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The impact of language policy issues on program development and management at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich Language Center


Schaffner, Sabina (2013). The impact of language policy issues on program development and management at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich Language Center. Language learning in higher Education, 2(2):385-404.

Abstract

This article explores the impact of language policy issues on program development and management at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich Language Center. Based on the analysis of the language policy approach of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, the article reflects both current practices and policy elements with the help of the categories offered by François Grin (2010). Part of the data collected was also considered in 2011 while answering a questionnaire on Language Policy in Higher Education in Switzerland. The Swiss Institute of Multilingualism, in charge of gathering the data for Switzerland for the pan-European project Language Rich Europe, managed by the British Council and co-financed by the European Commission (British Council/European Commission 2010-2013), had approached our Language Center in this matter. In a wider context, the present survey is a case study reflecting the situation of two major Swiss Universities outside the European Union. The article shows that both the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich lack a consistent language policy document at institutional level, while showing a cautious approach to questions of future language governance. It argues that the impact of this approach leads to the constant readjustment of the strategic goals of program development by the Language Center's director through regular needs analysis interviews with the stakeholders in the departments and faculties, and to a continuous fine-tuning of pedagogical formats by the heads of units. A further qualitative study will be be carried out in 2012 through focus group interviews with different stakeholder groups, e.g. deans, program directors, students and representatives of (doctoral) students' unions, in order to collect more specific data as a basis for more detailed analysis and interpretation

Abstract

This article explores the impact of language policy issues on program development and management at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich Language Center. Based on the analysis of the language policy approach of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, the article reflects both current practices and policy elements with the help of the categories offered by François Grin (2010). Part of the data collected was also considered in 2011 while answering a questionnaire on Language Policy in Higher Education in Switzerland. The Swiss Institute of Multilingualism, in charge of gathering the data for Switzerland for the pan-European project Language Rich Europe, managed by the British Council and co-financed by the European Commission (British Council/European Commission 2010-2013), had approached our Language Center in this matter. In a wider context, the present survey is a case study reflecting the situation of two major Swiss Universities outside the European Union. The article shows that both the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich lack a consistent language policy document at institutional level, while showing a cautious approach to questions of future language governance. It argues that the impact of this approach leads to the constant readjustment of the strategic goals of program development by the Language Center's director through regular needs analysis interviews with the stakeholders in the departments and faculties, and to a continuous fine-tuning of pedagogical formats by the heads of units. A further qualitative study will be be carried out in 2012 through focus group interviews with different stakeholder groups, e.g. deans, program directors, students and representatives of (doctoral) students' unions, in order to collect more specific data as a basis for more detailed analysis and interpretation

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Item Type:Journal Article, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:National licences > 142-005
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:English
Date:5 January 2013
Deposited On:19 Oct 2018 16:31
Last Modified:01 Oct 2019 11:37
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:2191-611X
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/cercles-2012-0021
Related URLs:https://www.swissbib.ch/Search/Results?lookfor=nationallicencegruyter101515cercles20120021 (Library Catalogue)

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