‘Multilingual Mindset’: a New Perspective for Student Transition in Higher Education

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    Student Transition into and out of higher education (HE) is a theme where a lot has been written, explored and analysed. The aim of this opinion piece is to suggest a new pragmatic definition of ‘transition’, based on multilingual approaches to teaching and learning. It will also demonstrate some areas of relevance for this type of theory, providing a novel perspective in monoglot cultures. After reviewing some definitions of transition suggested by existing academic literature, the paper calls for the establishment of a ‘multilingual mindset’ in the field of HE. A ‘multilingual mindset’ could inform theoretical debate on transition, addressing the existing strong trends for the encouragement of Internationalisation in higher education. It recognises those challenges with transition which stem from cultural and linguistic difference and emphasises particularly those which are invisible, or difficult to approach, in monoglot cultures. Accounts of current practice within the scope of a ‘multilingual mindset’, along with personal reflections from a Scottish University perspective, are considered. The paper is written in the hope of providing food for thought, encouraging further experimentation and, perhaps, public exploration and enhancement of this culturally important perspective: that is dealing with Student Transition in Higher Education with a ‘multilingual mindset’.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-111
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


    • student transition
    • higher education
    • multilingual approach
    • multilingual mindset


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