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Cambridge ESOL

Cambridge English for Work

2012 IATEFL Pre-Conference Event

The theme for the IATEFL BESIG Pre-Conference Event (PCE): English as a Lingua Franca – what should we be teaching?

Sponsored by Cambridge ESOL

We’re living in an age of unprecedented language contact and hence, language change. At least 1bn people in the world speak English, but only around 330m are native speakers.

For many of our students, English is the company language and just a fact of life. It’s used because it happens to be the language that’s shared in many business contexts. So how is successful communication achieved when many or all of the people involved are non-native English speakers? And what does this mean for our classes and what we should be teaching?

For a full day prior to the IATEFL conference in Glasgow, BESIG explored these questions. This day built bridges from research to the classroom, and moved the discussions of ELF and BELF on to the practical ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ of teaching.


The recordings of the talks and concluding panel discussion have been added here for your enjoyment.

Chia Suan Chong is a graduate in Communication Studies and has an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT from King’s College London. Currently running Business and General English classes, in addition to teacher training (CELTA) courses, at International House London, Chia is passionate about Dogme, Systemic Functional Grammar, Intercultural Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics. She speaks English and Mandarin as her first language, and Japanese, Italian and Spanish as her second. Active on Twitter, Chia loves a good debate and blogs regularly at

Sponsored by International House London

Evan Frendo is a freelance trainer, teacher trainer and author based in Berlin. A frequent speaker at conferences, he also travels widely in Europe and Asia, either to run courses or to work as a consultant. One of his recent projects was instructing on the ESP module of the online MA TESOL at the New School in New York. He has written a number of books over the years, including “How to Teach Business English”, and most recently four books for the new Pearson Vocational English series, two of which are for the construction industry. He writes the regular research review in BESIG Issues, and also runs an active blog, English for the Workplace, which explores issues relating to ESP and business English teaching.

Almut Koester is Senior Lecturer in English Language in the Department of English at the University of Birmingham and author of many books and papers on workplace discourse. She has a keen interest in applying research into real communication to teaching Business English, and is co-author of the recently published Business English course Business Advantage (CUP).

Sponsored by Cambridge University Press and IATEFL BESIG

Panel discussion
The day was rounded off with a panel discussion where participants raised and debated the issues that ELF and BELF pose in their classes.