UniSIG: English in Dutch higher education

The philosopher Ad Verbrugge recently published a big spread in the NRC on the problems English is causing at Dutch universities. This could have been interesting, except that none of the problems he mentioned can really be attributed to English. Straw man number 1 is the issue of poor literacy in Dutch. If kids these days really do have dodgy Dutch, then that’s a problem with the way Dutch, not English, is being taught.

Anywho. I took the opportunity to have a little rant about this in eSense in my report following the inaugural meeting on 17 June of the SENSE UniSIG, a group for editors, translators and other language professionals involved with academia and academic English in the Netherlands. I gave a talk, or at least tried to; I made a point of encouraging audience interaction and as a result could barely get a word in edgewise.

Here we go:

eSENSE report UniSIG talk