International Students and Language Policy in U.S. Higher Education: A Case Study of Two Universities




Mitchell, Maren

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Recent declines in international student enrollment in institutes of higher education in the United States have resulted in increased competition amongst U.S. universities for international students. By studying two cases utilizing a case study model, this dissertation addresses the impact language policies in higher education can have on students, faculty and staff at two schools. While the implications of the study are limited to the two universities being studied, other universities may want to take on similar studies of their language policies in the future. The definition of language policy used for this research was Spolsky's (2004) definition which includes policy, practices, and management. Study sites for the research included one private and one public university in the southwest United States. Qualitative methodology, including textual analysis and discourse analysis, were used to analyze the data. Major findings suggest that language planning positively informs policymaking, unclear policy and procedures negatively impact implementation, and beliefs informs practices.


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Student enrollment, Language policies



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies