Reference : Multilingualism at the University of Luxembourg: policy, practice and attitudes
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Arts & humanities : Languages & linguistics
Multilingualism at the University of Luxembourg: policy, practice and attitudes
Deroey, Katrien mailto [University of Luxembourg > Rectorate > >]
Lejot, Eve mailto [University of Luxembourg > Rectorate > >]
Huemer, Birgit mailto [University of Luxembourg > Rectorate > >]
14th International Pragmatics Conference
from 16-7-2015 to 31-7-2014
[en] multilingualism ; higher education ; language policy
[en] Multilingualism is a key feature of the identity and development strategy of the University of Luxembourg. This is reflected in its slogan: ‘University of Luxembourg. Multilingual, personalized, connected’. The University Language Centre was recently founded to support multilingual education and the growth of the university as a research institution.
To establish the needs for language and communication support and inform language policy decisions, we conducted an extensive needs analysis among staff and students. This paper presents the findings of that investigation.

The needs analysis consists of semi-structured interviews with study programme directors and online questionnaires for all staff and students. The interviews principally enquired after the following: language entry requirements for students and the means used to assess language skills; current language support provided in different study programmes; and the perceived need for academic, professional and general language support for staff and students. The online questionnaires collected data on students’ and staff’s self-assessed proficiency in the three main languages, and the perceived need for specific language and communication support across study programmes, disciplines and staff categories.

The interviews with the programme directors revealed that language entry requirements vary greatly across study programmes and that applicants’ language skills have hitherto mainly been assessed in a non-standardised way. Interviewees mostly thought that for students academic writing support was paramount, while for their academic staff they did not usually feel any need for research- or teaching -related language support apart from proofreading. At the time of writing, the student and staff questionnaires are being administered. However, in our presentation we will be able to present and compare the findings of all three parts of the needs analysis so that we can highlight the perceived needs for language and communication support at this multilingual university as well as how these relate to its language policy.

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