Re-interpreting English for academic purposes in a trinational Bachelor's degree in Business Administration

McMenamin, James W. (2015-12)

Thesis (DEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigates the conceptualisation of the English curriculum in a trinational and trilingual Bachelor's programme in Business Administration shared between France, Germany and Switzerland, and seeks to understand the influences that have led to the curriculum taking its current form. A challenge confronting the study is that there are conflicting notions of best practice, even if one accepts that the curriculum should include some element of academic language support, or preparation for the world of work. In order to shed light on this issue, the literature review investigated trinational language policy in respect of macro (supranational), meso (national and regional) and micro (institutional) levels. This approach itself raised a further question, namely whether the language policy landscape would reveal consistent development of policy from level to level. To address these questions, the study considered two data sets, firstly relevant documents from the language policy landscape and secondly English curricula from the trinational Bachelor's programme in Business Administration. Significant themes identified from the policy review were used as themes that informed a content analysis of the English language curricula in the trinational programme. It was revealed that in the trinational context, the existence of a coherent policy continuum was doubtful, and that other factors may have influenced the conceptualisation of the curriculum, including policies such as the Bologna Declaration which were not primarily intended to apply to language issues. To investigate another possible influence on the language curriculum, the study turned its attention to teacher agency. Teacher agency was revealed to be a de facto influence on the language curriculum at micro level. Where institutional policy is concerned, it has been argued that micro-level language planning has received comparatively little critical attention and that it should therefore be the object of further research.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die konseptualisering van die Engelse kurrikulum in 'n trinasionale en drietalige BA in Besigheidsadministrasie gedeel tussen opvoedkundige instellings in Frankryk, Duitsland en Switserland, en probeer om die invloede wat gelei het tot die huidige vorm van die kurrikulum te verstaan. 'n Uitdaging vir die studie is dat daar teenstrydige begrippe van beste praktyk bestaan, selfs as 'n mens aanvaar dat die kurrikulum sekere elemente van akademiese taalondersteuning of voorbereiding vir die wêreld van werk behoort te bevat. Om lig op hierdie kwessies te werp, het die literatuuroorsig trinasionale taalbeleid op makro- (supra), meso- (nasionale en plaaslike) en mikro- (institusionele) vlakke ondersoek. Hierdie benadering roer 'n verdere vraagstuk aan, naamlik of die taalbeleidveld konsekwent beleidontwikkeling van vlak tot vlak openbaar. Om hierdie vrae aan te spreek, het die studie twee groepe data ontleed, eerstens relevante dokumente uit die taalbeleidveld en tweedens Engelse kurrikula uit die trinasionale BA-program in Besigheidsadministrasie. Beduidende temas wat uit die beleidoorsig geïdentifiseer is, is gebruik as tematiese raamwerk vir 'n inhoudsanalise van die Engelse taalkurrikulums in die trinasionale program. Die analise het aan die lig gebring dat, in die trinasionale konteks, die bestaan van 'n samehangende beleidkontinuum betwyfel kan word; verder kon ander faktore moontlik die konseptualisering van die kurrikulum beïnvloed, insluitend beleide soos die Bologna-verklaring wat nie primêr bedoel was om taalkwessies aan te spreek nie. Om ander moontlike invloede op die taal kurrikulum te ondersoek, het die studie op die onderwyser as agent gefokus. Die aksie van die onderwyser kan 'n praktiese invloed op die taalkurrikulum op mikrovlak hê. Wat institusionele beleid betref, is dit aangevoer dat mikro-vlak taalbeplanning relatief min kritiese aandag ontvang het en dat dit dus die fokus van verdere navorsing behoort te wees.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97789
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