Language Issue in German Higher Education Internationalization: Ideologies, Management and Practices for English-Medium Instruction

  •  Xiao Lin    
  •  Chunchun Yang    


Employing document analysis and corpus-assisted discourse analysis, this study examines the language ideologies in German higher education internationalization policies and strategies, across European, German federal and university levels. It further investigates how these policies and strategies relate to the English-medium instruction practices in German universities, adopting Spolsky’s (2004, 2009) framework for language policy analysis. Results show that all institutions at the three levels recognize the role of EMI in promoting the higher education internationalization, but their policy documents adopt evasive attitudes towards EMI to varying degrees. The internationalization policies at the European level show the most tendency to evade the language issue, especially English, while the German federal internationalization documents include more contents about language, even EMI, and they are concerned about promoting the German language alongside English. At the university level, the welcoming attitudes towards EMI are displayed most overtly in the internationalization strategies and the rapid development trend and the predominant English-only type of EMI programs. The study underscores the potential benefits of a multilayered analysis of higher education internationalization policies and EMI practices, and the universities’ important role in balancing the English and the national language in the higher education domain.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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