“Arabic-as-Resource” or “Arabic-as-Problem”?

Arab Heritage Language Learners in Danish Postsecondary Education

Authored by: Helle Lykke Nielsen

The Routledge Handbook of Heritage Language Education

Print publication date:  February  2017
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138845787
eBook ISBN: 9781315727974
Adobe ISBN: 9781317541530


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Denmark is a small and highly globalized welfare state favoring a language policy which sets English as a top priority and, at least ideally, focuses on the need for other foreign languages. From this perspective, the growing presence of immigrant languages offers an important contribution to the country’s globalization efforts. In practice, however, the situation for immigrant and heritage languages (HLs) in Denmark is highly complex and much less straightforward than official language policies would lead one to believe. Even though continuous efforts are made to adapt language educational policies to the changing global context, including the teaching of a few immigrant languages in schools and universities, there are also tensions, barriers, and resistance to these, which are not only expressed through political discourse and in the public media, but also at the level of institutions and among individual stakeholders.

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