequent, a new ELF journal emerged, a yearly international conference took root, Masters programmes were launched, websites arose in their dozens. And then, a year or two ago, the momentum seemed to have come to a halt. The message, much lauded and much needed, was becoming rather repetitive.
This panel analysed the historical trajectory of ELF and discussed its impact across Applied Linguistics, examined its current inertia, and considered how the field might move forward by arguing for the necessity to embrace some of the earliest themes in ELF research – themes which have become lost in the pursuit of pedagogy-dominated debates about the role of ELF in the classroom – whilst also considering and discussing the impacts of ELF on English language teaching and teacher training. Alan Firth (Newcastle University) is an internationally renowned scholar in the fields of ELF and Applied Linguistics. Andy Harris and Huw Bell (MMU) are researchers and lecturers in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching in the Department of Languages, Information and Communications.