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Roy Siddall

on 13 April 2013

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Transcript of ICLHE2013

Influence of EMI on linguistic diversity 17 Benefits in learning new languages 15 Easier to communicate with/get to know people from other countries & cultures / good to talk in their mother tongue
Easier to get a job/work in other countries/“market” yourself / broadens work opportunities / increases mobility
Broadens perspective on the rest of the world /understanding of other cultures
Better access to texts/information/knowledge in other languages 13 Motivation from other sources: Influence of EMI on motivation
to learn new languages 11 36 students: little or no influence

12 students positively motivated
Topics addressed here 5 Language use inside and outside the classroom in this EMI setting
EMI influence on:
L1 academic competence
Motivation to learn new languages
Student-perceived significance of
EMI influence on linguistic diversity in general Conclusions 21 The existence of an academic lingua franca (English) promotes international student mobility and multiculturalism
This motivates students to learn new languages
The focus on English in the classroom does not suppress plurilingualism outside the classroom
Language centres can play an active role in supporting students with the medium of instruction and providing opportunities for further language study No influence /other comments 20 EMI does not affect linguistic diversity (but difficult to say if its dominant use in academic world is good or bad)
English now more commonly used, especially in the scientific world – it is very important in sciences to be proficient in English, so EMI is good
Linguistic diversity is related more to personal choice in learning and using languages than EMI Positive influences on linguistic diversity 18 English-medium programmes make it possible for students to study and travel abroad, and later find work abroad – leads to cultural mixing and encouragement to study further languages Influence of EMI on L1 competence 9 8 students: Negative influence

19 students: No effect of EMI per se
Language use in learning 7 English the principal study language for all students
9 students reported additional study language(s):
Mainly Finnish (8)
Mostly students of Master’s programmes in arts, humanities & social sciences
Our context 3 University of Helsinki
Ongoing strategy for expansion of international Master’s programmes taught in English
Provision of language support via the Language Centre 22 Negative influences on linguistic diversity 19 EMI supports use of one language for communication / will lead to a decline in diversity / could lead to disappearance of minority languages (but also removes communication barriers, which is a good thing) Disadvantages in learning new languages 16 Languages get mixed/confused
Takes time to learn new languages
Difficult to develop/maintain proficiency in multiple languages Influence of EMI on L1 competence 10 Other responses: Main mother tongues:
Data set 6 60 students of international Master’s programmes
19 mother tongues (2 bilingual)
Main focus of the presentation 2 Apparent conflict:
Goal of promoting plurilingualism through internationalisation
English as the dominant medium of instruction in International Master’s programmes 1 Roy Siddall, Kari Pitkänen & Tuula Lehtonen

Language Centre, University of Helsinki Linguistic diversity within monolingual education:
The context of International Master’s programmes
at the University of Helsinki: Dominant languages studied No. languages studying
Foreign language studies 14 Dominant languages No. of languages Language use outside the classroom 8
Our role 4 English language teachers providing language support courses for English-medium Master’s programmes
Researchers exploring language-related issues among the international student groups
Electronic questionnaire survey of Master’s students taking our English language support courses “With the Language Centre’s function
in our studies, students felt learning
a new language was not so unachievable.”

Thank you! “Using only English in my studies may have decreased my competence in L1 since I have not learnt specific terminology in Spanish.” “But once I would start writing academic texts in my L1 again I would quickly be back on the previous level.” “I do not see any relationship between my use of English and my academic competence in L1. My academic competence is enriched by what I have learnt during my studies. So my academic competence is better both in English and in Spanish.” “The use of English has improved my level of proficiency in terms of communicating and writing in the academic field.” “Almost every scientific research field uses English to connect people with different cultures. The latest studies are also published in English. If I am not able to use English, I will lose the opportunity to share the information.” “I think it is hard to be efficient in English, so I have no plans for other languages.”

“The use of English does not inspire me to learn other new languages. I pay more attention to the quality than quantity. Another practical thing is time.” “It helps a lot because it makes me feel like I still can learn more languages even though I am not so young anymore. I feel like if I am studying in English, I could study in other languages as well.”

“It does motivate me to start learning new languages, for example I want to learn German and Spanish, and to continue using the other languages I already speak. Why? Because I do not want to become one of those people who only know English and are thus incapable to communicate in any other medium.” Host country: “Probably doesn't matter, but staying in Finland makes me want to learn Finnish.” Multinational setting: “Being in a setting where everyone has different first languages and most know multiple languages motivates me to try and learn a second language.” “For me, I would never learn Finnish in my country, but I know some Finnish and Finnish culture now.” “The use of English promotes better multiculturalism and international mobility, but I think it actually limits the linguistic diversity. Because globally if more people can speak English, it becomes the official language of many worldwide businesses the ability to speak multiple languages becomes less important.”
“People can easily communicate with each other in English... The world is so diverse. As well as linguistic diversity, there are other types of diversity.”
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