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Language policy in Estonian higher education: internationalisation and the tension over English
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)In: English-medium instruction in European higher education: English in Europe, volume 3 / [ed] Slobodanka Dimova, Anna Kristina Hultgren, Christian Jensen, Mouton de Gruyter, 2015, 247-268 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter offers an analysis of Higher Education policy documents in Estonia, with a focus on language and sociolinguistic matters. Although the dominance of English as an international language in the fields of science and academic research has been amply documented in recent years, Estonia appears to be still under-studied in this matter. However, because of historical reasons it provides a context that may yield interesting insights into the question under study. In barely two decades, the country has moved from a Communist regime to a neoliberal economy, from being a Soviet republic to recovering independence and then joining other supra-national units (the EU and NATO). By conducting a content analysis of key Higher Education policy documents, the paper shows some key tensions and contradictions arising from them in relation to the position of different languages in the domain of Higher Education. I conclude that in the analysed context, an ill-defined notion of English may cause us to poorly grasp who in fact benefits from such policies, and this, indeed, has to be a key and very central issue in language policy design and research, since it can potentially have important consequences for all involved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Mouton de Gruyter, 2015. 247-268 p.
, Language and social life, ISSN 2364-4311 ; 4
Keyword [en]
English, Estonia, Higher Education, language policy
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117231DOI: 10.1515/9781614515272-013ISBN: 978-1-61451-527-2OAI: diva2:812084
Available from: 2015-05-15 Created: 2015-05-15 Last updated: 2016-01-18Bibliographically approved

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Soler-Carbonell, Josep
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Department of English
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