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ERIC Number: EJ1115460
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0790-8318
The Englishisation of Higher Education in Catalonia: A Critical Sociolinguistic Ethnographic Approach to the Students' Perspectives
Sabaté-Dalmau, Maria
Language, Culture and Curriculum, v29 n3 p263-285 2016
This paper investigates the attitudes towards Englishisation displayed by 30 students enrolled in a Combined Languages degree, including English and another language, in a top-ranked bilingual university in Catalonia, where Spanish and Catalan coexist complexly, and where foreign language medium instruction is relatively new. Through a two-year fieldwork project, I report on how the institution implemented this partial English-medium instruction program for the first time in Spain, following its internationalisation mission. I then focus on the students' perspectives towards the officialisation of English as the third language of the Catalan university system. Via a Domain and Emotion Coding analysis of 30 essay-writing assignments, I show that students mobilise a series of predominantly favourable discourses on Englishisation which conflictingly interplay with negative attitudes towards it. They envision English as a post-national "democratising" lingua franca and as an asset for employability and educational excellence, but they also construct it as a politicised threat to linguistic diversity. These perspectives contribute to a nuanced understanding of the students' range of ambivalent stances concerning the established sociolinguistic orders of globalised universities in Barcelona and the neo-liberal linguistic regimes of the European Higher Education Area, which call for policies providing a more balanced ecology of languages.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A