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ERIC Number: EJ899141
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0957-1736
The Context of Language Planning in Multilingual Higher Education
van der Walt, Christa
Language Learning Journal, v38 n3 p253-271 Nov 2010
In his latest survey of the prospects for English language teaching in the next 50 years, David Graddol claims that over half the world's international students are taught in English and that universities are increasingly offering courses in English. This seems to be a necessary condition for achieving excellence and prestige. At the same time, the use of English is becoming commonplace and bilingualism is valued more than monolingual, home language speakers of English. These statements must be examined critically in the light of efforts to offer mass higher education in South Africa and to deal with students who may not be well prepared for tertiary studies. It must also be seen in the context of low status languages that may have official status in South Africa but that may feel threatened in the presence of English. This article attempts to show that tertiary bilingual education is determined and conditioned by the same factors that obtain for bilingual education in general: social, historical, socio-structural, cultural, ideological and social psychological factors (as identified by Hamers and Blanc). The claim in this case is that such factors can help educational language planners to understand the birth and growth of bilingual higher education institutions so as to show how spaces can be created for minority and/or low status languages alongside English. An international perspective is offered in comparison to the South African situation in an effort to show how bi/multilingual higher education institutions with a longer history than that of South African institutions grow and change in the face of similar challenges. (Contains 1 figure and 6 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa