This chapter aims to explore certain aspects and dimensions of bilingualism and multilingualism, with a focus on Europe. The issues analyzed are the following: languages coming into contact due to conquest or colonization, bilingualism and multilingualism as a reflection of political trends and contemporary lifestyles, official languages, and heritage languages. The field of language education is also treated, when it comes to the benefits of being bilingual and multilingual, which are also analyzed from the perspective of evolutionary psychology, with the claim that knowledge of several languages ensures survival and better living conditions. The conclusions are that bilingualism and multilingualism are a necessity and an inevitable phenomenon in today’s Europe, especially due to migration and due to the need of adapting to and accepting other cultures. What is more, there is a universality of bilingualism and multilingualism throughout history.
Part of the book: Multilingualism and Bilingualism
The purpose of this chapter is to look at ways in which teaching and learning a foreign language can benefit from previous knowledge of other languages, when it comes to the awareness of linguistics, pragmatics, as well as of cultural differences. The assumption is that having knowledge of other languages and, implicitly, of cultures, can help increase awareness and empathy with other cultural values and mindsets. As a result, adaptation to the ways and values of other cultures can be easier and faster for multilinguals. Studying a foreign language should always be strongly connected to studying the respective culture, since it can increase awareness of the context of communication and help in the study of pragmatics. The chapter will analyze examples of multilinguals with these abilities and awareness and draw conclusions.
Part of the book: Multilingualism
The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the implications of freedom of speech regarding political discussions on social media platforms, such as Facebook. The paper will look at the following aspects: the occasion when social media users have to discuss politics as a hobby and as a means to keep their ideas out of the view of face-to-face social circles, to engage in social issues and even be part of protests, to discuss politicians’ public image, and attempt to change some users’ perception about it. Within social media, we witness debates or simple displays of emotions, allowing users to speak their minds and interact with other users, showing empathy toward them. The benefits of this are related to the therapeutic effects of speaking about what upsets them or angers them and finding like-minded users.
Part of the book:[Working title]
The purpose of this paper is to present, from the perspective of intercultural communication, how foreign languages, and especially English, could be taught to students at the Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest, Romania. Starting from what they claim their expectations with respect to how foreign languages would help them in their future jobs, we could devise lessons following several aspects. Among these, the fact that English is a lingua franca, and also the language of intercultural competence at the world level, shows why most students opt to study English. Another aspect has to do with skills that can be taught during foreign language seminars. What is more, awareness of differences among cultures and cultural-specific features could also be included. Last but not least, organizational culture also matters, since in their future jobs, students will need to establish business cooperation and may also need to communicate efficiently with an international team.
Part of the book: Multiculturalism and Interculturalism
The purpose of this chapter is to analyse, comparatively, the possibilities that are offered to learners by these two platforms. One of the main aspects is that learners find themselves in an international environment since they are among students from all over the world. Here we can clearly notice the advantages of English as a lingua franca, which unites such a diverse community of learners around a topic of common interest. For both platforms, audio and video, materials are available, together with the possibility of students and teachers interacting on the forums, for Coursera, or in the below video discussions, for FutureLearn. Collaborative learning is also encouraged, as some courses can ask students to use Padlet to work together or other such sites. The sense of community is built by rapport with the teachers they appear on video, through common tasks, and through peer-to-peer discussions.
Part of the book: Massive Open Online Courses - Current Practice and Future Trends
The purpose of this chapter is to understand how insights in psycholinguistics could help in the creation of reading comprehension exercises for various language proficiency tests. The author of this chapter has created and adapted reading comprehension questions for students in engineering, therefore the psycholinguistic theory insights will be applied to her experience and to the domain of engineering when it comes to the topic of the text. The psycholinguistic perspective could offer insights regarding how the reading process takes place. For example, how does the interaction between language and thought occur? In order to prepare reading comprehension questions, we should know which types of questions can be helpful in order to improve the students’ skills. There are many courses and sites claiming that they can help us read a whole book in only one day or in the shortest time possible. Psycholinguistics could highlight useful skimming techniques.
Part of the book:[Working title]
The purpose of this paper is to examine various theories and purposes of translation. For instance, some translations are simply created having in mind the communication of research in a certain field, such as philosophy, to other cultures. Another purpose could be allowing readers to have access to poetry and novels from different cultures. Yet another purpose could be a more creative one, meaning rewriting certain stories from the point of view of various minorities, which can be visible in novels such as Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, which is a rewriting of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, with Bertha and Mr. Rochester as protagonists, and in mythological stories from ancient Greek and Roman cultures, which can be rewritten from the female characters’ perspective. Some translations are supposed to be faithful, while others are supposed to be more creative, the latter being visible in poetry translations. The case study will be that of translating haiku poems into Romanian within an online community.
Part of the book:[Working title]