Exchange students who come to Scandinavia are often motivated by an intention to improve their proficiency in English rather than the local language. They take academic classes conducted in English and may find themselves living in a linguafranca English bubble, acculturated to an international-student subculture. A few do break out of the bubble, learn the local language, and experience the local culture. Here we report on preliminary findings from a project intended to identify the factors leading to successful learning of both English and the local languages. Around 20-40 students at each of four institutions, two in Sweden, two in Denmark, were interviewed three times over a semester and asked to complete simple language tests. English proficiency improved in most cases, though not all features of language improved; Swedish/Danish was only learnt by those with good initial English and appropriate motivation. As expected, contact with local students was limited. Institutional policies could probably influence these outcomes.
Researching Content and Language Integration in Higher Education, 2007, p. 233-250
udvekslingsstuderende; sprog; Skandinavien; lingua franca engelsk; exchange students; language; Scandinavia; lingua franca English