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This study investigated the perceptions of English Language Teaching (ELT) department students (student teachers) at a university in North Cyprus on the use of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) in a multilingual community. ELF-based teaching pedagogy and accommodation skills in ELF community have been well-recognized and well-documented in the literature; however, research on students’ awareness and perceptions of ELF use in the multilingual setting is limited. The data were obtained from students’ (n=32) self-reports on the questionnaire and their (n=7) responses to the semi-structured interview questions. The study revealed that ELT students from different linguistic backgrounds were highly aware of the communicative value of ELF and they showed favor towards ‘nation-bound’ English rather than a ‘standard’ one. The findings support the view that ELF as a variety of English might be legitimized in order for NNSs to preserve their national identities. The implications of this study are also discussed.
Keywords: English as a Lingua Franca, student teachers’ perceptions, ELT, learners’ awareness, language learning.
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