N. Macianskiene

Vytautas Magnus University (LITHUANIA)
In this article internationalisation at home is discussed from an unconventional angle: the research focuses on plurilingual competence acquisition and development at a higher education institution as one of the possible aspects of internationalisation at home. Language learning is a lifelong process, however, it is often insufficiently supported at higher education level, as the focus here is on acquiring competencies of the major and minor study fields and the opportunities for non-linguistic students to develop their language competencies are rarely provided. Language constellations here refer to individual language profiles of a plurilingual learner, i.e. the number of further languages studied after the first foreign or second language and language configurations the students’ plurilingual language competence consists or has been formed of. The research presents the analysis of the relationship between the field of study, gender, achievement in the first foreign language and the choice of subsequent languages. The data recorded in the diploma supplements of the three cohorts of Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) first cycle graduates of 2008 (n=806), 2010 (n=793) and 2011 (n=789) on the development of plurilingual language competence during the four years of undergraduate studies at the university served as the main statistical source for statistical analysis. The language constellations formed by VMU first cycle students were analysed comparing them with regard to the fields of study aiming at identifying the patterns for the choice of language to study for compulsory and optional integrative or instrumental purposes. The research revealed significant differences between the numbers of languages studied among the students of different fields of study as well as different gender students; no statistically significant differences were found with regard to the type of language constellations and fields of study. The research concludes that providing opportunities for students at tertiary level to develop their plurilingual competence expands the boundaries of internationalisation at home.