Ghent University
Workshop Tempus
Curricula Review
19-21 October 2005
Workshop Curricula review
Implementation of bachelor/master
study curricula
Good practices: the case of the ‘linguistics
and literature’-programmes
***
Benjamin Biebuyck
Workshop Curricula review
Unity in diversity
Linguistics and literature
as case of exception
• integration of several programmes into
one
• continuation of a four year programme
structure
Workshop Curricula review
Point of departure
Three fully-fledged, traditional academic
programmes
• Germanic languages
•Romance languages
•Latin & Greek
Workshop Curricula review
Point of departure (2)
origins in 19C philology
focus on:
 language families: comparative approach
 linguistic genealogy: history of languages
 edition of texts: “Quellensuche und
Überlieferung”, emendation, commentary
Workshop Curricula review
Latin & Greek:
specific characteristics
Oldest training programme (classical
philology)
High esteem in 19C concept of “Bildung”
Equivalent training in both languages
Workshop Curricula review
Latin & Greek:
specific characteristics (2)
Situation in 2003:
• teaching language: Dutch
• strong interconnection between both languages
• small student groups
• important synergy < cultural component
Workshop Curricula review
Latin & Greek:
specific characteristics (3)
Recent innovations and modernisations:
• philology  optional
• Italian
• Spanish
• Hebrew
Workshop Curricula review
Latin & Greek:
specific characteristics (4)
Clear results:
•Biggest student population in Flanders
(Belgium): intake ± 30 per annum
•Up-to-date training programme
Workshop Curricula review
Latin & Greek:
specific characteristics (4)
Constraints:
• Interdependence of both languages (esp.
Greek)
• teacher oriented
• developments in high school system
Workshop Curricula review
Romance languages:
specific characteristics
• Created in the second half of the 19C
• Strongly associated with French =
teaching language at that point + language
of cultural elite in Belgium
• Native speakers
Workshop Curricula review
Romance languages:
specific characteristics (2)
Situation in 2003:
• teaching language: in general French, for
specific courses Italian or Spanish
• French = pivotal language
• medium size student population
Workshop Curricula review
Romance languages:
specific characteristics (3)
• “second” Romance language: from
second year on
• always supportive relation to French
• competitive relation
• strong historical component: Latin as
compulsory course + proto-romance
Workshop Curricula review
Romance languages:
specific characteristics (4)
Results:
• smaller than KUL-counterpart (intake of ±
70 students)
• Spanish/Italian: “second”; yet: much more
students for Spanish than for Italian
• strong philological emphasis
Workshop Curricula review
Romance languages:
specific characteristics (5)
Constraints:
• based on the students’ primary appreciation for
French
• less ‘up-to-date’ image
• highly sensitive to quality degradation scenarios
• professional profile: less outspoken
Workshop Curricula review
Germanic Languages:
specific characteristics
• Created in the 2nd half of the 19C as well
• mother tongue training:
ideological/emancipatory implications
• large student population and vast
autonomy for the participating teaching
units
Workshop Curricula review
Germanic Languages:
specific characteristics (2)
Originally: strong philological + historical
orientation
Study of three Germanic languages (until
late 1960s)
Innovation: Scandinavian languages +
reduction to the study of two languages
Workshop Curricula review
Germanic Languages:
specific characteristics (3)
situation in 2003:
• modular programme architecture, based on the
free choice of the individual student
• conjunction of two ‘big’ languages (English,
Dutch) and two ‘small’ languages (German,
Swedish)
• complete analogy between all partner languages
Workshop Curricula review
Germanic Languages:
specific characteristics (4)
• historical and philological focus: downsized;
