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Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education

From Theory to Practice- Selected papers from the 2013 ICLHE Conference

Edited By Robert Wilkinson and Mary Louise Walsh

Higher education has seen dramatic changes in the past quarter of a century, notably in the language used for instruction. Universities worldwide are increasingly switching to English enabling them to attract a wide student population. This book presents a new collection of original papers showing how universities apply content and language integrated learning to their instructional contexts. The papers highlight the challenges of theory, policy, programme and course design, integration, and teacher and student competences. The diverse international contexts addressing not just English will be of particular interest to university teachers, educational administrators, linguists and others wishing to understand the instructional landscape of higher education today.
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The implementation of a multilingual language policy in a time of economic restrictions


Abstract Very few publications relate the implementation of multilingual language policies in higher education to economics. Some studies such as those carried out by Grin (2006) analyse the economic repercussions of language policies on society. However, previous research has not considered how the implementation of a language policy can be affected by an economic recession, such as the one Spain is currently enduring.

This paper will describe the actions carried out to implement a university-wide multilingual language policy approved in June 2011 and the reactions of the university community. To develop the policy, Study Committees were established for academic units and each was asked to fill in a plan for multilingualism for their unit. The aim was to make a commitment to accomplish the objectives of the policy by setting their own short-term goals. After one year, a series of meetings with these committees shed some light on their attitudes towards the plan and their level of involvement. These attitudes will be key in the success (or survival) of the policy, despite economic restrictions.

Keywords: multilingual language policy; economic restrictions; attitudes towards multilingualism; qualitative interview study

1.  Introduction

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in introducing several languages of tuition in European Higher Education, with a special focus on the CLIL approach, a “dual-focused approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and language” (Maljers, Marsh and Wolf, 2007)...

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