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Studying in a 'multilingual university' at home or abroad: perspectives of home and international students in the Basque Country, Catalonia and Wales

Cots, Josep Maria, Garrett, Peter Donald and Lasagabaster, David 2017. Studying in a 'multilingual university' at home or abroad: perspectives of home and international students in the Basque Country, Catalonia and Wales. Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education. 1 (2) , pp. 129-153. 10.1075/sar.1.2.01cot

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The relatively recent phenomenon of the internationalisation of higher education (HE) in European non-English-speaking universities has resulted in more linguistically diverse student bodies and has forced universities in bilingual territories to reconsider their language policies. In this paper, we adopt a student perspective in order to explore the notion of a multilingual university in the bilingual territories of Catalonia, Wales and the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC). This also includes looking at how the students view the relationship and possible tensions between internationalisation (and its concomitant student mobility) and the language policies. In order to investigate the attitudes and beliefs of the students (both home and international) in connection with the notion of a multilingual university, we asked them to complete an open-ended questionnaire item regarding the advantages and disadvantages they see in such an institution. The results of the analysis point, in the first place, to different perceptions among students of a multilingual university depending on (i) whether English is the main or even sole means of instruction, and (ii) the perceived status of the minority language. Secondly, the analysis suggests the need to approach students’ attitudes towards a multilingual university by considering the ways in which the sociolinguistic context (in official, academic and experiential terms) may have an impact on their perception of the process of multilingualisation in universities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1001 Celtic languages and literature
P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
Uncontrolled Keywords: language attitudes; language policies; English; bilingual regions; minority languages; university; multilingualism; internationalisation
Publisher: John Benjamins
ISSN: 2405-5522
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2019 13:01

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