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Changing languages in European Higher Education: from official policies to unofficial classroom practices

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At a time of growing internationalisation in higher education English medium programmes (EMPs) are becoming a common practice across universities worldwide. These new developments result in higher education policy decisions leading to new forms of multilingualism, which are generally not only widely taken, but also evaluated as necessary improvements for the respective institutions and stakeholders involved. In the case of the European context, the consolidation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has facilitated the spread of English-medium instruction as a means to attract international talent and, at the same time, boost internationalisation at home strategies for national students.

This session will examine the macro- and micro- levels of language policies in EMPs in a Spanish university, drawing on a recently developed conceptual framework for English-medium-instruction known by the acronym of ROAD -MAPPING (Dafouz and Smit, 2016). With the help of illustrative discursive examples, the session will highlight the challenges of English-medium education and the tensions that may appear when official language policies meet unofficial classroom discourse practices. Implications for the design and implementation of EMPs will be discussed too.

Emma Dafouz is Associate Professor of English Linguistics at Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), where she researches in Second Language Education, Discourse Analysis and CLIL /English-medium instruction. She has published extensively in international journals (Applied Linguistics, Language and Education, Modern Language Journal, ESP Journal, International Journal of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education, AILA Review) and publishers (Benjamins, Routledge, De Gruyter, etc). At present Dr Dafouz is Policy Advisor for Curricular Internationalisation at UCM .

This talk is part of the Second Language Education Group series.

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