Graham Hall and Guy Cook
This paper explores the English language needs of young adults in the European Union. Drawing on a Europe-wide survey of teachers and learners, and face-to-face interviews in three European contexts, it finds that teachers and students share generally similar attitudes towards English.
The findings reveal that both teachers and students accept different native English speaker varieties and non-native English as a lingua franca for communication; recognise the need for English for employment and study; and emphasise the importance of online communication, whilst noting the differences between ‘classroom English’ and ‘online’ or social English.
Consequently, young adults and their teachers identify a tension between learning English for real-life use, and teaching/learning English to pass a test, for future study or employment. Drawing on teacher and student perspectives, the report suggests two possible ways of resolving this tension.
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