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Why embed multilingualism into university practices?

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Migge, Bettina 


This paper draws on my experiences with language in English and non-English-speaking universities, minority language education research (Migge et al. 2010) and on a survey-based research project on linguistic diversity at a major Irish university (Lucek & Migge ms). • Universities worldwide are under pressure to internationalise but there is a lack of clarity about what it means. • Internationalisation is interpreted to mean exposure to diversity.• Universities generally try to achieve internationalisation by encouraging students to spend one or more semesters at a foreign institution and by hiring foreign staff. • In terms of language, internationalisation is generally limited to discussions about access to English and the role of English. • Local academic staff and students are traditionally not seen as playing an integral role in internationalisation when at home. • Recommendation: a socially sustainable approach to internationalisation requires a bottom up approach: it must involve raising awareness about local and global diversity & its multifaceted origins through the core curriculum. • Recommendation: language is a central ‘tool’ for raising awareness about diversity and experiencing diversity.



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