Chronicle of Higher Education Interviews Salomone on Challenges Facing Global Higher Education

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently interviewed Rosemary Salomone, the Kenneth Wang Professor of Law, for an article titled, Global Higher Education’s Winners and Losers Are Focus of Meeting, following her recent participation in the Global 2014: The Conference for Leaders of International Education.  Salomone spoke about the increasing use of English in higher education abroad.  Here’s an excerpt of the article (internal links omitted):

In a survey of British Council staff members and other education experts in 55 countries, almost 51 percent of the respondents said teaching in English was a “controversial” issue with the public. Around 38 percent said people were in favor, while the rest either didn’t answer or said the question was not applicable.  Last year the debate flared up in both France and Italy, said Rosemary C. Salomone, a law professor at St. John’s University in New York who has studied bilingual education in the United States and is now looking at the spread of English teaching overseas.  The French see the issue very much as one of “national pride,” she said.  “How could the French replace the language of Molière with the language of Shakespeare?,” she asked, describing the attitude of some in France.   Meanwhile, in Italy, the concerns center more on practical questions: Would teaching in English put some Italian professors out of work? Or hurt their ability to convey complex thoughts and hold unscripted classroom discussions?  Looking ahead, she warned that if more top institutions in Europe or elsewhere adopted English, it could build a new barrier to disadvantaged students or immigrants who are not taught English at a young age or have difficulty learning it.  The move toward English “is not a zero-sum game,” she said. “There inevitably will be winners and losers.”

Rosemary Salomone

Rosemary Salomone

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