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... They also only reveal the language on entire programmes, not on individual modules, lessons or even parts of lessons (e.g., group work and the like), which may be considerably more linguistically heterogeneous (Kiil 2011;Haberland et al. 2013). It is also important to note that even if the course language specified in the course catalogue is Danish, the course literature is more likely to be in English (Thøgersen et al. 2013). ...
European universities have, since the late 1990s, undergone dramatic changes centred on internationalisation, harmonisation and competition. This paper is concerned with two specific consequences of these changes and their interrelationship: rankings and Englishisation, the latter defined as an increase in the use of English at universities of nation states where English is not the official language. Despite a recent surge in research into Englishisation, it is not yet clear to what extent current organisational changes inevitably entail an orientation towards
... In this quest, however, I am not acting on my own. The last few years have seen a growing body of scholarly work dealing more specifically with the topic of English in higher education teaching and learning (e.g., Airey 2015; Airey et al. 2015;Björkman 2013;Kuteeva 2011;Mežek 2013;Shaw & McMillion 2011;Söderlundh 2010;Thøgersen et al. 2014), publishing (e.g., Kuteeva & Airey 2014;Kuteeva & McGrath 2014;McGrath 2014;Olsson & Sheridan 2012), and policy (e.g., Björkman 2014Björkman , 2015Cabau 2011;Hult & Källqvist 2015;Jansson 2008;Källqvist & Hult 2014) in Swedish academia. There are also studies in which many or all of these areas come together (e.g., Bolton & Kuteeva 2012;Salö 2010;. ...
Internationalization is one of the strategic goals of universities and other higher education institutions in Finland. This tends to be transferred to English-medium instruction (EMI) and English degree programs. This "Anglicization has raised concerns and discussion despite its perceived benefits. The aim of this study was to investigate an international Master s Program in the field of engineering and to explore students perceptions of lectures and their comprehension within this Master s Program. These lectures were further examined in order to shed light on what linguistic features used in English as a lingua franca (ELF) lecturing influence students perceptions. This exploratory, descriptive case study takes a phasal approach to obtain a holistic view on this Master s Program. The findings of the study are based on authentic data: video-recorded lecture material, their transcriptions, and surveys. These surveys contain lecture evaluations provided by the students immediately after attending them. Guided by the student evaluations, an analysis based on genre analysis and discourse analysis was conducted to locate the linguistic differences of these lectures. The results indicate that students perception of lectures relates to the use of interactional features regardless of the lecturers perceived English skills. Those lectures students found accessible contained more interactional features than those lectures students found challenging. Additional results, contrary to prior studies, also show that the use of interactional features in native language (Finnish) lecturing is notably lower than in ELF lecturing. Furthermore, the comparison of student achievements when lecturing in the Master s Program was in Finnish with the student achievements from the ELF lectured program showed slightly higher results in the ELF lectured program. Conclusions drawn from these results suggest that when lecturing in a non-native language, lecturers attempt to ensure the audience s comprehension through various linguistic devices, interactional features being one of them. Therefore, ELF lectures do not have an adverse effect on lecture comprehension or course results.
In a parallel-language environment students are often required to read in a language different from the one they use in lectures, seminars, and among themselves. Relatively little research has been done on the overall reading success of such groups or on the componential make up of their L2 reading skills. This paper compares the English-language reading skills of Swedish students of biology with that of equivalent British biology students. Many Swedish readers perform within or above the normal British range on the study-reading test, but the overall average score of this sample of Swedish readers was considerably lower than that of the British sample. For the Swedes study-reading success correlates significantly with vocabulary knowledge, inferencing and newspaper reading, and at a lower level for word recognition speed. For the British informants the pattern is similar, but with no significant correlation for wordrecognition speed. Multiple regression analyses show that academic vocabulary knowledge test scores can account for nearly half the variance in study-readingscores and newspaper reading test scores for about ten percent more. For the British informants the same pattern emerged, but the contributions of vocabulary knowledge was considerably greater and that of newspaper skimming rather less.
This thesis presents an investigation of undergraduate student learning with respect to physics lectures attended in English and Swedish. The work studies three connected areas: student learning patterns, bilingual scientific literacy and disciplinary discourse.
Twenty-two physics students at two Swedish universities attended lectures in both English and Swedish as part of their regular undergraduate programme. These lectures were vide-otaped and used to contextualize in-depth, semi-structured interviews with students.
When taught in English the students asked and answered fewer questions and reported be-ing less able to simultaneously follow the lecture and take notes. Students adapted to being taught in English by; asking questions after the lecture, no longer taking notes in class, read-ing sections of work before class or—in the worst case—by using the lecture for mechanical note taking.
Analysis of student oral descriptions of the lecture content in both languages identified a small number of students who found it almost impossible to speak about disciplinary concepts in English. These students were first-years who had not been taught in English before. How-ever, the findings suggest that, above a certain threshold level of disciplinary language com-petence, it does not appear to matter which language students are taught in.
Finally, the thesis makes a theoretical contribution to educational research. The initial lan-guage perspective is broadened to include a wide range of semiotic resources that are used in the teaching of undergraduate physics. Student learning is then characterized in terms of becoming fluent in a disciplinary discourse. It is posited that in order to achieve an appropri-ate, holistic experience of any given disciplinary concept, students will need to become fluent in a critical constellation of disciplinary semiotic resources.
