Interesting article in El País today talking about GLOBISH which is a term patented by Jean-Paul Nerrière. As an IBM executive he travelled the world and realised that non-native speakers of English understood each other better than when speaking with natives and that perhaps it was the native speakers who had the biggest problems understanding non-natives. His solution? To develop GLOBISH, a simplified version with 1500 basic words and some simple grammar (you can check it out on www.globish.com). This merits a two page article in El País with some comments from teachers and Rod Pryde of the British Council in Madrid. Interestingly, however, in those two pages there isn’t a single reference to the concept of English as a Lingua Franca and the work and research which has been done in that area by people like Barbara Seidlhofer. Does EFL just need to market itself better? www.efl.com unfortunately has already been taken.
The original article (in Spanish) is here http://www.elpais.com/buscar/hablemos-inglés-o-algo-parecido and for some recent debates on the Native / Non-Native topic go to Scott Thornbury’s blog.