Languages in Higher Education

As part of the European Union strategy, the bologna process was created and implemented in the late 80s and early 90s. It consisted in efforts to unify Higher Education in the area with the European Higher Ed Initiative. Switzerland is not part of it, although it subscribes to it. Because of the implementation of the bologna process, member countries had to incorporate multiple languages as part of the multiple graduate requirements (3 to 5 years). The main objective of this program is to allow students to easily mobilize within members’ countries, which is one of the reasons why most people in Europe are able to speak different languages.

This program, which sounds fascinated to me, help me realized on the importance of incorporating languages within curriculums in the different educational programs. In a globalized world, being able to speak different languages is a very useful tool in order to be able to embrace diversity and to put efforts together to address current global issues. And although this is a tool that can be very useful in higher education, it is a tool that should ideally get developed in individual early educational stages.

In the Latin American context, English as a second language has become a priority when designing educational programs, and this is a consequence of the existing need to get connected and emerged into the different opportunities that the English-speaking countries constantly offer. In my experience, I learned English since I was little and then I went to a “bilingual” high school so some of my classes where in English, which helped me access abroad opportunities when I was in college.

However, I often wonder if learning languages is promoted in the same way in English speaking countries such as in the U.S or any other country with English as its first language. Since English is a language with which you could easily communicate in most parts of the world, it may look like there is not a big need to learn other languages. However, addressing the need to be able to access opportunities in other countries should not be the only motivation to learn languages. Learning languages is also a way of understanding other cultures, promoting diversity, and generating peace around the world. And all those reasons should be socialized within society in order to make efforts to implement languages in educational programs stronger.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *