Challenges and Aspirations of University Language Centres with Particular Reference to Croatia

Ivan Poljaković

language centres, foreign language for specific purposes (lsp), bologna process, foreign language policy


The recent political, social and economic changes in Europe have had a great impact on higher education, in particular with regard to foreign language teaching at universities. This has resulted in an increased need for foreign language teaching at universities especially among non-philological studies. The expansion of new language centres has been a step forward in meeting the challenges of the Bologna Process and the emerging multilingual Europe. Language centres play an important role in second language learning especially in teaching foreign languages for specific purposes. However, they have not always been on equal terms with modern language departments and other non-linguistic departments. Language centre staff are often treated with mistrust, and misconception of their work is not uncommon. Several changes need to occur to improve the status of language centres. Firstly, the teaching staff should take more initiatives in research which would ensure a better standing and a more adequate status within the higher education institution they operate in. Furthermore, universities should develop language policies to promote foreign language learning according to the European Council recommendations. This would contribute to a more harmonious cooperation between language centres and other departments at universities.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies