This study explores Chinese English as a foreign language (EFL) learners’ attitudes towards accent for effective English as a lingua franca (ELF) communication. Notwithstanding the research conducted on EFL learners’ perceptions of different variations of the English language for their language learning, little attempts have been made to investigate their perspectives in detail within the context of China. This inquiry thus intends to bridge this gap by exploring EFL learners’ accent preferences for ELF communication. Data were collected qualitatively from 34 students at an international university in China to examine their experiences of EFL learning and ELF communication. Data were classified and categorized based on learners’ accent preferences and then coded for analysis from their learning discourses, cultural media, material conditions and social agents. The results point to various sociocultural and sociohistorical variables that have reified their language choices and ideology to further underpin their native speaker (NS) and non-native speaker (NNS) dichotomy.
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