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The expansion of English-medium instruction in the Nordic countries: Can top-down university language policies encourage bottom-up disciplinary literacy goals?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
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2015 (English)In: Higher Education, ISSN 0018-1560, E-ISSN 1573-174XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Recently, in the wake of the Bologna Declaration and similar international initiatives, there has been a rapid increase in the number of university courses and programmes taught through the medium of English. Surveys have consistently shown the Nordic countries to be at the forefront of this trend towards English-medium instruction (EMI). In this paper, we discuss the introduction of EMI in four Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden). We present the educational setting and the EMI debate in each of these countries and summarize relevant research findings. We then make some tentative suggestions for the introduction of EMI in higher education in other countries. In particular, we are interested in university language policies and their relevance for the day-to-day work of faculty. We problematize one-size-fits-all university language policies, suggesting that in order for policies to be seen as relevant they need to be flexible enough to take into account disciplinary differences. In this respect, we make some specific suggestions about the content of university language policies and EMI course syllabuses. Here we recommend that university language policies should encourage the discussion of disciplinary literacy goals and require course syllabuses to detail disciplinaryspecific language-learning outcomes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
University language policy, Bilingualism, Disciplinary literacy, English medium instruction, Nordic language policy
National Category
Educational Sciences Specific Languages Globalization Studies
Research subject
Bilingualism; English; Education in Languages and Language Development
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122088DOI: 10.1007/s10734-015-9950-2OAI: diva2:864074
Available from: 2015-10-24 Created: 2015-10-24 Last updated: 2016-08-26

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Airey, JohnSalö, Linus
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