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The complex and varied sociolinguistic reality of World Englishes and English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) has important implications for English Language Teaching (ELT). Besides questioning the validity of the ‘native speaker model’, the complexity of Global Englishes raises several issues, both at a theoretical and at an applied level, particularly for teaching. A plurilithic rather than a monolithic (monolingual/monocultural) perspective is called for, one that can make learners aware of the different roles, contexts, linguistic and functional varieties of English, so that they can be prepared to effectively interact with speakers of different Englishes and in English as a Lingua Franca contexts. Communication strategies have been shown to have a particularly significant role in English as a Lingua Franca communication, that is characterized by negotiation and co-construction of meaning; in these encounters, where different linguacultures meet, ELF speakers employ a range of pragmatic strategies to solve, or pre-empt, (potential) non-understandings often drawing on their plurilingual repertoires, too. Communication strategies can thus be said to play a fundamental role in effective communication, particularly in contexts where English is used as an international Lingua Franca. In this light, it would seem important for ELT materials to include activities aimed at raising awareness and promoting practice of communication strategies, so that they can become an integral part of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom practices towards the development of communicative ‘capability’. This article will illustrate a study investigating whether ELT materials addressed at Italian upper secondary school students include activities and tasks related to communication strategies. The examination of textbooks published by Italian and international publishers from the 1990s to 2015 shows that, apart from a few interesting cases, consistent attention has not been given to this important area. Implications for further research on the inclusion of communication strategies in ELT will also be set forward.