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Carving out institutional space for multilingualism in the world’s most multilingual region: the role of Linguistics at the University of the South Pacific

Willans, Fiona (2016) Carving out institutional space for multilingualism in the world’s most multilingual region: the role of Linguistics at the University of the South Pacific. Current Issues in Language Planning, 17 (3-4). pp. 351-368. ISSN 1466-4208

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    Abstract

    The University of the South Pacific is a regional university catering for 12 countries. Its location situates it within unparalleled linguistic diversity, and its regional structure creates a highly multilingual body of staff and students interacting either face-to-face on the major campuses or remotely via e-learning and satellite communications. On the surface, it is an exciting place to be engaging with matters of language and linguistic diversity. However, in common with many universities that strive for academic excellence whilst operating on sound financial principles and catering equitably for a diverse student population, there are a number of institutional factors that unintentionally stifle the opportunities to study, learn and use multiple languages. This paper discusses language planning at the university with reference to Hornberger’s [(2002). Multilingual language policies and the continua of biliteracy: An ecological approach. Language Policy, 1, 27–51] metaphor of ideological and implementational space. It considers the mechanisms that serve to close down institutional space for languages other than English, and identifies opportunities to carve out new and different spaces. This paper argues for the need to work within, between and around the spaces left by shifts towards rationalisation and efficiency in ways that move with, rather than against, the tide. It is suggested that seeking space for languages other than English within tertiary institutions, and thus challenging the monolingualising tendencies of the shifts in the global landscape, requires a four-step framework of engagement, working sideways to engage with the macro and the micro simultaneously.

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
    P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
    Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Language, Arts and Media
    Depositing User: Fiona Willans
    Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2016 12:22
    Last Modified: 31 Aug 2016 12:22
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/9202
    UNSPECIFIED

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