Language policy and governance of multilingualism at the UAB


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"Language policy and governance of multilingualism at the UAB"

IV CercleS Seminar 2012
Cinco anos de Bolonha - progresso ou retrocesso no multilinguismo?

26-28 April 2012. Universidade do Minho

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  • Language policy and governance of multilingualism at the UAB

    1. 1. Language policy and governance ofmultilingualism at the Universitat Autònoma deBarcelonaMarta Estella IV CercleS Seminar 2012 Cinco anos de Bolonha - progresso ou retrocesso no multilinguismo? 26-28 April 2012. Universidade do Minho
    2. 2. Facts about the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)• Public university in the Barcelona area• Founded in1968• 34.000 students• 4.500 international students• 3.500 academic staff• 2.500 administrative staff Google Maps
    3. 3. Languages at the UAB• Bilingual university (Catalan- Spanish)• Teaching in Catalan and Spanish, students not divided by languages• Students and lecturers use the official language of their choice• Towards a multi-? tri-?lingual model: English as a medium of instruction too• Catalan, main and official UAB language; Spanish, official too; English, language of work• University communication: Catalan (local area), Spanish, English, +Chinese• Bilingual positions (CA, ES) > trilingual (CA, ES, EN)
    4. 4. Language policy in higher education (1)University (UAB)• Tradition of language policy at the University• Governing bodies: Language Policy Comittee• Technical coordination: Language ServiceCatalan universities• Shared language policy: Language Policy Comittee of the Inter-University Council of CataloniaCatalan Government• Language policy in higher education: Act on Language Policy, Universities Act, outcome indicators used for funding allocation, financial aids for language projectsIn commonCatalan > multilingualism > English L3 UA
    5. 5. Language policy in higher education (2)Outcome indicators used for funding allocation• The existence of a Plan for Languages at the university• Language quality (English-Catalan) of institutional websites• Command of languages by academic and administrative staff• Subjects with teaching language indicated at the time of registration• Increase in the number of classes offered in Catalan and EnglishData in UNeix (universities and research datawarehouse)
    6. 6. Plans for Languages at the UAB1st Plan for Languages (2008-2010)2nd Plan for Languages (2011-2015) UAB Promotion of Teaching in English Programme (2011-2015) UAB
    7. 7. Contents (1)2008 2011 •Catalan as main language•Catalan as main language •Multilingualism as a value•Multilingual approach •Main actions concerning•Main actions concerning English, but not onlydifferent languages •In line with the UAB Master•Poorly embedded in Univ. Planstrategy •Participation focused on•Participation focused on depts, faculties, officescommunity •A budget approval for each•Budget: approval not assured action•Voluntaristic •Strategic
    8. 8. Contents (2)2008 2011•Study and apply incentives forteaching staff to incorporatemultilingualism in the classroom and •Offer a fully subsidised level test into promote plurilingual skills among English to new students.their students •Offer a test for French, Italian and•Draw up a guide for teaching staff German to new students inwith criteria or orientation for accordance with budget availability.managing multilingualism in theclassroom •Adapt language training available to the university community to the•Offer university subjects on the objectives o internationalisation andlanguage and culture of the attraction and retention of talent byimmigrant population aimed at local the UAB.students. •Up to 12 ECTS for L3 accreditation.•Carry out a study on languages inthe university community
    9. 9. Contents (3)2011
    10. 10. Why a Plan for Languages?Not only a requirement by the Government• Support to the governance of multilingualism: strategy, priorities, etc.• Framework for policies at the faculty level• Element of transparency and accountability UAB
    11. 11. Drawing up the Plan for languages1st stage: diagnosis• reports and data (2008, 2011) 3th stage: writing and approval• interviews (2008) Writing: Language Service• benchmarking (2008, 2011) (2008, 2011) Approval: Language Policy2nd stage: consultation Comittee (2008, 2011)• online forum and questionnaire Aproval: Governing Council(2008) (2008, 2011)• open session – discussion ofspecific issues (2008)• meetings with staff members (2011)
    12. 12. Participation and stakeholdersGoverning Discussion, approval,bodies evaluationExperts Advice, expertiseDepartment Knowledge, expertisesOfficesCommunity Opinion, contributionsLanguage Technical coordinationService
    13. 13. Findings and conclusions (1)•Languages matter. Language policies are explicit.•Bologna: language policy is a committed pledge to respond to theneed to manage the multilingualism that exists in European society.• After-Bologna: globalisation beyond Europe enhances the role ofEnglish as “lingua franca”.
    14. 14. Findings and conclusions (2)• The Plan for Languages has proved to be a necessary frameworkfor developing and evaluating the language policy of the University.• The Plan has to be in line with the strategic objectives of theUniversity.• The Plan should be approved by the governing bodies of theUniversity. A governing body should monitor the Plan.• The Plan has proved to be a useful tool for transparency andaccountability. Indicators are needed for the evaluation of theresults .• A budget is essential.
    15. 15. Findings and conclusions (3)• The strategic goals are set up for the medium term, but the planning ofthe actions must be year by year. Otherwise, it is not possible toaccommodate them in a changing context.• The Plan requires an integrated university approach. It concernsdifferent areas of the University: academic policy, internationalrelationships, communication and marketing, human resources, etc. It isnot only for experts in languages.•The participation of the community enhances the Plan.• It is important to assure the coordination among the stakeholders, andalso the existence of a person that is responsible for carrying out themain actions.• Ambition in objectives, realism in actions.
    16. 16. Thank you! Obrigada! Gràcies! ¡Gracias! marta.estella@uab.catExcept where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Yor use ofthis material constitutes acceptance of that license. To view a copy of the licence please see