Dutch, English and Everything in Between: Scenarios of the Interplay of Language Policies and Practices in Participatory Bodies at Utrecht University
Bijl, Annick van der
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This thesis analyses the current language policies and practices of Utrecht University’s participatory bodies. More specifically, it uses the term linguistic scenarios; therefore, its main research question is: which linguistic scenarios are currently present within the employee and student representation of Utrecht University? This issue is highly relevant because a new, multilingual Dutch/English language policy was recently approved by the University Council. Hence, Utrecht University will have to find the best way to deal with multilingualism in its employee and student representation in the coming years. In order to provide an overview of the current situation, this study took a qualitative approach. Firstly, focus group interviews with Dutch and international participants from various faculties, departments, and participatory bodies were organised; secondly, the transcripts of these interviews were examined through Keyword in Context (KWIC) analysis and Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). The results of this analysis presented the following five linguistic scenarios: 1) a strict monolingual Dutch policy; 2) a Dutch preferential policy; 3) a strict monolingual English policy; 4) an English preferential policy; 5) a multilingual Dutch/English policy. Furthermore, these language policies and practices are characterised by the way in which different linguistic tools and services that support participation are made available. Finally, it was found that these scenarios had a significant influence on the inclusion and exclusion of Dutch and international representatives at Utrecht University.