Graham Hall and Guy Cook

This paper explores the English language needs of young adults in the European Union. Drawing on a Europe-wide survey of teachers and learners, and face-to-face interviews in three European contexts, it finds that teachers and students share generally similar attitudes towards English.

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The findings reveal that both teachers and students accept different native English speaker varieties and non-native English as a lingua franca for communication; recognise the need for English for employment and study; and emphasise the importance of online communication, whilst noting the differences between ‘classroom English’ and ‘online’ or social English.

Consequently, young adults and their teachers identify a tension between learning English for real-life use, and teaching/learning English to pass a test, for future study or employment. Drawing on teacher and student perspectives, the report suggests two possible ways of resolving this tension.

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