Multilayered perspectives on language policy in higher education : Finland, Estonia, and Latvia in comparison
Soler-Carbonell, J., Saarinen, T., & Kibbermann, K. (2017). Multilayered perspectives on language policy in higher education : Finland, Estonia, and Latvia in comparison. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 38 (4), 301-314. doi:10.1080/01434632.2016.1198356
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Taylor & Francis. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This article analyses language policies in higher education (HE) in Finland, Estonia, and Latvia, as well as the European Union (EU). We take a multilayered approach to language policies in order to illuminate the intertwined nature of local, national, and international language policies in HE. We are particularly interested in the construction of national language(s) and the language(s) of internationalisation in our case countries. Finland, Estonia, and Latvia share common features as relatively small non-Anglophone countries in the Baltic region, while simultaneously having somewhat differing political and cultural histories. The results of our discursive analysis indicate that while the three countries have relatively different national language policies, regarding, for example, the position of the national language(s), the institutional policies are more similar in the three cases. For universities, the positioning of English as the de facto language of internationalisation turns the ideology of language choice in HE into a practical rather than political question. However, at the state level, the promotion of English runs contrary to national policies. The EU HE language policy seems to acknowledge the institutional level’s practical demands of English as de facto language of internationalisation rather than follow its own formal language policy of official languages. ...