As promised in our last blogpost, in this post we share our view on what makes multilingual universities a success:
1. Promote teaching and learning through multiple languages
There is sometimes a tendency to promote the idea that being a multilingual university today means adopting English as the main language of instruction and marginalising courses taught in the national language. This is not the vision of multilingualism we imagine. As mentioned in one of the responses to our previous blogpost, our concept of a multilingual university is one that supports teaching and learning in the national language and additional languages. Decisions as to which language is used in which course will depend on the needs of the students, the program goals and the University profile.
Last November a celebration was held to laud 25 years of bilingual education in the Netherlands. A month earlier a so-called “Manifest voor het behoud van het Nederlands” was published by four Dutch university professors making a plea to stop the development of English language university programmes. This “manifest” obtained some support in the Dutch media, for example in Volkskrant writer Aleid Truijens’ piece “In het Engels haalt niemand zijn niveau”. As bilingual and international education researchers and teacher educators at Iclon, we want to share with you 5 reasons why we believe monolingual universities are doomed to fail.
In September 2014 I started as a Ph.D-candidate at Leiden University (ICLON) in the context of the Dudoc-alfa program, supervised by Prof. Dr. Jan van Driel en Dr. Ir. Fred Janssen. The main purpose of the Dudoc-Alfa program is the improvement and innovation of foreign language acquisition in secondary schools.
Focus research: speaking skills
My research focuses on feedback on speaking skills in foreign languages. Many language teachers in secondary schools have difficulty paying attention to the performance of each pupil and adjusting their feedback on each individual. What type of feedback is effective, when and how to give?
Feedback: What, when, how?
If these are questions you are also interested in, as a teacher or as a researcher, please contact me to share your ideas, opinions, advices and wishes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like practitioners as clergy, lawyers or clinical psychologists, teachers are tightly linked to a practice which is mostly examined by outside researchers. Teachers have years of experience with working with different instructional methods, tools and formats. They are all experts in their school subject knowing which learning strategies their students apply and which misconceptions they have. And teachers have an accurate idea of the context in which they teach. With other words, teachers have developed practical wisdom about their practice, which is invaluable for research on this practice. And –last but not least- they have easy access to information about teaching and learning which is mostly unreachable for external researchers. Yet, academic research about teaching and learning is mostly done by the outside educational researchers, who do not possess these advantages. There might be two reasons why this is common practice. Firstly, educational research requires particular competencies that researchers have acquired and are absent in teachers. Secondly, outside researchers examine an extensive set of practices, which allows them to generate conclusions about these teaching practices. But aren’t these actually myths? And shouldn’t we think better of how academic research can take advantage of teachers’ experience with and access to their practice? And wouldn’t that be via research by teachers themselves?
Al tijden wordt in de nationale en internationale literatuur geschreven over de voordelen van een professionele leercultuur in scholen voor voortgezet onderwijs. Voordelen worden gezien voor de motivatie en tevredenheid van docenten in die school, maar ook voor hun kennis en kunde, de kwaliteit van hun onderwijs en daarmee de prestaties van leerlingen. In een sterke professionele leercultuur in een school wordt kennis en onderzoek geborgd en behouden en krijgen docenten professionele ruimte. Dit helpt om docenten vast te houden in het onderwijs. Toch slagen scholen er nog onvoldoende in om een dergelijke professionele leercultuur voor elkaar te krijgen. Read more