English as a Lingua Franca in Academic Settings (ELFA)

ELFA is a corpus of spoken academic lingua franca English. It is the first of its kind. It comprises university lectures, seminars, PhD thesis defences, conference discussions and presentations etc. where speakers from various different mother tongue backgrounds use English as their shared vehicular language. Altogether, the 650 speakers come from 51 different first language backgrounds all around the world. The ELFA corpus also covers a wide range of disciplinary domains (social sciences, technology, humanities, natural sciences, medicine, behavioural sciences, and economics and administration). The speech events in the corpus include both monologues and dialogues, with emphasis on the latter. The recordings were made at the University of Helsinki, University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology, and Helsinki University of Technology. See the corpus website for further information.

Project leader: Anna Mauranen, University of Helsinki
Time of compilation: 2001–2008
Size: 1 million (1,010,834) words
Language: English (used as a lingua franca)
Number of texts/samples: 165 speech events
Period: 2001–2008
Released: 2008
Funding: Academy of Finland (2004–2007)
Project home page: http://www.helsinki.fi/elfa/
Corpus website: http://www.helsinki.fi/elfa/elfacorpus

Reference lines and copyright

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


See the corpus website for detailed information on the compilation of the corpus and the methods of transcription.


Project leader: Anna Mauranen (University of Helsinki)

Other team members: Elina Ranta (University of Tampere), Maria Metsä-Ketelä (University
of Tampere)"

Current assistants: Ray Carey (University of Helsinki), Niina Hynninen (University of

Former student assistants: Mari Sihvonen (University of Tampere), Pirjo Surakka-Cooper
(University of Helsinki)


Available for research use. The corpus can be ordered on a CD-ROM. Licences are available for six months at a time for a moderate fee. Contact the project leader for details.

An online XML version is forthcoming by the end of 2011.

Associated projects

Studying in English as a Lingua Franca (SELF)
Global English (GlobE)