Multilingualism and Education (European Level)

English and multilingualism, or English only in a multilingual Europe?

(WP7, 20062008) This study covered mainly three questions: how does the dominant role of English limit the opportunities for students to become multilingual, what are students attitudes towards native speakers and non-native speakers use of English, and what role do native speakers play in multilingual contexts?

The data for the study comes from three sources: semi-structured interviews with 26 Erasmus students; semi-structured interviews with 18 students, teachers and administrators at two secondary schools in Szeged (Hungary); 410 contributions on world-wide, European, Czech and Hungarian Internet forums.

The interviews with students included questions on the interviewees linguistic background, experiences and use of English. Furthermore, they listened to speech samples of English and rated and discussed them.

Interviews with administrators and teachers were carried out in a similar way, but questions concentrated on educational issues rather than language use and they did not carry out the speech sample rating task.

The selected Internet forums were searched for threads dealing with English native speakers, then researchers looked for keywords like "language" or "English" and finally analysed what the users were writing about and how.

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Learning, use and perceptions of English as a Lingua Franca communication in European contexts

(WP7a, 20082010) Where non-native speakers of English communicate in English with each other and with native speakers, they create a new kind of English: English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). LINEE researchers wanted to know

  • how students achieve their communicative goals in this context,
  • what learning strategies they employ,
  • what they consider as effective communication and
  • whom they consider as effective communicators.

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