The multicultural language-learning classroom, with its wide range of mother tongues, cultural backgrounds, motivations, expectations, prior knowledge, learning styles, attitudes to participation and learner autonomy, potentially offers an ideal forum for promoting internationalisation. This article reviews the scope for interaction, and the nature of interaction, in multilingual language-learning classrooms. It explores the extent to which students are expected to engage effectively in the classroom and presents student views based on data gathered through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.
It concludes that languages staff and students see language classes as offering a more even playing field for classroom interaction between home and international students than other modules. On the one hand it points out the need to constantly adapt provision to meet changing demand, and on the other that the strategies used in language classes could well be of interest to other disciplines.