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Harnessing Linguistic Variation to Improve Education

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Edited By Androula Yiakoumetti

This volume brings together research carried out in a variety of geographic and linguistic contexts including Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe and the United States and explores efforts to incorporate linguistic diversity into education and to ‘harness’ this diversity for learners’ benefit. It challenges the largely anachronistic ideology that promotes exclusive use of an educational monolingual standard variety and advocates the use in formal education of aboriginal/indigenous languages, minority languages, nonstandard varieties and contact languages.
The contributors examine both historical and current practices for including linguistic diversity in education by considering specific bidialectal, bilingual and multilingual educational initiatives. The different geographical and linguistic settings covered in the volume are linked together by a unifying theme: linguistic diversity exists all over the world, but it is very rarely utilized effectively for the benefit of students. When it is used, whether in isolated studies or through governmental initiatives, the research findings point systematically to the many educational advantages experienced by linguistically-diverse students. This book will be of interest to teachers and language practitioners, as well as to students and scholars of language and education.

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Peter Garrett, Josep M. Cots, David Lasagabaster andEnric Llurda - 7 Internationalization and the Place of Minority Languages in Universities in Three European Bilingual Contexts: A Comparison of Student Perspectives in the Basque Country, Catalonia and Wales 139

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Peter Garrett, Josep M. Cots, David Lasagabaster and Enric Llurda 7 Internationalization and the Place of Minority Languages in Universities in Three European Bilingual Contexts: A Comparison of Student Perspectives in the Basque Country, Catalonia and Wales Introduction The globalization of higher education in part involves a massive displace- ment of students between countries to follow study programmes, typically for a period of half an academic year or for the entire period of study. It is a relatively recent phenomenon for many European institutions, in part stimulated by the establishment of the Erasmus Programme in 1987. The constantly increasing number of students sojourning in universities of a dif ferent European country reached the figure of 198,523 in 2008/2009. Spain and the UK are the countries with the highest number of incoming students (4,997 and 4,785 students, respectively) that year, followed by Germany (4,210) and France (3,659) (European Commission, 2009). In the UK, the non-EU student population (most of whom follow complete degree programmes) is almost five times greater than the EU students (UK Council for International student af fairs, n.d.) and all together represent 15 per cent of the student population. No figure could be found for Spain, but the figure for the Autonomous University of Madrid, which has a relatively large student number, is 6.1 per cent. European higher education institutions generally have a strong com- mitment to internationalization (Woodfield, 2010: 170), viewing it as a 140 Garrett, Cots, Lasagabaster and Llurda double opportunity...

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