Liu Changyuan, Maria Kopylovskaya, Svetlana Rubtsova, Tatyana Dobrova

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Abstract. The article deals with the issue of internationalization of higher education, in particular, in the sphere of language pedagogy. The study is based on the materials of the research conducted within the framework of the academic mobility project exercised 2018-2019 in Saint Petersburg State University and in Harbin Institute of Technology (visited November, 2018). The process of internationalization is viewed through the prism of such intercultural communication concepts as multilingualism and multiculturalism and their influence on teaching and learning practices. In real life English as lingua franca is used by representatives of different linguistic and cultural identities to communicate with representatives of professional and academic communities for whom English is also a foreign language, thus teaching English as lingua franca requires professionals who are not native speakers possessing the experience of professional and intercultural communication in the English language rather than just native speakers’ language experience. The peculiarities of teaching in the above-mentioned universities were revealed with the help of questionnaires for both university teachers and students concerning learners’ practices in the digital environment. The authors set up the hypothesis that the results serve as an authentic manifestation of intercultural communication in students’ virtual activities in social networks and in browsing the Internet for relevant information both in Russia and China.

Key words: internationalization of higher education, intercultural communication, multilingualism, multiculturalism, learners’ digital environment

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