Internationalization and language choiceInternationalisering og sprogvalg
International (or more properly, according to Hannerz (1996), transnational) communication can happen in many languages. Focus has recently been mostly on English as the ‘lingua franca of the world’, but maybe unduly so; since there are alternatives. Especially when it comes to transnational student mobility, the local language of the host university can become the language of internationalization. As a starting point, I distinguish with Beck (2000) between globalization as a historical process and its result, viz. the ever changing degree of globality in world society, and from the ideology that is both the result and the bearer of globalization, viz. globalism. English has reached a degree of globality unprecedented by any language, but it is rather a part of the ideology of globalism to claim that it is everywhere. Still, most universities focus in their internationalization strategy heavily on offering programs rather in English than the local language. At Copenhagen Business School, 56.4% of the students at MA level followed courses in English in 2009. Many students come to Denmark from abroad, follow the English language programs offered, but are motivated to learn Danish, the local language. An ongoing research project tries to find out why this is the case. A preliminary result seems to be that it is not the academic motivation that starts the learning process of the local language, but once the students have stated to learn Danish, some of them also follow study courses in Danish, especially if no English courses are available.
Ibunka Komyunikeshon Ronshuu / Intercultural Communication Review, 2011, Vol 9, p. 37-47