From Theory to Practice- Selected papers from the 2013 ICLHE Conference
Edited By Robert Wilkinson and Mary Louise Walsh
The implementation of a multilingual language policy in a time of economic restrictions
Abstract Very few publications relate the implementation of multilingual language policies in higher education to economics. Some studies such as those carried out by Grin (2006) analyse the economic repercussions of language policies on society. However, previous research has not considered how the implementation of a language policy can be affected by an economic recession, such as the one Spain is currently enduring.
This paper will describe the actions carried out to implement a university-wide multilingual language policy approved in June 2011 and the reactions of the university community. To develop the policy, Study Committees were established for academic units and each was asked to fill in a plan for multilingualism for their unit. The aim was to make a commitment to accomplish the objectives of the policy by setting their own short-term goals. After one year, a series of meetings with these committees shed some light on their attitudes towards the plan and their level of involvement. These attitudes will be key in the success (or survival) of the policy, despite economic restrictions.
Keywords: multilingual language policy; economic restrictions; attitudes towards multilingualism; qualitative interview study
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