This study draws from calls for a translingual approach to writing studies and current research in English as a lingua franca, but shifts focus from multilingual speakers to proficient speakers of English. While many studies have illustrated how emergent speakers resort to various pragmatic strategies to negotiate language in intercultural encounters, there is a dearth of research on how proficient speakers accommodate emergent speakers, especially in writing. A group of 35 proficient speakers of English was asked to identify the idiomatic multi-word expressions (MWEs) contained in a film review, and then reformulate them building sentences analytically (open-choice principle), rather than retrieving chunks of language from memory (idiom principle). Results show that the participants were able to identify idiomatic MWEs, but they need training to distinguish language that is unfamiliar to them from idiomatic MWEs, and to improve the quality of their translations. Teachers of English composition should provide proficient speakers with more opportunities to negotiate language with emergent speakers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language