Are Languages losing their voice in the Institutes of Technology in the Republic of Ireland?
Keywords:Explicit/implicit language policy, Disconnect between government strategy and IoT practices, Higher Education, Multilingualism
A recent nationwide investigation conducted in the Republic of Ireland suggests that there is a disconnect between current practices in the IoT/TU sector and the national priorities set in the government’s Languages Connect Strategy. The government aims to increase the number of third level students learning languages to 20% and increase the level of participation in international mobility programmes; however, language provision in IoTs across the country is slowly disappearing off the radar and the proportion of third level students availing of Erasmus Plus remains low. The empirical study, which investigated the impact of institutional language policy on attitudes towards languages, revealed that the appetite for both language teaching and mobility is not currently being met in the majority of IoTs/TUs. There is clearly a need to provide institutional support in the IoTs, in order to bring these HEIs into step with government policies.