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    Striking the balance: The role of English and German in a multilingual English-medium degree programme in German higher education.

    Earls, Clive W. (2014) Striking the balance: The role of English and German in a multilingual English-medium degree programme in German higher education. Current Issues in Language Planning, 15 (2). pp. 153-173. ISSN 1466-4208

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    In 2002, English-medium degree programmes became a permanent feature of German higher education. While this action marked an important step towards government-supported institutionalisation of English in Germany no formal strategy or guidelines governing the role of English in higher education has been developed. To date, research in this area in Germany has been predominantly focussed on the top-down perspectives of decision-makers (see Dunst, 2005; Voegeli, 2005; Lub et al, 2003); comparatively few studies have been conducted into bottom-up perspectives of those directly experiencing such language policy and planning decisions. In this paper, empirical data resulting from a mixed-method case study conducted at a German higher education institution shall be analysed to reveal hitherto unexplored bottom-up insights into the lived reality of an English-medium degree programme in Germany. The paper begins with an introduction to such programmes in Germany, before outlining the methodology pursued and exploring demographics and participant motivations within the programme under investigation. Applying Spolsky’s (2004, p. 39) framework for analysing language policy, the de facto language policy experienced by study participants is revealed, providing insights into daily linguistic practices within the programme, and the pragmatic and ideological roles that English and German play in participants’ reported experiences. Uncovering this de facto language policy serves to provide policymakers at top-down level with bottom-up perspectives for future policy formulation which may lead to a more valid language policy (Shohamy, 2009, p. 188).

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: English; German; multilingual English-medium degree programme; German higher education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures > German
    Item ID: 5495
    Depositing User: Dr. Clive Earls
    Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2014 15:49
    Journal or Publication Title: Current Issues in Language Planning
    Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: Irish Social Sciences Platform
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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