A Step Toward the Assessment of English as a Lingua Franca
This conceptual paper describes the need for L2 English tests to consider English as a lingua franca (ELF) in their development. After discussing what is meant by ELF, it describes an oral communication placement test developed at a large Midwestern university in the United States. The test is then analyzed based on a framework designed to determine the extent to which a test can be considered to have adhered to ELF principles. It is argued that for the most part the test does appear to assess ELF. However, it does not completely adhere to ELF principles, and sometimes, because there is little agreement on ELF principles, it is difficult to determine the extent to which the test actually does assess ELF. It is recommended that researchers in the field come to agreement on what can be considered critical aspects of ELF, which will make it possible for language assessment researchers to better design their assessments to include ELF.