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Critical perspectives on teaching in the multilingual university

Bhatt, Ibrar, Badwan, Khawla ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1808-724X and Madiba, Mbulugeni (2022) Critical perspectives on teaching in the multilingual university. Teaching in Higher Education, 27 (4). pp. 425-436. ISSN 1356-2517

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Abstract

Globalisation, for which language is a pivotal instrument, is defined by Giddens (1990) as the ‘intensification of worldwide social relations which link distant localities’ (64). Though it is a contested terrain, of globalisations – from above and from below (Torres 2009), there are both negative and positive effects on any society. The globalisation of higher education has elevated the international status of colonial languages, such as English, to the status of a global academic lingua franca, with universities today both collaborating and competing on a worldwide scale in the pursuit of knowledge production. In many international contexts, English has emerged as the language of choice for those undertaking and offering university education, and, subsequently, has become not only a valuable commodity in the global economy (O’Regan 2021), but also a language associated with reproducing certain epistemological stances and worldviews (Santos 2014).

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