Université Libre de Bruxelles 2: Plan Langues – Faculté des Sciences appliquées

Author(s): Ian Tudor
Institution/Organisation: Université Libre de Bruxelles (BE)


The study focuses on the Plan Langues, an initiative launched by the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), as implemented within the Faculté des Sciences appliquées (FSA). The main lines of the initiative are similar to the Plan Langues as a whole (cf. MOLAN RES 1 Université Libre de Bruxelles 1: Plan Langues), namely the inclusion in 1st cycle students’ academic programme of obligatory languages courses with a weighting of 8 ECTS. The target language is English. The Plan Langues – FSA highlights a number of key success factors. One is the integration of language learning into the broader goals of students’ academic and professional training. This may be seen in the presence of a clearly defined projet professionnel at faculty level which emphasises the need for students to acquire multilingual and multicultural competences in order for them to be able to operate effectively in the current European and international workplace. Another is the creation of a wide range of language learning and language contact possibilities in parallel with the language teaching programme per se: these include exchange agreements, work placements, joint degree programmes, and encouragement of participation in international student activities. In this way, language learning is fully integrated into students’ broader preparation for professional life. Indeed, the target language – English - is a means for students to participate in a range of attractive and professionally rewarding activities, rather than simply another academic obligation. The case study therefore highlights the importance of presenting language learning within a broader set of academic and professional goals, as an empowering skill, rather than as an objective in its own right. On a more local level, it also underlines the motivational value of strong faculty support for language initiatives.

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