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The Language of Higher Education Jim Coleman The Open University.

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Presentation on theme: "The Language of Higher Education Jim Coleman The Open University."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Language of Higher Education Jim Coleman The Open University

2 The Language of Higher Education The End of Modern Languages (Graddol 2004: 1329)

3 The Language of Higher Education Global dominance of English (Brutt-Giffler 2000, Crystal 2003, Graddol 1997) undesirable (European Commission 2003, Roy 2004) imperialism, marginalisation, individual rights (Canagarajah 1999, 2002, Dalby 2003, Kachru 1982, 1992a, 1992b, Pennycook 1994, Phillipson 1992, Skutnabb-Kangas 2001, Widdowson 1993) environmentalism and biodiversity (Abley 2003, Graddol 2004, Nettle and Romain 2002)

4 The Language of Higher Education Not new: English will be the most respectable language in the world and the most universally read and spoken in the next century, if not before the close of this one (Adams 1780) English is widely used on the European continent as an international language. Frequently conferences are conducted in English (and their proceedings published in English) when only a few of the participants are native speakers. (Ferguson 1981)

5 The Language of Higher Education Q31 Sollte man sich im Rahmen der europäischen Einigung auf eine gemeinsame Amtssprache einigen? 61.7% (valid 69.1%) Ja Q32 Falls ja: Welche sollte die internationale Amtssprache für Europa sein? 84% Englisch (Schröder & Macht 1983; N = 1916 German, Belgian, Finnish university students)

6 The Language of Higher Education Not always negative: For the first time a natural language has attained the status of an international (universal) language, essentially for cross- cultural communication. Whatever the reasons for the earlier spread of English, we should now consider it a positive development. (Kachru 1992b: 67)

7 The Language of Higher Education Not always negative in formal international scientific settings: global academic exchange advancement of knowledge career advancement and mobility (Montgomery 2004: 1334) English is the language of science. That is the language we have to use if we wish to prepare our students for an international career in a globalizing world (Kruseman 2003).

8 The Language of Higher Education Not necessarily a conspiracy: by happenstance rather than planning (Brumfit 2004: 165) the process of globalizing English seems a rather wild and woolly affair, a cumulative effect of myriad decisions by editors, teachers, students, parents, writers, publishers, translators, officials, scholarly associations, corporations, schools, and so on, with an equally wide array of motives (Montgomery 2004: 1334)

9 The Language of Higher Education English as a lingua franca (Seidlhofer 2001, Wright 2000): the academic lingua franca (C. van Leeuwen 2003: 20) vs. the lingua franca trap (Breidbach 2003). At some stage, the EU will have to face the mismatch between its support for diversity within the foreign language curriculum […] and the reality of a dominant lingua franca. (Wright 2001)

10 The Language of Higher Education European Union, Council of Europe, Bologna Process: proper provision for linguistic diversity. But problematic against increase in use of English in higher education (Béacco & Byram 2003, Brock-Utne 2001, Phillipson 2001).

11 The Language of Higher Education For the first time in recorded history, all the known world has a shared second language of advanced education (Brumfit 2004: 166)

12 The Language of Higher Education English is the language of European higher education Graddol: up-to-date books & articles > English-medium teaching > English-speaking graduates > social use, childrens education. English-medium higher education is thus one of the drivers of language shift, from L2 to L1 English-speaking status (1997:45) social privilege internationalisation of education, global trade in higher education

13 The Language of Higher Education Academic Cooperation Association Survey 2001/02 (Maiworm & Wächter 2002): 1558 HEIs in SOCRATES-ERASMUS 30% at least one English-medium programme (25+%) 2-4% of HEIs programmes, 1% overall new phenomenon: most since 1998, 8% pre-1990, huge expansion Alps watershed (Finland, Netherlands, Germany) Larger internationalised universities Business and Engineering Postgraduate level

14 The Language of Higher Education Why? (Hellekjaer & Westergaard 2002, Maiworm & Wächter 2002, Tella, Räsänen & Vähäpassi 1999, Räsänen 2000) European exchange programmes International recruitment International staff Prestige International graduate employability not language learning

15 The Language of Higher Education Snapshot: Maastricht English-medium since 1987 Economics Faculty English-only Probably > English-only university Studies, Conference in October 2003 (Bob Wilkinson)

16 The Language of Higher Education Snapshot: Hungary 1993-1999 (Dörnyei & Csizér 2002): study of globalisation, motivation, language choice Russian gone, German traditional regional lingua franca cultural interest down for all languages contact with native speakers down for all languages despite increased opportunities integrativeness: English stable, others way down instrumentality: German stable, English up, others down

17 The Language of Higher Education Snapshot: Hungary 1993-1999 (Dörnyei & Csizér 2002): Our results point to the conclusion that the declining interest in foreign languages only applies to non-world languages, whereas world language learning has maintained its high popularity (437-8). Very high scores reflect almost unanimous and unqualified endorsement (438) of global English. Enyedi & Medgyes (1998): HE students learning English 20% in 1988/89, 50% in 1996/97

18 The Language of Higher Education Snapshot: English-medium universities in Turkey (at least one Faculty) – private sector: Bilkent University, Ankara Baskent University, Ankara Cankaya University, Ankara Atalim University, Ankara Koc University, Istanbul Sabanci University, Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul Bahcesehir University, Istanbul Izmir University of Economics, Izmir…

19 The Language of Higher Education Snapshot: English-medium universities in Turkey (at least one Faculty) – public sector: ODTU (Orta Dogu Teknik University) (METU - Middle East Technical University in English), Ankara Bogazaci University, Ankara Istanbul Teknik University (ITU), Istanbul Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul Hacatepe University, Ankara (some faculties in English) Ataturk University, Eskisehir

20 The Language of Higher Education Snapshot: France acceptance of lingua franca: La langue commune de lEurope ne peut pas être autre, dans un schéma réaliste, que langlais. Cest le langage technique de la communication, la langue de travail commune (Alfred Mahadavy, conseiller du commerce extérieur de la France, janvier 2004) acceptance of need for more English- medium university courses

21 The Language of Higher Education Need for data > survey European Language Council CercleS

22 The Language of Higher Education Bilingual and bicultural identity? Graddol (2004: 1330): major impact [of English] will be in creating new generations of bilingual and multilingual speakers across the world Arnett (The Psychology of Globalization 2002: 777): Most people in the world now develop a bicultural identity, in which part of their identity is rooted in their local culture while another part stems from an awareness of their relation to the global culture. Wright (2004: 249): One language for identity (culture), one language for communication (utility): many might come to choose this differentiated bilingualism.


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