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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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Higher education has seen many dramatic changes over the past quarter of a century. Since the massification of higher education (e.g. Teichler, 2010) in the last decades of the twentieth century, universities and other institutions of tertiary education have been challenged to derive systems and approaches that allow them to cope with large numbers of students, while at the same time being confronted with reduced resources This trend has been accompanied by other game-changing trends, notably globalization and internationalization, terms which are not synonymous. Globalization, in Knight’s (2008) view, covers “the flow of people, culture, ideas, values, knowledge, technology, and economy cross borders resulting in a more interconnected and interdependent world” (p. 4). The term is broad and may have positive and negative impacts, “economically, culturally, politically, and technologically” (Knight, 2008, p. 4). Globalization may be seen as a mobile process through which borders become less. Internationalization, in contrast, “emphasizes relations between and among nations” (p. 5). These three trends have combined to produce a challenging environment for higher education institutions. The Bologna process within Europe can be seen as an approach to cope with the changes concomitant with these trends. Indeed, the Bologna changes themselves have been called “unprecedented” (Huisman, Stensaker, & Kehm, 2009, p. xiii), and to some degree an extension of the European Union’s Erasmus programme which started in 1987. Erasmus has the intention to promote student mobility. It may be no coincidence that the first multilingual programme established at Maastricht University, the venue for...

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