much more attention for contemporary praxis
• gradual specialization options: per language or
per discipline
• “minor”-infrastructure: literary theory + linguistic
theory
Workshop Curricula review
Germanic Languages:
specific characteristics (5)
• unique programme Scandinavian Languages
and Literature
• largest unit in Belgium (intake of ± 220 students
per annum)
• very general professional profile (teaching,
media, journalism, service sector)
Workshop Curricula review
Negotiation position in 2003
< keep what we have
i.e. bachelor/masters in Linguistics and
Literature:
-Germanic Languages
- Romance Languages
- Classical Languages
Workshop Curricula review
Negotiation position in 2003 (2)
Add a new programme:
Bachelor/masters in Linguistics and Literature
(new combinations)
< evolutions on the student market
< competitive dynamics
Workshop Curricula review
Negotiation position in 2003 (3)
Yet: university board decides
- programme proposal: confirmed
- integration
= unique position in university programme
reorganization
Workshop Curricula review
Take-off
Bachelor and Masters in Linguistics and
Literature: Two languages
• not one encompassing programme
• but superstructure of a number of main
subjects (i.e. combination of 2 languages)
Workshop Curricula review
Challenges + Constraints
Institutional:
• university board: reluctant
• organizability
• discrepancies between generations of
teaching staff
Workshop Curricula review
Challenges + Constraints (2)
Internal:
• varying expectations of participating units with
respect to the new combinations
• different ‘training atmospheres’
• ‘political option’: norm student = point of
reference
i.e. 60 ECTS per year; no prolongation of the
course of study
Workshop Curricula review
Challenges + Constraints (3)
• faculty Ba/Ma-model: major vs. minor training
programme
study of two languages
 study of two disciplines (linguistics and
literature)
 specific requirements of language teaching
Workshop Curricula review
Consultative structure and
presuppositions
• old study programme committees have to
approve of the proposals
• discrepancy between SPC and departments
Hence: “task force”: ad hoc commission
Workshop Curricula review
Consultative structure and
presuppositions (2)
Federative composition
• two representatives of each language +
1 for the general subjects
• “Germanic model”
• Swedish + German take the lead
Workshop Curricula review
Consultative structure and
presuppositions (3)
Consensus model based on
• pedagogical considerations (language
acquisition and proficiency, group counselling,
scientific craftsmanship)
• practical considerations: viability
• student-centred approach
Workshop Curricula review
Pedagogical preferences
• two languages (of nine)
• two core disciplines: language and
literature
• importance of language proficiency and
of culture and history
Workshop Curricula review
Pedagogical preferences (2)
• no minor, but set of clustered optional
courses = specialisation track
• interchangability: necessary for modular
structure + language minors
credit unit = 5 ECTS
Workshop Curricula review
Pedagogical preferences (3)
• continuity of language courses
• rational sequence of ‘ancillary’ courses
(propaedeutics, general, advanced)
• gradual and cohesive specialisation, both
on language level and on the level of the
discipline
Workshop Curricula review
Pedagogical preferences (4)
• total volume of language courses is more
important than the continuation of the
present situation
• sustained multilingual model (at least 60
ECTS per language)
• problem of the MA-thesis
Workshop Curricula review
The construction of the programme
norm programme: 60 ECTS/year
! Rapid completion
// philosophy of the programme: general and
‘background’ training, without explicit professional
profile
Instead: clearer scientific profile
Workshop Curricula review
Bachelor 1
Language A
(20 ECTS)
General courses
(15 ECTS)
Language B
(20 ECTS)
Language proficiency
Linguistics
Literary Studies
