Languages in academia: negotiating value, power and practices
This research focuses on a current language dilemma in higher education. While internationalization ideas are articulating openness to the world, instead of multilingualism, this induces a bilingualism of English and national language or even a monolingual English-speaking environment, where other languages acquire a marginalized role. This goes together with a reductive, instrumental approach to language.
The research looks at how multiple languages within the academia are debated and displayed in the organizational and research processes. It examines the claims of value, power and practices made by multiple stakeholders. Taking into account both internationalization and multilingualism, it analyzes the impact of the current use of languages on higher education community.
First, this study is addressing the value claims expressed by different responders. It is tackling the ethical aspects brought up by the lingua franca and national and minority languages. Emerging normative dimension is displayed through a wide range of pragmatic and ideological arguments. Second, this project examines the power is ascribed to different languages by a variety of actors in the field. The underlying objective is to reveal the positions of different actors in terms of the language situation in academia and discuss the underlying claims of national and international aspects in university functioning. Finally, this research is addressing the kinds of practices valued or problematized by different participants. Everyday functioning of the university is determined by linguistic complexity and solutions to it. Therefore, it is important to identify the points of dialogue between the positions of different actors and describe individual multilingual strategies in research, teaching and studying.
Academy of Finland, Postdoctoral Researcher 1.9.2019 - 31.8.2022