Advanced

Implementational Space for Multilingualism at a Swedish University Following the Passing of the Swedish Language Act

Källkvist, Marie LU and Hult, Francis LU (2015) AAAL Annual Conference, 2015
Abstract
In order to meet the demands of globalization, universities across the world are in the process of managing issues of multilingualism (Doiz et al. 2013; van der Walt 2013). In Sweden, since the passing of the Language Act in 2009, state-funded universities are obliged to use Swedish as their official language while also becoming increasingly internationalized. While the Language Act makes Swedish “the principal language in Sweden” (SFS 2009:600, section 4) it is a multilingual policy in that it explicitly aims to protect “language diversity in Sweden, and the individual’s access to language” (SFS 2009:600, section 2). Such policies provide implementational space (Hornberger 2002) for the use of more languages than one. Higher education and... (More)
In order to meet the demands of globalization, universities across the world are in the process of managing issues of multilingualism (Doiz et al. 2013; van der Walt 2013). In Sweden, since the passing of the Language Act in 2009, state-funded universities are obliged to use Swedish as their official language while also becoming increasingly internationalized. While the Language Act makes Swedish “the principal language in Sweden” (SFS 2009:600, section 4) it is a multilingual policy in that it explicitly aims to protect “language diversity in Sweden, and the individual’s access to language” (SFS 2009:600, section 2). Such policies provide implementational space (Hornberger 2002) for the use of more languages than one. Higher education and research are two domains of Swedish society where there is domain loss from Swedish to English (Melander & Thelander 2006; Salö 2014). Therefore, in 2008, the Swedish Higher Education Authority encouraged Sweden’s universities to craft their own language policy documents. Using the ethnography of language policy approach (Hornberger & Johnson 2007, Hult 2012; Menken & Garcia 2010) in combination with discourse analysis (Blommaert 2005; Scollon & Scollon 2004), the present study examines the implementational space created for different languages in a language policy document developed by one of Sweden’s major universities in 2010 and 2011, i.e. after the passing of the Language Act. In this presentation, we outline the specific functions assigned to Swedish, English and other languages in the policy document and relate these to the Language Act and other legislation that had to be consulted during policy development. Our data reveal that although Swedish is entextualized as the University’s main language, its functions are reduced to being the required language in the University’s administration, the main medium of instruction in first-cycle courses (Bachelor’s level) and a required language in summaries of research findings. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
published
subject
conference name
AAAL Annual Conference, 2015
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d1d82213-1101-44ec-813e-bbeaba7cc8d6 (old id 8234286)
date added to LUP
2015-12-01 14:36:01
date last changed
2016-04-16 12:03:00
@misc{d1d82213-1101-44ec-813e-bbeaba7cc8d6,
  abstract     = {In order to meet the demands of globalization, universities across the world are in the process of managing issues of multilingualism (Doiz et al. 2013; van der Walt 2013). In Sweden, since the passing of the Language Act in 2009, state-funded universities are obliged to use Swedish as their official language while also becoming increasingly internationalized. While the Language Act makes Swedish “the principal language in Sweden” (SFS 2009:600, section 4) it is a multilingual policy in that it explicitly aims to protect “language diversity in Sweden, and the individual’s access to language” (SFS 2009:600, section 2). Such policies provide implementational space (Hornberger 2002) for the use of more languages than one. Higher education and research are two domains of Swedish society where there is domain loss from Swedish to English (Melander & Thelander 2006; Salö 2014). Therefore, in 2008, the Swedish Higher Education Authority encouraged Sweden’s universities to craft their own language policy documents. Using the ethnography of language policy approach (Hornberger & Johnson 2007, Hult 2012; Menken & Garcia 2010) in combination with discourse analysis (Blommaert 2005; Scollon & Scollon 2004), the present study examines the implementational space created for different languages in a language policy document developed by one of Sweden’s major universities in 2010 and 2011, i.e. after the passing of the Language Act. In this presentation, we outline the specific functions assigned to Swedish, English and other languages in the policy document and relate these to the Language Act and other legislation that had to be consulted during policy development. Our data reveal that although Swedish is entextualized as the University’s main language, its functions are reduced to being the required language in the University’s administration, the main medium of instruction in first-cycle courses (Bachelor’s level) and a required language in summaries of research findings.},
  author       = {Källkvist, Marie and Hult, Francis},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Implementational Space for Multilingualism at a Swedish University Following the Passing of the Swedish Language Act},
  year         = {2015},
}