In Higher Education, academic websites are an essential gateway to the dissemination of information and services through which institutions interact with potential users (e.g., students, instructors, academics, immigrants) as well as the public in general. University Language Centres, in particular, can play a fundamental role in disseminating the value of multilingualism and multiculturalism so strongly supported by the Council of Europe and the European Commission ever since the 1990s and, in particular, following the Bologna Declaration and the ensuing Bologna Process. Indeed, creating a framework of actions to help citizens become more aware of respecting diversity in languages and cultures in order to encourage the integration of the varied geographical realities present in Europe has become of paramount importance. Language instruction is undoubtedly identified also as a tool for developing socio-cultural awareness and, as a consequence, University Language Centres have become welcoming environments in which multilingualism and intercultural communication, learning by doing, autonomous language learning, self-assessment and the European Language Portfolios, communicative strategies and social inclusion, creativity and knowledge-sharing are key concepts. The impact of the Lifelong Learning and Erasmus programs, strongly encouraged by the Bologna Accords, and later the internationalization process of European universities, has further strengthened the need to promote linguistic, social, cultural and democratic growth in academic societies.
The purpose of this talk is to present the preliminary results of an in-progress project aimed at investigating to what extent European University Language Centres (EULCs) promote the aforementioned concepts through their actions and policies, with a particular focus on the language used on their websites. More specifically, the main objectives of this project are to:
- Analyse the communicative strategies used in EULC websites to present the linguistic and cultural activities organised for the academic and territorial communities;
- Identify users' perceptions of the linguistic, cultural and social messages conveyed through services presented in the websites;
- Understand how university learners react to the content of the EULC websites.
A small pilot study will be illustrated, focusing on both the communicative strengths and weaknesses of EULC websites, in order to encourage a reflection on how language is and can be used more effectively to promote the language and social-educational aims promoted by the Council of Europe. The final aim is to share ideas/knowledge with other European and international researchers. This would hopefully create a network of researchers who, while working within EULC contexts, can join our team in taking forth this proposal.
Presenteremo i primi risultati di un progetto in progress che ha l'obiettivo di analizzare in che termini i contenuti e linguaggi utilizzati nei siti di un campione di Centri Linguistici Europei riflettono principi come il multilinguismo, il multiculturalismo, le politiche linguistiche, l'apprendimento autonomo e l'autovalutazione, la creatività e l'inclusione. L'obiettivo, a lungo termine, è di identificare come la lingua possa essere usata al fine di promuovere efficacemente i principi socio-educativi e linguistici promossi dal Consiglio d'Europa. La condivisione di questo progetto mira a condividere idee e coinvolgere un network di Centri Linguistici potenzialmente interessati ad unirsi in questo obiettivo.
Carmen Argondizzo is Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Calabria (UniCal-Italy), where she teaches students majoring in Education, Business Administration, Cooperation and Development. Her research interests focus on discourse analysis in the field Language for Special Purposes and the related pedagogical implications, considered through a humanistic perspective. She is Vice-President of CercleS, elective member of the AICLU - Italian Association of Language Centers - National Board, and President of the UniCal Language Centre, where she coordinates European projects aimed at enhancing students' autonomous language learning. She has recently become Co-Editor in Chief of Language Learning in Higher Education, De Gruyter.
Anna Maria De Bartolo is Associate Professor in the Department of Culture, Education and Society at the University of Calabria, Italy. She holds a Master degree in Modern Literature and Culture, York University (UK) and a Master degree in Language Teaching: Applied Linguistics, Lancaster University (UK). Her research interests include teacher talk, classroom behaviours and ELF pragmatics. She has published in the area of multilingualism and multiculturalism, and is particularly interested in exploring the implications of ELF for English language policy, pedagogy, and practice as well as ELF in relation to global multilingualism. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Language Centre at the University of Calabria.
Alessandra Fazio is Associate Professor in English Studies at the University of Rome Foro Italico and Director of the Language Centre. Her research interests lie in terminology, applied linguistics and cognitive linguistics. She is mainly involved in the analysis of the specific language of sport and sport sciences. She has been recently involved in innovative ICT integrated language methodologies, new CLIL and TBLT approaches. She has collaborated with the Institute for Studies on Scientific Research and Documentation (CNR) and and has taken part in the Scientific Committee of the Italian Association of Terminology. She is elective member of AICLU Board (Italian Association of Language Centers) and member of CERCLES.
Jean Jimenez is a Researcher at the University of Calabria, Italy, where she teaches EAP and ESP to undergraduate and graduate students. She is part of the Advisory Board of the University Language Centre and co-coordinator of the Test Development Team responsible for the development of EFL tests for university students. She holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Lancaster University, UK. Her main research interests include SLA, Corrective Feedback in CALL, Language Testing, and the use of Corpus Linguistics in the Second Language Classroom. She has presented papers at national and international conferences in Europe and North America.
Ida Ruffolo is a Researcher in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Calabria, Italy, where she teaches EAP and ESP. She holds a PhD in Language analysis and interdisciplinary studies from the University of Calabria and an MA in ELT from the University of Reading. Her research interests are Corpus Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, and ESP, with particular interest in the language of tourism.