English as the Medium of Instruction

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English as the Medium of Instruction by Mind Map: English as the Medium of Instruction

1. Multicultural Environment

1.1. Crash of civilizations

1.1.1. The politicians "are basically doing what they are paid to do: ensuring that their own countries or they themselves gain all possible advantages irrespective of what happens to all the others."

1.2. Michael Cooper. Creating universities for a multiethnic and multicultural world: A utopia?

1.2.1. One of the most important objectives of higher education should be to ensure that what Samuel Huntington (1996) describes as the “clash of civilisations” does not develop into the catastrophe that he foresaw.

1.2.2. The "school reiterates the accepted values of the society in which it functions, we first have to break a vicious circle and ensure that those who are responsible for determining the content of school curricula not only make the right noises but also provide the means to really implement the fine phrases. Example: It was, for instance, as recently as in the 1990s that a British minister of education declared that history in British schools should be taught from a British standpoint and even more recently that French school textbooks have been underlining the positive sides of colonialism. It is essential that issues in subjects such as history, social science, and so be illustrated from many different aspects, which brings me back to my earlier remark on correct and incorrect. This raises an issue that all of us working in the field of internationalisation continually have to confront, namely, the problem of seeing one’s own society (context) from the outside. it might be argued that it would be much better for students to learn firsthand about other weltanschauungen by spending time at universities in other parts of the world. It would, however, entail that students, from Europe for instance, would study in African or Asian universities or even in Islamic universities and that sufficient numbers chose to do so.

1.2.3. This is not just a matter of universities telling students to learn languages; it is more a matter of universities developing language policies relating to all their activities. A language policy should form part of a general strategy for the institution, and without such a policy, I would maintain, internationalisation strategies will not be particularly successful in the long term.

1.2.4. We need to encourage more students to study in cultures other than in those they have traditionally chosen. One method is to continue to encourage summer courses, particularly in languages and cultures.

2. Teaching

2.1. Sally Boyd. Attitudes to Foreign Accent

2.1.1. Language was given the blame for virtually all problems of communication or pedagogy which concerned teachers with foreign background.

2.1.2. If Swedish teachers had problems with their classes, they were ‘insufficiently trained’ or had ‘too little experience’.

2.1.3. The pupils who had the most limited Swedish themselves emphasised the importance of the teachers’ language skills the most.

2.1.4. The classes which were clearly dominated by monolingual Swedish students were those who were most accepting of teachers who spoke Swedish with a foreign accent.

2.1.5. Many of the pupils also mentioned the fact that listeners become accustomed to an accent when they have heard it often.

3. Language Proficiency

3.1. A quick glance at some of the products from the European Union reveals that the English used there is not completely in tune with any of the standard Englishes used by native speakers. Naturally, it is a language that is influenced by the native language of the person writing the text.

3.2. The technical language caused no real difficulty; it was the general language that was tricky. This would point to the fairly self-evident fact that it is in the humanities and social sciences that language becomes the real issue, as much of the argumentation turns on the use of language.

4. Mobility

4.1. to attract international students who would not enroll in a programme in the domestic language

4.2. to make domestic students fit for the global and international market

5. Criticism

5.1. The loss of importance of L1

5.2. Should government fund educational programs that are mostly attracting foreign students. Especially if the students are comming from equally welthy states.

6. Multilinguality

6.1. We speak about mutilinguality but in fact it is English as the lingua franka

6.2. This is also reflected in the GU's language policy.

6.2.1. The policy talks about the equality of English and Swedish. In practice one of the two languages is prevalent in different departments. Example: English is stronger in the CS department Example: Obviously Swedish is stronger in the department of Swedish

6.2.2. It is also mentioned that other languages spoken by the international staff are an asset for the university. This seems to be the case only in limited cases for example when other languages are needed for research, e.g. in Linguistics and Literature

6.2.3. Important administrative documents are supposed to be released both in Swedish and English. In practice the English version appears much later if it happens at all.

7. Competition

7.1. Using English opens the unviersity to be more internationally accessible

7.2. Competition between univeristies arise naturally in both teaching and research

7.2.1. Attract the best students internationally

7.2.2. research results must be internationally accessible whence they are published in English

7.3. Robert Wilkinson. English-Medium Instruction at a Dutch University: Challenges and Pitfalls