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Culturally

Speaking
A NEWSLETTER DEDICATED TO EDUCATIONAL, LINGUISTIC, AND CULTURAL TOPICS DECEMBER 2016

Studying in a Non-Native Language


According to the Institute for foreign language may well be national students. Talking to
International Education (IIE), amazed at the skill and cour- these students about their
international student enroll- age of many of our non- language learning experiences
ment in U.S. universities has native English speaking inter- can be interesting and maybe
increased each year for at even eye-opening.
least the past ten years. For
From such conversations and
all ten of those years, the
official statistics, it is clear that
great majority of the top ten
English is experiencing con-
sending nations are those for
tinued growth in popularity
whom English is not a na-
around the world.
tive language.
There are two major trends in
The decision a student
the teaching of English in non
makes to pursue a degree
-English speaking countries
using a language that is not
that reflect the importance of
native to him/her is a mo-
the language in the world to-
mentous one. Those who
day.
have not attained fluency in a

Trend #1: Earlier Exposure to English

Around the world, numerous In China, English is compul- dents begin studying English
countries are choosing to low- sory from grade 3, but in ma- in first grade.
er the age at which their stu- jor cities such as Shanghai,
dents first begin to study Eng- Beijing, and Guangzhou, stu- In addition, parents who are
lish. able to do so will spend a sig-
nificant amount of time and
Students in Vietnam, Japan, money on providing their
China, South Korea, Thailand, children with additional Eng-
Mexico, and India for exam- lish instruction, with some
ple begin their study of Eng- beginning in the pre-school
lish in primary school. years.

Newsletter created by: Danielle Bergez, Academic Liaison for International Student Support, danielle.d.bergez@wilmu.edu
PAGE 2 CULTURALLY SPEAKING

Trend #2: English-Medium Education


There is a push in many countries to Several countries are strongly encour- Some countries are encouraging such
provide education using English as the aging, in some cases requiring, their shifts even earlier in the educational
language of instruction and learning. universities to attempt this shift. process.

This means that students would be In China, currently 34 universities


IN A STUDY OF 55
learning their science and math cours- offer non-language courses that are
COUNTRIES, 91%
es, for example, from a teacher who taught in English.
OF THE COUNTRIES
uses English to instruct them, and the
In the Netherlands, the courses for ALLOWED ENGLISH
students would be expected to speak
more than half of degrees offered are MEDIUM
and write about such subjects in Eng-
now taught in English. EDUCATION AT
lish.
SOME LEVEL, MANY
ALLOWING IT IN
ALL EDUCATIONAL
LEVELS.

What will the future hold?


It is difficult to predict the out- However, both trends are being dis-
come of these two trends in lan- cussed with such fervor in much of
guage education. It is unclear the world that it is clear that for the
whether either initiative will pro- near future at least, they are likely to
duce positive results in language continue and also to grow.
learning.
Neither stakeholders nor research-
ers agree amongst themselves
about whether potential draw-
backs will overshadow potential
benefits or vice versa.

References:
British Council. (2013). The English effect: The impact of English, what its worth to the UK and why it matters to the world . Retrieved from The British Council
website: https://www.britishcouncil.org/organisation/policy-insight-research/research/the-english-effect
British Council. (2015). English in Mexico: An examination of policy, perceptions and influencing factors. Retrieved from The British Council website: https://
ei.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/latin-america-research/English%20in%20Mexico.pdf
Butler, Y. G. (2015). Parental factors in childrens motivation for learning English: A case study in China. Research Papers in Education, 30(2), 164-191, doi:
10.1080/02671522.2014 .891643
Chung, J., & Choi, T. (2016). English education policies in South Korea: Planned and enacted. In R. Kirkpatrick (Ed.), English language education policy in Asia (pp. 281-
299). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
English language takes over at universities. (2016, September). Dutch News. Retrieved from http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?
story=20160902090342891
Institute for International Education. (2016). International students in the United States. Retrieved from http://www.iie.org /Services/Project-Atlas/United-States/
International-Students-In-US#.WCx_QaMo6cx
Meganathan, R. (2011). Language policy in education and the role of English in India: From library language to language of em powerment. In H. Coleman (Ed.),
Dreams and realities: Developing countries and the English language (pp. 1-31). London, UK: British Council.
Rixon, S. (2013). British Council survey of policy and practice in primary English language teaching worldwide. Retrieved fro m The British Council website: http://
englishagenda.britishcouncil.org/continuing-professional-development/cpd-managers/british-council-survey-policy-and-practice-primary-english-
language-teaching-worldwide

Newsletter created by: Danielle Bergez, Academic Liaison for International Student Support, danielle.d.bergez@wilmu.edu