Successful Adventures in Research Grant

Will Baker and Julia Hüttner have been awarded a research grant under the University of Southampton’s Adventures in Research programme for a study of language policy and practice in international universities.

Title: Without English this is just not possible…”: studies of language policy and practice in international universities from Europe and Asia

Researchers: Will Baker and Julia Hüttner

Summary: Over the last decade there has been a huge increase in the number of English medium instruction (EMI) programmes offered in higher education institutes (HEI) in non-Anglophone settings, particularly at post-graduate level (OECD, 2010). At the same time the number of international students at HEI in Anglophone countries continues to rise at unprecedented pace (  Such HEIs in both Anglophone and non-Anglophone settings can thus be viewed as part of a network of international universities facing similar issues in offering EMI programmes.  While linguistic issues have been part of the EMI discussion in non-Anglophone settings, many questions still remain unanswered and in Anglophone settings there has generally been minimal concern with linguistic issues.  Furthermore, there is currently little comparative research undertaken in EMI.  Therefore, this study aims to compare English language policy and practice in three EMI settings in the UK, continental Europe and Asia.

This study will take a post-normative approach in which second language users of English, or rather users of English as a lingua franca, will be seen as successful communicators within their disciplinary domains, rather than ‘deficient native speakers’; the linguistic practices and policy will be investigated holistically and related to wider sociocultural practices and issues.  There will be a focus on:
a. The role English performs within these learning environments, including its relationship to other languages.
b. Participants’ language beliefs, attitudes and ideology towards and about English.
c. Language policies (formal and informal) and the impact of these on linguistic practices.
d. Comparisons between UK, European and Asian EMI programmes.

Funding: Adventures in Research, University of Southampton, 2014-15

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Category: Research grants