This article offers a critical response to ‘Teaching English as a friendly language: lessons from the SCOTS corpus’ (Anderson and Corbett 2010). We feel that this article has seriously misrepresented English as a lingua franca research, as well as presenting potentially confusing information on how to use corpora in classrooms. While this response has been written by the two authors listed here, we have attempted to present the views of a number of ELF researchers of the Southampton Centre for Global Englishes, including two of the scholars mentioned in the article, Jennifer Jenkins and Alessia Cogo.

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Anderson and Corbett (ibid.: 415) begin with what, for us, is a very confused definition of ELF. While we agree with them that a ‘descriptive and liberal approach to variety in language use’ is an aim of ELF studies, the question arises as to why they go on to suggest that...

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