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Supporting Internationalisation through Languages and Culture in the Twenty-First-Century University


Edited By Mark Orme

‘Internationalisation’ is a key issue impacting on higher education today, but what is actually meant by this term and how does it relate to the notion of ‘global citizenship’, which also features prominently on the higher education agenda? How does the promotion of foreign language learning and intercultural communication help inform the pursuit of internationalisation? And, as the twenty-first century progresses, how are universities meeting the challenges of developing languages-based curricula that reflect the requirements of an increasingly global marketplace?
This book brings together ten interconnected chapters from an international group of scholars who explore how language teaching and learning strategies and cross-cultural understanding support the cause of internationalisation in the modern higher education arena. The book will be of interest to both managers and practitioners who require an understanding of how the promotion of languages and intercultural knowledge informs the cause of internationalisation at strategic and operational levels within contemporary higher education.
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Culture Change and Exchanging Culture: The Role of Languages in Internationalisation


← 10 | 11 → ELSPETH JONES

‘You can’t have internationalisation without language study, right?’ This was once said to me by a fellow linguist for whom the cultural insight as well as the capacity to speak to others in their own language seemed to be a prerequisite in internationalising the university. It is a common assumption amongst language academics that their discipline should be at the heart of internationalisation efforts. Seen from this perspective, the essence of the discipline is a focus on intercultural communication, the development of which, along with enhanced global perspectives, is at the heart of approaches to internationalising the curriculum. But can an individual develop intercultural competence without being proficient in another language? Is it time for linguists to view their discipline in a different light or is the field undervalued by those charged with internationalising the institution? Can there be internationalisation without language study, and if so, what role do languages play? These and other key questions are addressed in this introduction to an important volume.

In order to begin answering the question posed at the start of this chapter, a clearer view is needed of what is meant by ‘internationalisation’. Perhaps the most commonly-used definition is by Jane Knight (2003) who sees it as:

← 11 | 12 → the process of integrating an international, intercultural, or global dimension into the purpose, functions or delivery of post-secondary education. (2003: 2)

This definition is important in describing internationalisation as an institution-wide...

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