Welcome to the ELFA project website

English as a Lingua Franca in Academic Settings (ELFA)

The ELFA project investigates English as an academic lingua franca. The project is divided into three subprojects:

  • The ELFA corpus
  • The WrELFA corpus
  • The SELF project

In 2008, The ELFA corpus project completed the compilation of a one-million-word corpus of spoken academic English as a lingua franca (ELF). The ELFA corpus is freely available to researchers in both plain text and XML formats. Read more here for information on obtaining the corpus.

The Written ELF in Academic Settings (WrELFA) project is a new opening in the ELF research field. The WrELFA corpus of written academic ELF was completed in 2015, drawn from academic genres including the institutional (PhD examiner reports), professional (unedited research papers) and digital media (research blogs).

The project "Studying in English as a Lingua Franca" (SELF) seeks to relate the linguistic perspective to a more qualitative and ethnographic one, in search of interactive and adaptive processes in action from the point of view of ELF users themselves. It thus complements the ELFA corpus approach by taking a more close-up view of ELF as it is used in university contexts.


The ELFA team is a part of the Changing English (ChangE) consortium, funded by the Academy of Finland from 2014–2017. In collaboration with researchers from the University of Tampere and the University of Eastern Finland, we share diverse research perspectives on English in the world today, incorporating World Englishes (WE), second-language acquisition (SLA), and ELF approaches.

Navigating the ELFA project site

To navigate the site, use the navigation bar on the left or click the links below:

Recommended citations

Please cite this website as http://www.helsinki.fi/elfa. When citing the ELFA corpus as a primary source, we recommend the following citation:

ELFA 2008. The Corpus of English as a Lingua Franca in Academic Settings. Director: Anna Mauranen. http://www.helsinki.fi/elfa/elfacorpus. (date of last access).


  • For research blogging on ELF, see the ELFA project blog.
  • Anna Mauranen has published a chapter on academic ELF in New Frontiers in Teaching and Learning English, edited by Paola Vettorel (Cambridge Scholars).
  • An intensive course on ELF is offered by researchers from the ELFA project in the Helsinki Summer School, Aug. 4–20, 2015. For description of the course, see the ELFA blog.
  • Niina Hynninen has published an article in the Journal of English as a Lingua Franca 3(2) entitled "The Common European Framework of Reference from the perspective of English as a lingua franca: What we can learn from a focus on language regulation".
  • Svetlana Vetchinnikova has defended her PhD thesis, Second language lexis and the idiom principle. Read the abstract and download the full text from Helsinki's E-thesis service.
  • Maria Kuteeva & Anna Mauranen have edited a special issue of the Journal of English for Academic Purposes 13: Writing for publication in multilingual contexts. Find their introduction here.
  • Kaisa Pietikäinen has published an article entitled ELF couples and automatic code-switching in the Journal of English as a Lingua Franca 3(1).