Abstract Ute Smit
English-medium education: plurilingual and intercultural practices in multilingual university settings
At a time of growing internationalization in tertiary education, English-medium education in multilingual university settings (or EMEMUS) has become a common practice, reflected in ample research providing descriptions of local realisations (e.g. Doiz, Lasagabaster and Sierra 2013; Smit and Dafouz 2012). In order to expand the focus towards a theoretical understanding, I will first present a conceptual framework intended for dynamic analyses of EMEMUS (Dafouz and Smit forthc.). Drawing on recent sociolinguistic orientations and discursive approaches (e.g. Blommaert and Rampton 2012, Hult 2010, Shohamy 2006), the framework regards EMEMUS as a social phenomenon and views discourse as access point to six relevant dimensions, which are regarded as inherently complex, contextually bound and intersecting dynamically with one another.
The analytical strength of the framework will then be drawn upon in a discussion of plurilingual and intercultural practices that in their situated specificity characterise student and teacher discourse in EMEMUS. More precisely, the focus will be on the ways in which the participants make use of their multilingual repertoires while engaging in their institutionalised interactions (e.g. Barnard and McLellan 2013), thus providing insights into the linguistic and cultural complexity and fluidity inherent in English as a lingua franca in academic settings (Jenkins 2013). By combining macro, meso and micro levels of analysing policy and practices as embodied in interviews, questionnaires and classroom talk (Smit 2010), the dynamic developments in translanguaging practices will be argued for in their interlacing with other sociolinguistic and educational dimensions, such as the localised realisation of internationalisation, language managerial decisions, the affordances of the academic discipline and the social agents involved.