More than 20 students at Tusculum College and 17 in Norway participated in a global classroom discussion on Monday, December 5.
The topic of the program was “English as a Global Language.” Students represented not only the United States, but also Chile, Norway, Russia, Denmark, Bulgaria, Nigeria, China, France and Ghana.
Students connected via one of two sites, either on the Tusculum College campus or the campus of HiH University in Harstad, Norway.
Students debated whether English was becoming a global language, whether it was the right language for a global language and considered alternatives such as Chinese or Spanish.
Discussions also focused on the lack of bilingualism of American students, while most international students were fluent in a minimum of two languages.
The students also discussed the cultural aspects of language and the difficulty of conveying cultural connotations in a second language.
It was also noted that as the world becomes smaller through global interactions, English and other languages are adopting phrases and terms from other languages. It is possible, one student conjectured, that there could become an international language of common terms.
The global classroom was sponsored by the Tusculum College Business Club and the Study Abroad and Global Awareness student organization at Tusculum College. It was coordinated by Bergvin and is one of a series that has been designed to connect Tusculum students and faculty in academic discussions with students and faculty throughout the world.
Along with Tusculum’s technology, a partnership with the Greeneville City Schools that allows for other universities across the world to link with Tusculum has provided a unique opportunity on campus to participate in worldwide interactive discussions and other shared classroom.
Anyone interested in more information on the program or who would like to find out about Tusculum College’s Center for Global Studies should contact Bergvin at 423-636-7300.
The Center for Global Studies was formed in spring 2008 and is located in the Pilloni Office on the ground floor of the Thomas J. Garland Library. The mission is to “enhance the capacity of individuals and organizations to address local and global challenges through building relationships with communities, institutions of higher learning and organizations globally.”