This study examines attitudes in a bilingual business degree program at a Japanese university, where visiting senior and postgraduate international students are hired to assist sophomore students in the classroom. The visiting international students' role is to not only help students understand business concepts in the course, but to provide opportunity for real life English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) use as well as exposure to the English used by people from varied backgrounds. The study uses a mixed method of questionnaires with 120 students within the program, a focus group with the assistants, and a focus group with the course instructors. The study found that both the students and student assistants had largely positive attitudes to this classroom experience – both in terms of exposure to the diversity of English and the opportunity to use ELF. Furthermore, the study revealed students were acutely aware of their probable future usage of English in lingua franca settings – despite teachers' assumptions that the students would adhere to traditional native English speaker stereotypes, which are often promoted in Japanese language education.
- English a lingua franca
- global Englishes