Foreign Language Homepages: Representations of Internationalization


The marketing techniques of higher education institutions (HEI) are evolving due to pressures from an administrative system that closely responds to the business ethos of competition. Currently many HEIs are in the process of internationalizing their programs, due to pressures from the economic sectors and educational policies administered from the government. However, just how a HEI is able to internationalize is dependent upon the structure that is already in place. If how a HEI incorporates the ideals of internationalization is based upon its ability to do so, if follows that how a HEI displays its incorporation of the ideals of internationalization is based on what the institution is capable of offering. This presentation is based on a semiotic analysis of the foreign language homepages of three Japanese HEIs. This analysis discusses how the ideals of internationalization are being captured on these webpages utilizing Barthes’ theories of cultural semiotics. First a discussion of the Barthesian approach to semiotics will demonstrate how this approach is applicable to knowledge management. This will expand to how the semiotic theoretical framework can be applied within the structure of foreign language homepage analysis. This will include a brief explanation of what we would expect to see on a foreign language homepage, and sampling methods for this analysis. This presentation will conclude with a short discussion of one part of a semiotic analysis will to demonstrate how the foreign language homepage is a representation of how HEI are incorporating the ideals of internationalization within their institutional structures.

Author Information
Elizabeth Yoshikawa, Naruto University of Education, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2016
Stream: Educational Policy, Leadership, Management and Administration

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