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Language ideology or language practice?: An analysis of language policy documents at Swedish universities
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2014 (English)In: Multilingua - Journal of Cross-cultural and Interlanguage Communiciation, ISSN 0167-8507, E-ISSN 1613-3684, Vol. 33, no 3-4, 335-363 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents an analysis and interpretation of language policy documents from eight Swedish universities with regard to intertextuality, authorship and content analysis of the notions of language practices and English as a lingua franca (ELF). The analysis is then linked to Spolsky's framework of language policy, namely language practices, language beliefs, values (and ideology), and language planning or management (Spolsky 2004). The results show that the language policy documents refer heavily to official documents that have as their primary aim to protect and promote the Swedish language (e. g., the Language Act 2009), which appears to have been the point of departure for the language policy work in these settings, reflecting their protectionist stance towards the local language, Swedish. Little focus is put on actual language practices in these policy documents. The description of language practices is often limited to the description of the existing situation, based on concerns about Swedish losing ground as a result of the widespread use of English. Similarly, the notion of ELF is used primarily for description of the existing situation without sufficient guidance as to how students and staff in these university settings are to use English in their everyday practices. These results bring to the fore the question of what the purpose of university language policy documents should be with reference to a speech community's everyday practices. It is suggested here that university language policy documents would benefit from taking research on actual language practices as their starting point and base their work on research on language practices, striving to provide guidance on local choices made for communicative effectiveness.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 33, no 3-4, 335-363 p.
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102019DOI: 10.1515/multi-2014-0016ISI: 000337113200005OAI: diva2:706753
Available from: 2014-03-21 Created: 2014-03-21 Last updated: 2015-02-05Bibliographically approved

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Björkman, Beyza
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