Language and meaning in a multilingual interdisciplinary teaching and learning context

Research output: Book/ReportReport


The present study was undertaken in the frame of the research programme Language Use and Individual Learning at the Department of Education at Lund University, using the intentional-expressive dialogue format developed within this programme. The dialogue format was adjusted to study language use and understanding in a multilingual and interdisciplinary higher education context, by including questions relating to the students’ mother tongue and home countries. 15 international students on an interdisciplinary programme for sustainable development studies were asked in individual sessions how they believed major flooding could be prevented. The study aimed to investigate how certain aspects of language use affected the students’ responses, when answering a question related to this environmental issue. The diversity in students’ linguistic and disciplinary backgrounds was reflected in the wide range of variation of examples and perspectives found in their suggestions for preventive action, and in different ways of responding to the questions in the dialogue. Findings also show that, when asked how they would express it in their mother tongue, most of the students included new elements in their explanations, or changed the manner in which they approached the topic, compared to their first explanation in English.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Educational Sciences


  • international Masters programs, medium of instruction, sustainability education, conceptualisation, language and thought, language in education policy, interdisciplinary, contextualisation
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLund
PublisherLearning Lund, Lund University
Number of pages51
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameLearning Lund Report
PublisherLund University
ISSN (Print)1654-2673

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