Influencing Curricula and Shaping Identity: Exploring the Impact of Universities’ Language Policies on Music Education Curricula in a Multilingual Society
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Cultural identity is a crucial factor within the process of globalization, and each formation ofcultural identity relies on language. Language determines who we are, where we belong to, and how we define ourselves. If we describe culture as the sum of our communal beliefs, principles,traditions, behaviours, and art forms, the combination between language and music plays apivotal role in the shaping of identity, with poetry, song, folklore and stories being at the core of it. Within the past decades, the ability to communicate in more than one language has become an academic reality for students, and a precondition for success in all fields. Many universities situated in monolingual societies have therefore implemented a second language of teaching and learning (often English), which serves the purpose of skill enhancement for their respectivestudents. Language policies become, however, of crucial importance in a multilingual environment, where language is a matter of political and cultural representation, or cultural identity. Since the language policy of a university is essential to principles of teaching andlearning, this factor cannot but have an impact on how music education curricula is shaped andon how students see themselves and their studies during tertiary education. This paper explores the influence of university language policy in a multilingual society on music education studies as an academic discipline. How does the implementation of a university’s language policy demonstrate each culture’s valuation of music education? What impact does it have on curricula or curricula reform? What impact does it have on curricula or curricula reform? What impact does it have on music education students and the development of their cultural identity in a multilingual society? The paper first presents a short literature study, providing a theoretical framework for assessment and critical reflection. It then compares two universities situated in two different geographic regions, describing their respective language policies and analyzing the respective impact on music education as an academic subject. The paper aims to stipulate more academic discussion about the impact of language policy in a multi-lingual society and the formation of cultural identity.
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