Let's Move It Move It: Thais’ Attitude Toward English as a Lingua Franca


  • Jeffrey Dawala Wilang Suranaree University of Technology
  • Piyathat Siripol Independent Researcher




Attitude, English as a lingua franca, Facebook, Moving abroad, English language


Recently, a Facebook group under the name "โยกย้าย มาส่ายสะโพกโยกย้าย" (Let's move it move it) brought together Thais around the globe who share a similar goal of moving abroad. One of the most popular discussions was their concern over their English language skills and the “move-in” country of preference. Since this virtual community is an interesting context to explore, a survey questionnaire was distributed online to know their attitudes toward English as a lingua franca (ELF). To know if Thais' attitude on EFL differs based on their "move-in" country of preference, the participants were categorized based on Kachruvian three concentric circles – Inner, Outer, and Expanding as well as Any circle – a combination of two or more circle. Findings show the strongly favorable attitudes of Thais toward the following aspects - the focus on intelligibility, the use of English to communicate with both native and non-native speakers of English, learning materials for a multicultural environment, and exposure to varieties of English. Despite the favorable attitude, the Expanding circle and Any circle groups strongly agreed that Standard British or American English should be taught. All circles disagreed that "any linguistic use that does not conform to Standard English is incorrect." Discussions of results were provided in the study.

Author Biography

Jeffrey Dawala Wilang, Suranaree University of Technology

School of Foreign Languages, Institute of Social Technology


Al-Saggaf, Y. (2017). Information sharing on Facebook by alone, single and lonely female users. SEARCH The Journal of the South East Asia Research Centre for Communication and Humanities, 9(1), 97-116.

Bamgbose, A. (1998). Torn between the norms: Innovations in world Englishes. World Englishes, 17(1), 1-14.

Boonsuk, Y., & Ambele, E. A. (2021). Towards integrating lingua franca in Thai EFL: Insights from Thai tertiary learners. International Journal of Instruction, 14(3), 17-38.

Boonsuk, Y., Ambele, E. A., & Buddharat, C. (2018). Reconsidering the practical aspects of ELF in Thai E.L.T. classroom. Journal of Human Sciences, 19(1), 93-121.

Coyle, D., P. Hood, and D. Marsh. (2010). Content and Language Integrated Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

De Bartolo, A. M. (2018). Learners' awareness and attitude towards ELF. A pilot study in an Italian University context. Lingue e Linguaggi, 26, 157-172.

Dhaha, I. S. Y. A., & Igale, A. B. (2014). Motives as predictors of Facebook addiction: Empirical evidence from Somalia. SEARCH: The Journal of the South East Asia Research Centre for Communication and Humanities, 6(2), 1-22.

Ellis, R. (1994). The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

Holliday, A. (2006). The struggle to teach English as an international language. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Hüttner, J. (2017). ELF and content and language integrated learning. London: The Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca (pp. 481-493).

Jenkins, J. (2006). Points of view and blind spots: ELF and SLA. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 16(2), 137-162.

Jenkins, J. (2009). English as a lingua franca: Interpretations and attitudes. World Englishes, 28(2), 200-207.

Jindapitak, N., & Teo, A. (2012). Thai tertiary English majors' attitudes towards and awareness of world Englishes. Journal of Studies in the English Language, 7. 74-115.

Jindapitak, N., & Teo, A. (2013). Accent Priority in a Thai University Context: A Common Sense Revisited. English Language Teaching, 6(9), 193-201.

Kachru, B. B. (Ed.). (1992). The other tongue: English across cultures. Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

Kanoksilapatham, B. (2013). Thai university students' voices heard: Aspired pronunciation model. Journal of Studies in the English Language, 8. 124-135

Krisvianti, S., & Triastuti, E. (2020). Facebook group types and posts: Indonesian women free themselves from domestic violence. SEARCH The Journal of the South East Asia Research Centre for Communication and Humanities, 12(3), 1-17.

Natiladdanon, K. (2014). Attitudes, Awareness, and Comprehensibility of ASEAN English Accents. Human Behavior, Development and Society, 9(1), 16-30.

Phusit, N., & Suksiripakonchai, W. (2018). A study of Thai university students' attitudes towards pronunciation models in English as a lingua franca. International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, 8(1), 20-24.

Ploywattanawong, P., & Trakulkasemsuk, W. (2014). Attitudes of Thai graduates toward English as a Lingua Franca of ASEAN. Asian Englishes, 16(2), 141-156.

Prakaianurat, P., & Kangkun, P. (2018). Language attitudes of Thai working adults toward native and non-native English varieties. Manusya: Journal of Humanities, 21(2), 92-111.

Rheingold, H. (1993). The virtual community. Retrieved from https://www.rheingold.com/vc/book/ (accessed 15/4/2021).

Sangnok, P., & Jaturapitakkul, N. (2019). Perceptions of Thai Undergraduate Students toward the Asian English Accents on Listening Comprehension. REFLections, 26(2), 24-50.

Seidlhofer, B. (2011). Understanding English as a Lingua Franca. London, England: Oxford University Press

Shetabi, Y., & Rattanaphumma, R. (2017). A Study of Teachers' Awareness of ELF and an Analysis of ELF Features of Primary School Students' Writings at an International School in Bangkok. The New English Teacher, 11(2), 118-118.

Snodin, N. S., & Young, T. J. (2015). 'Native-speaker' varieties of English: Thai perceptions and attitudes. Asian Englishes, 17(3), 248-260.

Sung, C. C. M. (2016). Does accent matter? Investigating the relationship between accent and identity in English as a lingua franca communication. System, 60, 55-65.

Waters, A. (2007). Native-speakerism in ELT: Plus ça change…?. System, 35(3), 281-292.

Zhang, Y., & Du, X. (2018). Chinese University Students' and Teachers' Perceptions of and Attitudes towards ELF Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics, 22(2), 1-25.