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CGE seminar tomorrow: “Without English this is just not possible…”: studies of language policy and practice in international universities from Europe and Asia


The next Centre for Global Englishes (CGE) seminar will take place tomorrow, Wednesday 18th February 2015, from 5:00-7:00pm in Lecture Theatre C, Building 65, Avenue Campus. The seminar is entitled, “Without English this is just not possible…”: studies of language policy and practice in international universities from Europe and Asia, and will be led by Julia Hüttner and Will Baker from Modern Languages, University of Southampton. All welcome!

Here is the abstract for this seminar:

Over the last decade there has been a huge increase in the number of English medium instruction (EMI) programmes offered in higher education institutes (HEI) in non-Anglophone settings, particularly at post-graduate level (OECD, 2010). At the same time the number of international students at HEI in Anglophone countries continues to rise at unprecedented pace ( Such HEIs in both Anglophone and non-Anglophone settings can thus be viewed as part of a network of international universities facing similar issues in offering EMI programmes. While linguistic issues have been part of the EMI discussion in non-Anglophone settings (e.g. Bjorkman, 2013; Doiz et al, 2012), many questions still remain unanswered and in Anglophone settings there has generally been minimal concern with linguistic issues (Jenkins, 2014).

The data presented here draws from a comparative study of English language policy and practice in three EMI settings in the UK, continental Europe and Asia. A data set of questionnaires, student and staff interviews, classroom observations and website documentary analysis is used to provide insights into
– the role English performs within these learning environments, including its relationship to other languages,
– the participants’ language beliefs, attitudes and ideology towards and about English and its varieties/variation
– the impact of language policies (formal and informal) on linguistic practices reported and observed

Findings suggest complex relationships between English and other (especially national) languages, as well as very diverse conceptualisations of the role English plays in the academic success of students. Diversities and similarities across contexts will be discussed, also in relation to type and history of the specific educational internationalisation at tertiary level.

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