(cultural history)
• Philosophy
• Art history
• Historical
criticism
• Text linguistics
• Modern
literature
Language proficiency
Linguistics
Literary Studies
(cultural history)
Introduction to Linguistics & Literature (History & Typology) (5 ECTS)
Workshop Curricula review
Bachelor 2
Language A
(25 ECTS)
General courses
(10 ECTS)
Language B
(25 ECTS)
Language proficiency
Linguistics
Literary Studies
(cultural history)
• General
linguistics
• Theory of
Literature
Language proficiency
Linguistics
Literary Studies
(cultural history)
Workshop Curricula review
Bachelor 3
Language A
(20 ECTS)
Specialisation
track
(15 ECTS)
Language B
(15 ECTS)
Linguistics
Literary Studies
• Linguistics
• Literary studies
• Historical
linguistics and
literature
Linguistics
Literary Studies
Research paper (5 ECTS)
Seminar (5 ECTS)
Workshop Curricula review
Summary of the bachelor programme
• Language A: 75 ECTS
• Language B: 60 ECTS
• General courses: 30 ECTS
• Specialisation track: 15 ECTS
= 180 ECTS
Workshop Curricula review
Pros
+ coherence
+ upgrading of linguistic/literary
competence
+ in-depth proficiency in (at least) 2
languages; gradual specialisation in the
course of the programme
+ counselled integration of MA thesis
Workshop Curricula review
Cons (< BB)
- no full synergy
- “(romance) relicts” (Latin, Literary theory)
- History and typology
- disconnection of the classical languages
Workshop Curricula review
Master programme
Continuation of the same philosophy
Yet: two concepts
• two language-programme
• specialisation in 1 language
• optional courses support scientific profile
Workshop Curricula review
Master: two languages
Language A
(15 ECTS)
Optional courses
Language B
(15 ECTS)
Linguistics
Literary Studies
• Linguistics (5+5)
• Literary studies (5+5)
• extra language A + B (5+5)
• extra language A + ... (5+5)
• ... (5+5)
Linguistics
Literary Studies
Master thesis (20 ECTS)
Workshop Curricula review
Master: one language
Language A
(30 ECTS)
Optional courses
Linguistics
Literary Studies
...
• Linguistics (10)
• Literary studies (10)
• ... (5+5)
Master thesis (20 ECTS)
Workshop Curricula review
Practical organisation
Which language combinations to offer?
< experience of colleges for translators and
interpreters
(however: practice-based, translational
perspective, mother tongue)
< intrinsic motivation: for teacher, for the
student
Workshop Curricula review
Decision
In principle: all possible combinations
(i.e. 36)
In real terms: maximum possible
rationale of columns
(continuity of language training)
Workshop Curricula review
Column model
Dutch
English French German
Latin
= 29 combinations (or majors)
Workshop Curricula review
Greek
Italian
Spanish
Swedish
Week schedule: Ba1 (1st semester)
Sem 1
maandag
dinsdag
woensdag
donderdag
vrijdag
8:3010:00
Engels
GISZ
Engels
Boone
Literatuur vd.
Oudheid
GZ
Boone
Frans
GISZ
GISZ
10:0011:30
Engels
Van Damme
11:3013:00
DL
13:0014:30
DL
Literatuur vd.
Oudheid
DL
14:3016:00
Nederlands
Nederlands
DL
Frans
16:0017:30
Braeckman
17:3019:00
Workshop Curricula review
Keunen
Week schedule: Ba1 (2nd semester)
Sem 2
maandag
dinsdag
8:3010:00
Engels
GISZ
10:0011:30
11:3013:00
GISZ
13:0014:30
GISZ
14:3016:00
Nederlands
woensdag
GIS
donderdag
vrijdag
G&T Romaanse
Inl. Klassieke I
Willems
Engels
GIS
G&T Romaanse
Frans
Van Damme
Frans
Van Damme
DL
GISZ
DL
GIS
Nederlands
16:0017:30
Engels
G&T Germaanse
17:3019:00
Workshop Curricula review
The viability test
Week schedule: Ba2 (2nd semester)
Sem 2
maandag
dinsdag
woensdag
Nederlands
DL
Nederlands: GC
donderdag
vrijdag
8:3010:00
10:0011:30
Nederlands
Engels
11:3013:00
Frans
13:0014:30
DL
Engels
GISZ
Frans
14:3016:00
16:0017:30
moet vrij blijven
voor seminarie ba3
GISZ
DL
Frans
17:3019:00
Workshop Curricula review
Gesch. vd Oudheid
+ Godsdienstgesch
Flexibility
+ no extra cost for the university
annual evaluation
< input from secondary schools
Norm student vs. para-norm student
Thus far: consolidation < staff
Workshop Curricula review
One year later: good practices?
