BELF, Communication Strategies and ELT Business Materials


  • Paola Vettorel University of Verona



BELF, corpus linguistics, linguistics


Communication strategies (CSs) have been shown to be an essential element of ELF, with participants cooperatively constructing communication through pragmatic moves. In BELF settings, CSs aimed at enhancing explicitness and checking comprehension are seen as an essential skill. Together with business know-how, clarity of message, explicitness and the ability to draw on plurilingual repertoires (e.g. Cogo 2016a, 2016b), they have been shown to be highly relevant in international business communication.

While the use of CSs in ELF has been looked into in teaching materials (e.g. Vettorel 2017, 2018), BELF research in this area has been less explored (e.g. Franceschi 2018; Lario de Oñate and Vázquez 2013; Caleffi and Poppi this issue; Pullin 2015). This paper aims at contributing to this area of research through the analysis of recently published Business ELT coursebooks at elementary/pre-intermediate/intermediate levels, investigating whether awareness and use of CSs are taken into account in any way, drawing mainly on Björkman’s taxonomy of CSs in ELF (2014). Aspects related to the inclusion of the different layers of the Global Communicative Competence (GCC) model in the materials under examination are also looked into. Findings show that the materials under examination do not consistently acknowledge the competences that have been shown to be paramount in BELF communication, and do not regularly include CSs within a BELF perspective.


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