PhD Research School in Linguistics and Philology

Trude Bukve

Language attitudes in higher education

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Internationalization of science and research has had its impact on the educational institutions and the language use in the educational setting. There is a tendency that English is seen as a lingua franca within these fields. In my project I aim to investigate the attitudes towards this tendency, that English often is seen as the preferred language at lectures as well as in the syllabus.


Attitudes towards language use may be influenced by multiple factors and can be expressed through different manners. I aim to map these attitudes, both at student level, as well as the language attitudes expressed through policy making at both national and institutional level.


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The methods will mainly be based on sociolinguistic approaches. When researching the language attitudes at student level I will mainly use questionnaires. This will be distributed to first- and second year students at universities and university colleges in the five Nordic countries. Further, mapping attitudes at institutional and national level will be done through the use of content analysis. One of the main aims of the study is to discover if the attitudes reported at the different levels correlate, or whether there is discrepancy between the attitudes disclosed. Further, the data will allow me to study attitudes at the three levels both within and across countries.