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Multilingual policies and practices of universities in three bilingual regions in Europe

Cots, Josep Maria, Lasagabaster, David and Garrett, Peter Donald 2012. Multilingual policies and practices of universities in three bilingual regions in Europe. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 2012 (216) , pp. 7-32. 10.1515/ijsl-2012-0037

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The interconnection between globalization and multilingualism in the evolution of European societies has become an undeniable fact. On the one hand, there seems to be a greater need for lingua francas that can facilitate understanding among individuals from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and, ultimately, allow them to increase their chances of geographical and socio-economic mobility. On the other hand, in a world that tends to be perceived as increasingly homogeneous, speakers of minority languages may see their identities threatened by the dominance of those lingua francas and stand up for the right to use their languages. This tension is especially felt in the university context. This article discusses some of the tensions and ambiguities related to the management of multilingualism which may arise in bilingual universities in the process of designing and implementing internationalization policies. The study focuses on three universities which are located in the European bilingual regions of Catalonia (University of Lleida), the Basque Country (University of the Basque Country) and Wales (Cardiff University) respectively. The article gives an overview of (i) the sociolinguistic situation of each university and (ii) the main elements of their internationalization policy with an emphasis on its impact on language policy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Uncontrolled Keywords: international university; multilingualism; language policy; lingua franca
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
ISSN: 1613-3668
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:47

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