ERIC Number: EJ1121346
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
The Changing World of Higher Education: Where Do Language Centres Fit in?
Dijk, Anje; Engelen, Christine; Korebrits, Liesbet
Language Learning in Higher Education, v3 n2 p355-371 Feb 2014
This article assesses the current trends in language centre (LC) management in the Netherlands and Dutch-speaking Belgium. Twenty-five LCs are united under the umbrella of NUT, which offers its members the possibility to meet and discuss concrete professional subjects. Solutions, strategies and decisions emphasise the importance of national organisations of LCs like NUT, whose management wants to stimulate transparent communication on business policies and management experience between LCs. NUT is constantly looking for ways to transform ideas into innovative products and services, or to improve existing ones. Internationalisation is a hot topic, and universities primarily base their language policy on English and Dutch. University LCs could play an important role in making recommendations to policymakers--they test proficiency, offer remedial training, and provide translation and editing services. The importance of other languages is also an issue. Although multilingualism, especially proficiency in a third (or fourth) language in addition to one's mother tongue and English, deserves to be encouraged, available budgets are shrinking. Furthermore, LCs sometimes have to implement policy that is diametrically opposed to their own vision, and opportunities for cooperation are not yet being exploited to the full. University LCs are flexible, dynamic, independent entities that often behave differently from the faculty or service they are affiliated to--LCs can be seen as small businesses within a larger academic context. NUT LCs also cooperate with each other in the fields of mutual quality assurance and innovation. Other exciting projects include interuniversity cooperation in the area of language testing and partnerships with Dutch as a Second Language departments and with publishers of teaching materials and digital language tests. All three authors of this article are members of the board of NUT and directors of LCs (two in the Netherlands and one in Belgium). The article is based on their experiences as directors and on the trends they have observed within NUT.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Multilingualism, Language Teachers, Language Proficiency, Foreign Countries, Language Tests
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands; Belgium
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A