• March 2004: survey among high school
students
Divide students into groups for exercises
 student friendly week schedules
< nuclear and peripheral student
contingents for each language
Workshop Curricula review
One year later: good practices? (2)
October 2004: to a large extent in line with the
prognoses
i.e. 2/3 in traditional combinations
And 1/3 in new combinations
However: 20% growth vis-à-vis the sum of the
traditional programmes
= intake of 360 new students, 26 combinations
Workshop Curricula review
One year later: good practices? (3)
October 2005: gradual evolution towards
the new combinations
Now: 60% traditional, 40% new
Again: 14% growth vis-à-vis 2004
= intake of 410 new students,
in 26 combinations
Workshop Curricula review
One year later: good practices? (4)
 by far the largest programme
(compare: Louvain: 260)
 big differences between the languages
 tentatively: shifts between the
combinations
Workshop Curricula review
One year later: good practices? (4)
Shifts:
• “Germanic” combinations: 2004: -26.4%,
2005: -0.6%
• “Romance” combinations: 2004: +3.4%;
2005: +31%
• “Classical” combinations: 2004: -17.2%;
2005: -50%
(in absolute numbers)
Workshop Curricula review
One year later: good practices? (5)
Migrations:
• “Germanic+Romance” combinations: 2004: +26.8%,
2005: +33.4%
• “Germanic+Classical” combinations: 2004: +3.9%;
2005: +3.7%
• “Romance+Classical” combinations: 2004: +2%;
2005: +2.7%
(in absolute numbers)
Workshop Curricula review
Details per languages (1)
• English: very dominant; (almost) all combinations
approx. 54% of all students
• Dutch: mother tongue, important group; 7
combinations
2004: 42%, 2005: 37.6%
Very salient combination: Dutch-English
(2004: 27.4%, 2005: 21.9%)
Workshop Curricula review
Details per languages (2)
• Spanish: huge growth; all 5 combinations
2004: 29.6%; 2005: 34.9%
• French: considerable growth; (almost) all
combinations
2004: 25.1%, 2005: 29.0%
French-Spanish: 12.9%  14.0%
new: English-Spanish: 10.6  13.0%
Workshop Curricula review
Details per languages (3)
• German: relapse in 2004, growth in 2005
2004: 11.7%; 2005: 12.8%
• Latin: growth in 2004; slight relapse in 2005
2004: 12.0%, 2005: 8.6%
Remarkable: radical regression of Latin+Greek
2004: 6.7%, 2005: 3.2%
Workshop Curricula review
Details per languages (4)
• Swedish: slight relapse in 2004, growth in 2005
2004: 9.5%; 2005: 10.1%
• Italian: substantial growth in 2005: +48%
2004: 8.1%, 2005: 9.8%
• Greek: slight relapse in 2004; dramatic relapse in
2005
2004: 7.2%; 2005: 3.2%
Workshop Curricula review
Conclusion of current situation
‘Geological’ evolution
i.e. high peaks erode
lower and younger peaks grow higher
2004: 4 biggest combinations cover almost 54% of
the student population, all other combinations
have less than 5%
2005: approx. 51.6%; 6 combinations represent
more than 5% + other slight fluctuations
Workshop Curricula review
General conclusions
• The current programme is viable
Both in a pedagogical and in a practical sense
• Manifest recognition: real demand
• all languages have enough critical mass
• even if not all combinations are equally
successful: no need for reorganization or
downsizing; other combinations?
Workshop Curricula review
What now?
• Clear need for more in-depth high school
student counselling
< not all evolutions are logically defendable
< results of the first year suggest that not
all student groups were equally successful
Workshop Curricula review
What now? (2)
(results)
Workshop Curricula review
What now? (3)
• master: prolongation not per se
necessary; only when combined with more
specific professional competences
Such as: teaching, private economy,
public sector, research
Workshop Curricula review
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