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English language spread in academia

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This article first historically examines the macro-level Turkish state policies with regard to scholarly publishing within the framework of the English language spread paradigms of diffusion-of-English and language-ecology. Then, the effects of these policies at the micro-level are investigated in two major Turkish universities through a survey of scholars’ perceptions and practices of scientific publishing in English. The results reveal a rapid spread of English in academia as the language of scientific publishing consistently encouraged by the state policies and somewhat by academics which may lead to a gradual ‘domain loss’ for Turkish; however, reactions against English dominance are also evident in various forms in language planning, attitudes, and practices. Thus, language spread and ecology seem to co-exist in some interesting and contradictory ways.
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Keywords: English as a lingua franca (ELF); English spread; Turkish language policy; Turkish scholars; diffusion and ecology paradigms; scholarly publication

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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