European Journal of Language Policy

Language policy in Swedish higher education: A contextualised perspective

European Journal of Language Policy (2011), 3, (1), 37–60.

Abstract

In light of two main axes, namely internationalisation of higher education (HE) and national language policy discourse, this article investigates the answers provided by Swedish higher education institutions (HEIs) regarding the position of the national language and English. It first illustrates the phenomenon of internationalisation of Swedish HE and the use of English in Swedish HEIs. Then, by analysing several official documents, it investigates the simultaneous process of implementing a national policy, as well as the position of English and Swedish in the HE domain in light of this national policy. It then reviews the problems encountered by students and teachers when using English as a medium of instruction. The paper next exposes the language policy adopted by two Swedish HEIs and investigates the problems encountered and the solutions proposed to enhance linguistic diversity in Swedish HE at large. The paper concludes with a brief overview of the language issues pervading other domains, such as media, politics and business.

Le présent article étudie les réponses apportées par les établissements d'enseignement supérieur (EES) suédois quant à la position de la langue nationale et de l'anglais selon deux axes principaux, à savoir l'internationalisation de l'enseignement supérieur (ES) et le discours relatif à la politique linguistique nationale. La première partie de l'article s'intéresse au phénomène de l'internationalisation de l'ES suédois ainsi qu'à l'utilisation de l'anglais dans les EES suédois. L'analyse de documents officiels permet ensuite d'examiner le processus simultané de mise en place d'une politique linguistique nationale et de la position accordée à l'anglais et au suédois dans l'ES selon cette politique. L'article passe ensuite en revue les problèmes rencontrés par les étudiants et les enseignants lorsque l'anglais est utilisé comme langue d'enseignement. Puis, il expose la politique linguistique adoptée par deux EES suédois pour s'intéresser ensuite aux problèmes rencontrés et aux solutions proposées pour renforcer la diversité linguistique dans le système éducatif suédois dans son ensemble. Enfin, l'article donne un aperçu des questions de langue telles qu'elles se présentent dans d'autres domaines, tels que les media, la politique et le monde des affaires, afin de mettre en contexte la position de l'anglais dans la société suédoise. Le principal objectif de cet article est donc d'analyser la politique linguistique suédoise dans l'ES en la situant dans son contexte sociétal.

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Cabau, Béatrice