Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton February 3, 2021

Recent developments concerning the use of English for teaching and research purposes

Maurizio Gotti

Abstract

The recent developments concerning the use of foreign languages in the academic world have strongly favoured English, which has become the preferred medium for international communication in many contexts. This spread of English as a lingua franca has had relevant implications for teaching and research purposes, due to the need for a common language for the development of specialised communication at a global level. This paper investigates the present globalising phenomenon in the academia, highlighting not only its recent trends but also the main problems that these recent developments have created. The first part of the paper explores the globalising effects of the use of English as a lingua franca in the world of research and the complex nature of its linguistic realisations, highlighting both homogenising and localising trends. The second part of the paper is devoted to the analysis of another phenomenon which is quite topical in the academic context at a global level, i.e. the use of English as a medium of instruction in higher education in many non-English-speaking countries. The implementation of these ‘international’ courses has opened up new opportunities for learning the English discourses relating to the specialised disciplines taught, but has also aroused dilemmas connected with language proficiency and the level of content competence acquired.


Corresponding author: Maurizio Gotti, Università di Bergamo, Bergamo, Italy, E-mail:

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Published Online: 2021-02-03
Published in Print: 2020-12-16

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