1 University of Huelva (SPAIN)
2 Universidad Pablo de Olavide (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 1992-1997
ISBN: 978-84-614-7423-3
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
This Paper examines the changes in the university students’ attitudes in front of bilingualism after a period of implementing some strategies to improve these attitudes that students showed a course year before. The first research made during the academic course 2008-09, focused their objectives in knowing the attitudes of university students in Huelva –comparing Spanish students attitudes with other university students from other parts of Europe (Erasmus students in Huelva and students from a Belgium university)-, in order to start a program of activities to encourage the participation of students in mobility programs and in a bilingual section to make their career with some subjects taught in English.
This research is the second part of a project that we are developing in the framework of the experiences centered in Innovation and Teaching in Higher Education. Our aims are centered in the continuation of the first research, so we intend to qualify our university students to participate in bilingual courses and to improve student mobility among the different European Universities (Erasmus).
The results of the first research showed that university students in Huelva are less motivated to know other languages and have a worse consideration of the advantages when they participate in bilingual training courses in front of learning only in Spanish than in other contexts. It is clear that it is necessary to motivate our students with different bilingual activities and to make and to put in practice some teaching materials that could help students to start a course in a bilingual group.
We have analyzed the situation through a questionnaire of attitudes in front of bilingualism. This questionnaire was done by our Spanish students, Erasmus students in our University and students of the University of West-Flanders (Belgium), because of it is a traditional bilingual context and we use it as a reference.
It is a transversal and descriptive research. The sample was intentional selected and it was composed of 136 university students (Spanish students, Erasmus students in the University of Huelva and students from a University in Belgium) in the course year 2008-09, and of 221 the next academic year (the same types).
The questionnaire that the researchers apply was design by Colin Baker (1996). It consists in 24 items Likert type with 5 sections where it is asked for the attitudes in front of speaking more than one language and the assessment about knowing other languages.
The results show, in a comparative approach, that it has increased, among Spanish students, their attitudes in front of bilingualism, so that give us an idea about the success of the activities made to improve Spanish students’ attitudes. The paper concludes with further reflections on new research directions which need to be developed in future years according to develop new activities and to design and implement new teaching materials.
ESHE, internationalization, bilingualism, Erasmus, student attitudes.