Prospect or promise: Internationalisation in Australia.

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Bridges, Susan
Bartlett, Brendan
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C. Gitsaki

Date
2007
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Abstract

We assert a tension between "internationalisation" as an evolving construct and its enactment in the higher education marketplace in relation to short-term, TESOL teacher education programs conducted in Australia. We argue that this tension is evident in instances of dissonance between how internationalisation has been portrayed in academic literature and federal policy and how it is perceived at the higher education coalface. In making this claim, we recognise that the instantiation of internationalisation-in-practice that we draw upon as a data source is only one of many practical manifestations of the paradigm. Indeed, data from our case study of a TESOL program in teacher education support many of the defining characteristics of internationalisation. However, they indicate also a growing tension between discursive trends, policy rhetoric and enactment. We assert that the resolution of this tension is central to avoiding conflict surrounding ambiguous signals of purpose from the federal government and the higher education sector. While many see such short-term programs as mutually beneficial for providers who gain financially and for teachers who gain in value-added ways from refining their craft in an immersion context for English usage, we warn that Australian goals for internationalisation in Education need to be more honest in reflecting the pecuniary interest of the sector. We believe they can do this without impunity by being sensitive and responsive to what participating international students want from the preparation.

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Language and Languages: Global and Local Tensions.

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1st

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1

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