Managing, interpreting and negotiating corporate bilingualism in Wales

Elisabeth Barakos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter draws on a case study of analysing the promotion of Welsh-English bilingualism in institutionalised business settings in Wales. It examines how this takes shape in corporate language policy discourse and practice. In the wake of recent language policy research that accounts for policy as both a structural and agentive, interactional phenomenon, this study applies a critical discursive approach to language policy. It incorporates two data sets: first, voluntarily drafted Welsh language schemes of private sector companies made under the former Welsh Language Act 1993; and second, interview data that capture the ideologies, experiences and reported practices of company employees and senior staff as regards the role and practice of Welsh vis-à-vis English. Together, these data sets provide a window into the management, interpretation and negotiation of language policy, against continuous relations of power between English and Welsh as overtly ‘equal’ languages of and in business. Analysis demonstrates that corporate bilingualism is shaped primarily by discursive tensions over the ideological construct of ‘full’ bilingualism as something that is aspired to but de facto mitigated in the workplace and in service provision.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnglish in business and commerce
Subtitle of host publication Interactions and Policies
EditorsTamah Sherman, Jiri Nekvapil
Place of PublicationBerlin and New York
PublisherWalter De Gruyter
ISBN (Print)978-1-5015-0683-3
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2018

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Keywords

  • bilingualism
  • Welsh
  • language ideologies
  • business discourse
  • critical discourse analysis
  • language policy
  • workplace

Cite this

Barakos, E. (2018). Managing, interpreting and negotiating corporate bilingualism in Wales. In T. Sherman, & J. Nekvapil (Eds.), English in business and commerce: Interactions and Policies Walter De Gruyter.