This paper analyses the ability of twenty-one physics undergraduates at two Swedish universities to orally describe and explain in both Swedish and English the science concepts met in their lectures. This ability is related back to the language used to teach the concepts (English, Swedish or both languages). Transcripts of student descriptions in both languages are rated using three measures: Fluency (in terms of syllables per second and mean length of runs) 1. Code-switching 2. A judgment about the 'disciplinarity' of what is said. 3. Comparison between languages fi nds that students speak on average 45% slower and have 33% shorter runs in their English descriptions. However, these differences in speaking rate and run length become much lower (28% and 26% respectively) in those transcripts where students appear to have adequately understood the concepts that were presented in the lectures. These latter values are in line with fi ndings in comparative studies of other types of speech event (See Hincks 2010). Analysis of code-switching identifi es some students (n=3) who have great diffi culty describing disciplinary concepts in English. These were fi rst year students and were being taught in English for the fi rst time. It is thus concluded that for some students disciplinary English is indeed a problem. However, from a disciplinary point of view, all other students give similarly good (or bad) descriptions of physics concepts in both Swedish and English, regardless of the language used in the lectures.
This qualitative study explores the relationship between the lecturing language (English or Swedish) and the related learning experiences of 22 undergraduate physics students at two Swedish universities. Students attended lectures in both English and Swedish as part of their regular undergraduate programme. These lectures were videotaped and students were then interviewed about their learning experiences using selected excerpts of the video in a process of stimulated recall. The study finds that although the students initially report no difference in their experience of learning physics when taught in Swedish or English, there are in fact some important differences which become apparent during stimulated recall. The pedagogical implications of these differences are discussed.
This paper quantifies differences in speaking rates in a first and second language, and examines the effects of slower rates on the speakers’ abilities to convey information. The participants were 14 fluent (CEF B2/C1) English L2 speakers who held the same oral presentation twice, once in English and once in their native Swedish. The temporal variables of mean length of runs and speaking rate in syllables per second were calculated for each language. Speaking rate was found to be 23% slower when using English. The slower rate of speech was found to significantly reduce the information content of the presentations when speaking time was held constant. Implications for teaching as European universities adopt English as a medium of instruction are discussed.
This chapter investigates differences in teaching style in science teaching as a consequence of different mediums of instruction. The same teacher teaching a similar class in Danish (L1) and English (L2) is analysed using first a qualitative analysis of parallel short excerpts from the lectures. Secondly, the L1 and L2 lectures are compared quantitatively with corpora of spoken and written texts in the two languages in a number of register dimensions. The lecturer changes register to some degree when changing language. In English, his performance is more like written registers; in Danish they are more like spoken registers. The relatively small Danish seminars are found to stylistically resemble American large-scale lectures more than comparable small American seminars. The pedagogical consequences of the change in register are then discussed, arguing that a shift to L2 re-focuses the role of the lecturer to that of ‘discourse coach’ rather than ‘discourse guide’.
In a parallel-language environment the use of textbooks in English in courses otherwise in the local language is naturalized and not widely discussed or questioned. The aim of this study was to elicit the attitudes and syllabus infrastructure that underlie the practice. A large-scale survey was carried out and answers were obtained from over 20% of teachers at Swedish universities. Results confirmed that a majority regarded English as important during and/or after university studies and showed that they considered the use of English-language textbooks as providing a useful opportunity for incidental language learning. In strong contrast to the situation in a content and language integrated learning environment, only a small minority of courses were reported to have any specified learning outcome related to English. Open answers showed awareness of the benefits and risks of parallel-language practices, but no interest in making aims explicit. In our view, there is no contradiction between incidental learning and explicit aims, and course aims which remain implicit make rational planning and constructive alignment more difficult. They also inhibit discussion of appropriate methodology.
Reflecting the increased use of English as lingua franca in today’s university education, this volume maps the interplay and competition between English and other tongues in a learning community that in practice is not only bilingual but multilingual. The volume includes case studies from Japan, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Catalonia, China, Denmark and Sweden, analysing a range of issues such as the conflict between the students’ native languages and English, the reality of parallel teaching in English as well as in the local language, and classrooms that are nominally English-speaking but multilingual in practice. The book assesses the factors common to successful bilingual learners, and provides university administrators, policy makers and teachers around the world with a much-needed commentary on the challenges they face in increasingly multilingual surroundings characterized by a heterogeneous student population.
Patterns of language alternation and choice have become increasingly important to the development of an understanding of the internationalisation of higher education that is occurring world-wide. This volume draws on the extensive and varied literature related to the sociolinguistics of globalisation – linguistic ethnography, discourse analysis, language teaching, language and identity, and language planning – as the theoretical bases for the description of the nature of these emerging multilingual communities that are increasingly found in international education. It uses observational data from eleven studies that take into account the macro (societal), meso (university) and micro (participant) levels of language interaction to explicate the range of language encounters – highlighting both successful and problematic interactions and their related language ideologies. Although English is the common lingua franca, the studies in the volume highlight the importance of the multilingual resources available to participants in higher educational institutions that are used to negotiate and solve their language problems. The volume brings to our attention a range of important insights into language issues found in the internationalisation of higher education, and provides a resource for those wishing to understand or do research on how language hybridity and multilingual communicative practices are evolving there. Richard B. Baldauf Jr., Professor, The University of Queensland