Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The role of languages at Finnish universities

In the beginning Sabine Ylönen presented shortly the structure and motivation of the study. Ylönen argued that in the long run the role of other languages than English has decreased.

One of the questions asked in the research was how important are different languages considered in a university working environment by the staff.

Even though most of the participants considered different language skills important, many of them meant English.

It is interesting that university staff do master (fluently or not) 4—5 languages but they are not interested in using them for academic purposes.

In the end Ylönen posed two questions:

1) What is the advantage of academic multilingualism?
2) How can academic multilingualism be promoted?

The power of English has definitely been one of the most discussed topics in this conference.

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