Beyond monolingualism in higher education

A language policy account

Authored by: Ute Smit

The Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138855328
eBook ISBN: 9781315717173
Adobe ISBN:


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Higher education (HE) has been one of the main domains in which ELF research has taken an interest. Apart from it being ‘home turf’ for us academics, it is also a prototypical ELF scenario with multilinguals fundamentally drawing on shared language resources to engage in and further their institutional endeavours. The acronym ELFA (English as a lingua franca in academic settings) bears witness to this, just like the existence of the ELFA corpus (Mauranen 2003) and the many studies that have focussed on ELF in academic settings (e.g. Björkman 2013; Hynninen 2013; Mauranen 2012; Smit 2010). At the same time and as true of ELF in general, its lingua franca nature presupposes that such academic settings come with multilingualism and multilingual repertoires and, while ELF research in general has always acknowledged the multilingual nature of ELF encounters, it has, as Jenkins (2015) points out, backgrounded rather than foregrounded the multilingual language situation. In view of the strong literature base, it seems a good time now to foreground the multilingual aspect of higher education, which is what this chapter intends to do.

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