Workshop D: The Place of Language
Although my report on the place of language in the borderless university is not aimed specifically at academics or language specialists, the issues raised and the recommendations proposed for discussion are based in part on theoretical considerations about language, culture and society, pedagogy and didactics, and human and machine communication. When I sat down to prepare it I began, however, by simply jotting down a number of recommendations that came intuitively to mind.
I found much to agree with in Professor Greenstein’s paper. She illustrates very well the current ambiguities in terminology, the tensions and paradoxes between the technological and the human, between the monolingual convenience of English and the life-enhancing diversity of plurilingualism, between the old world of books, libraries and paper, and the new world of instant access to databases and journals with the convenience of cutting and pasting, between the awareness and understanding of other cultures gained by travel, residence and acquaintance and the easy availability of e-mail, chat rooms, and other sites for cultural and linguistic exchange between individuals and groups at a distance from one another.