Language Alternation in Classrooms Where Lecturers use a Non-Shared First Language
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The present research shows that during on-stage interactions, English is the only language that is used. During off-stage interactions lecturers use English when talking to foreign students and Dutch when talking to Dutch students. The use of Dutch by lecturers is perceived by foreign students as ‘irritating’ (F20;5 ) and it is perceived to make them ‘feel excluded’ (D20;11) and ‘offended’ (F17;5), it creates ‘misunderstandings’ (20;9) and foreign students want ‘to know what is being talked about’ (FS1,34 ). It is even specifically stated that if anything could be changed about the language use in the classroom the students ‘would like to reduce the use of Dutch in the classroom at least when students who do not understand Dutch are present’ (F22;2). The source of the problems that foreign students experience is shown to be the language use as it is perceived by the lecturers as compared to lecturers’ language practice. Lecturers indicate that they perceive to only use Dutch when there are no foreign students present or in interactions that are not relevant to all students such as ‘personal conversations’ (LI2,155). In practice, however, they are found to use Dutch in conversations that are potentially relevant to foreign students. The data, therefore, indicates a discrepancy to exist between the perceived and practiced language policy in these classroom which leads to problems for the foreign students.