TermCoord and the Multilingual & Multicultural Master Programme at the University of Luxembourg



In Spring 2013, TermCoord cooperated with the University of Luxembourg and taught a course focused on terminology in the European Union for a Master programme called “Learning and Communication under Multilingual & Multicultural Contexts” (“Multi-learn” in short).

The Multi-learn programme examines multilingual and multicultural issues in dynamic social contexts, increasingly characterised by super-diversity in global migration, mobility and the use of new information technologies. Particularly, it focuses on linguistic and cultural diversity in education, communication and professional contexts.

The comprehensive courses, seminars and workshops are available in four modules: research approaches, language and education, organisational discourse and business communication, and media discourse and digital communication. This programme offers a linguistic module providing us with wider concepts that are fundamental in the understanding of the world structure through linguistic lenses. The education and communication modules considerably deal with observation researches on normal phenomenon and practices.

It is always fascinating to probe into leaves-like minor details to examine our behaviors in classrooms and social media. Only through the courses have I discovered how pervasive “symbolic violence” was. I started to understand how “individual monitoring” and “panoramic monitoring” are at play through celebrities on TV, newspapers and social media like Twitter, Facebook and largest micro-blogging of Sina Weibo in China. I realised how language, identity and culture find their connection in reclaiming activities of minority languages around the world. I have truly developed deep awareness of intercultural communication, which in return smoothed my transition period in Luxembourg.

The lectures are characterised by multilingual instructions – mainly in English combined with French and German. One of the highlights of this curriculum was the international and interdisciplinary teaching staff comprising renowned invited professors from famous universities around Europe, such as England, the Netherlands, Germany, and France. We are completely free to express our opinions in class discussions. Fierce debates would rise from time to time, lightening up and warming the gray winter days of Luxembourg.

Another highlight is that students in our program come from more than 10 countries with multicultural background, such as European countries, China, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Russia and Turkey. It forms a mini polyglot “United Nations”, as some students broke records speaking seven languages. This programme is made to be inclusive for all students and create a place where their culture and languages are respected and can be shared.

The third highlight, last but not the least, is the programme cooperating with international institutions. The TermCoord Unit at the European Parliament is one of the latest examples. In terminology class, we discussed multilingualism in terminology in the European Union and how terminology is managed to efficiently support and ensure quality and clarity in the European Union proceedings, especially in legal documents drafting.

This course demystified terminology often pictured as a boring and abstruse field of knowledge. The image we had of terminology was just bulletins of glossary and items stated in a serious and pale tone. It looked like a lifeless desert in scorching hot midday. However, after attending the course and learning about IATE, I feel that being a terminologist can be such a great profession. Terminologists focus their attention and time on being objective, rational, accurate and meticulous in each choice of word. Such dedication projects terminologists as conscientious detectives chasing around the most hidden terms. Welcome to TermCoord to meet these wise and dedicated terminologists and embark on an adventure in terminology at the European Union!

Interested in finding out more on the Multi-learn Programme offered by the University of Luxembourg? Then, visit their website.

Xiaohua JIN, student intern at TermCoord, Master student in the“Multi-learn programme” at the University of Luxembourg. Her current research interest lies in minority languages, with a focus on language practice, policy and ideology in multilingual and multicultural contexts, including social media discourse.