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Multilingualism and English in Twenty-First-Century Europe

Recent Developments and Challenges


Edited By Clive W. Earls

This book aims to tackle one of the most controversial and important linguistic, educational and societal debates in contemporary Europe. English is growing rapidly within, and spreading across, an increasing number of areas of society. This development is influenced by actions taken by national and supranational decision-makers, as well as global forces outside the control of any one state or political union. Europe’s founding principle of respecting and fostering diversity and equality of cultures and languages is being affected by the growing role of English across European countries, creating a de facto linguistic hierarchy and consequently a potential cultural hierarchy.

The essays collected here aim to examine existing debates and stimulate further discourse on the nurturing of multilingualism in Europe and the concomitant acquisition of English. By bringing together contributions focusing on multiple European countries and regions by researchers from a variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds, this volume presents a snapshot of the current relationship between multilingualism and English and explores the challenges generated by this situation.

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English-medium and bilingual instruction programmes in German higher education in the context of internationalization and language policy



As in many other countries around the world, there is a trend towards using English as a language of instruction in German higher education. While English-medium instruction (EMI) programmes are still a more recent phenomenon and occur on a comparatively small scale, they represent a trend that is expected to continue growing into the foreseeable future. A recent study undertaken by the Academic Cooperation Association found that Germany today has over 1,000 degree programmes taught in English, almost on par with the Netherlands as the country offering most EMI programmes among non-Anglophone countries in Europe (Wächter and Maiworm 2014). In light of Germany’s ambitious ‘Strategy 2020’, aiming to recruit 350,000 international students by 2020 (DAAD 2013b), this boom of English-medium programmes on German campuses is hardly surprising and constitutes a key component of universities’ internationalization strategies.

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