Applying transnational strategies locally: English as a medium of instruction in Swedish higher education

Hedda Söderlundh


Analysing student interaction at an international university in Sweden, this article investigates how the transnational strategy of using English as a medium of instruction can be (re)constructed by students in a local context. The analysis focuses on students’ expectations—or norms—for when it is appropriate to use English, and shows that English medium-instruction does not necessarily mean that students speak English all the time. The local language Swedish is used in connection to teaching and students establish local norms for when, how and with whom it is appropriate—or inappropriate—to speak English. A conclusion is that although language choice at the international university is influenced by global factors, it is still firmly a local construction.

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