Language and Speech Laboratory

Internationalisation, multilingualism and English-medium instruction: the teachers’ perspective

Aintzane Doiz, David Lasagabaster, Juan Manuel Sierra Plo.

World Englishes      volume:30:345-359.

In the newEuropean higher education space, Universities in Europe are exhorted to cultivate and develop multilingualism. The European Commission’s 2004–2006 action plan for promoting language learning and diversity speaks of the need to build an environment which is favourable to languages. Yet reality indicates that it is English which reigns supreme and has become the main foreign language used as means of instruction at European universities. Internationalisation has played a key role in this process, becoming one of the main drivers of the linguistic hegemony exerted by English. In this paper we examine the opinions of teaching staff involved in English-medium instruction, from pedagogical ecologyof- language and personal viewpoints. Data were gathered using group discussion. The study was conducted at a multilingual Spanish university where majority (Spanish), minority (Basque) and foreign (English) languages coexist, resulting in some unavoidable linguistic strains. The implications for English-medium instruction are discussed at the end of this paper.