Perspectives on multilingualism in mainstream university learning and teaching: case studies from Sydney and Perth

Lauren Gorfinkel, Qian Gong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

In an era of global flows of students and staff, this chapter examines the use of foreign languages in mainstream Anglophone learning and teaching contexts. The focus is on university teachers’ attitudes towards multilingualism. While ‘the language issue’ in higher education contexts has been fixated on the English language deficiencies of international students, this chapter assesses the degree to which students are encouraged to draw on their skills and strengths in other languages in various disciplinary learning contexts. Based on interviews with teaching staff from two universities in Sydney and Perth, the authors argue that the teachers’ personal experiences and disciplinary focus appear to be more significant factors in shaping their attitudes towards linguistic diversity than the university itself. The chapter canvasses suggestions for working through perceived problems as well as for further research that may delve deeper into whether or not there are similar mindsets amongst teachers in universities across Australian cities or whether there is anything special about the Sydney context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultilingual Sydney
EditorsAlice Chik, Phil Benson, Robyn Moloney
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Chapter13
Pages153-164
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781351215541
ISBN (Print)9780815379546, 97810138592667
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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