Sunday, May 20, 2012

The ubiquity of English in higher education

I just read an interesting article that is quite relevant to my planned experience:  The Politecnico di Milano, a leading unisersity in Milan, Italy, "has announced that from 2014 most of its degree courses - including all its graduate courses - will be taught and assessed entirely in English rather than Italian".

When I applied for my Fulbright award, I knew that I would be able to teach in English (although I certainly plan to learn enough Romanian to get by in daily activities).  I count myself lucky to not be required to learn another language sufficiently well to teach or learn in it.  In my application I commented that I believe the experience will improve the empathy I have for the Pfeiffer internatioanl students, those for whom English is not their first language.

"There are a growing number of degree courses taught in English in Scandinavia, northern and central Europe.  Nic Mitchell, founder of De la Cour Communications, which specialises in European higher education, says there are more than 4,500 university courses now being taught in English in continental Europe."

Do not take your education or your language abilities for granted!

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