15.03.2017

Universities as language policy sites in time of increased linguistic diversity: Finnish constitutional bilingualism under construction?

The study analyses Finnish constitutional bilingualism as it is realized and experienced in university contexts in Finland in the time of increased mobility and linguistic diversity. What kinds of formal policies do the universities have? How do the formal policies relate to Finnish language legislation?  What kinds of situated language policies emerge in everyday activities and university environments?  What kinds of experiences do individual students and staff have of the language policies and practices at the universities?  The project will further increase our empirical understanding of the current situation of Finnish language policies in time of globalization. However, while the empirical context of the project is Finnish language policy, the study expands the use of applied language studies approaches (conceptualization of policy as multi-sited; linguistic ethnography) to other areas of policy studies and thus contributes to the field of language policy studies. Theoretically, the project takes further the understanding of policy as multi-sited, as methods to analyse and understand the fuzzy and networked nature of policy have been lacking (Ball 2012). Empirically, the analysis of Finnish language policy in higher education is relevant for the study of other nation states’ language policy development in the time of globalization.