Edited by Ana Llinares and Tom Morton
[Language Learning & Language Teaching 47] 2017
► pp. 287–306
A sociolinguistic approach to the multifaceted Roles of English in English-medium education in multilingual university settings
Over the last twenty years, English-medium education in tertiary settings has turned into a global reality, with higher education institutions (HEIs) across the world aiming to become increasingly international. Yet this apparently uniform move towards English-medium instruction comes in such a variety of highly diverse local realisations that, when looked at in detail, the homogenising function of English turns out to be more complex and multifaceted than initially expected (Smit & Dafouz 2012). Within this context, the chapter draws on a recently developed conceptual framework for describing English-medium education in multilingual university settings (or EMEMUS), known by the acronym ROAD-MAPPING (Dafouz & Smit 2016) and focuses specifically on one of the six core dimensions, namely Roles of English (in relation to other languages). With the help of illustrative discursive examples from two different HEIs, we contend that well-established notions (such as EFL, EAP, ESP and ELF) while useful for initial categorizations of English language usage, are, firstly, complex in themselves and, secondly, adopt predominantly linguistic perspectives, potentially sidelining other relevant societal, institutional, pedagogical and communicational factors.
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