Both necessary and irrelevant: Political economy and linguistic injustice of English in higher education in Kazakhstan

Bridget Goodman, Assel Kambatyrova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since the early 2000s, the government of Kazakhstan has been promoting educational reforms in higher education including introducing English-medium instruction (EMI), trilingual education (education in Kazakh, Russian, and English), and requirements of students and faculty to publish in impact factor. Within this context, the purpose of this paper is to use the lenses of political economy and linguistic justice to interpret interview data from students, faculty, and administrators of six Kazakhstani universities implementing trilingual education. These data show that some stakeholders believe English is the language of science, and it is therefore necessary to read, study, and publish in English. Competing voices argue that privileging English will lead to a loss of knowledge from local scholars who are not proficient in English. The data indicate that stakeholders believe the pursuit of EMI and English academic publishing may achieve the goals of global competitiveness and economic development under a political lens, but at a cost to the linguistic justice of languages other than English and speakers of those languages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-94
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language
Volume2022
Issue number277
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2022

Keywords

  • EMI
  • global English
  • linguistic injustice
  • political economy of English

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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