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ALC8037 : Multilingualism

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sara Ganassin
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aims of the module are to enable students to:

•       critically consider issues related to multilingualism (theory and practice) in a range of countries and contexts;
•       develop critical understanding of the relationship between multilingualism, intercultural issues and key concepts such as identity, power and social justice
•       engage critically with the literature on multilingualism, language planning and policy
•       develop critical understanding of the role of language planning and policy in shaping people’s identities, worldviews, and attitudes towards others;
•       reflect on the complexity in their own identities and attitudes towards others, and on their own experiences of multilingualism and interculturality

Multilingualism is an everyday reality in an increasingly globalised world. As it plays an essential role in shaping the intercultural encounters between individuals from different backgrounds, it supports us to reflect on an negotiate our worldviews, identities and attitudes to ‘the other’.
This module examines origins, development and features of multilingualism both as an individual and social phenomenon. It particularly focuses on the relationship between multilingualism, identity, language planning policy and intercultural understanding. Students will critically engage with the intercultural dimension of issues related to multilingualism from an interdisciplinary perspective. As they develop a critical understanding of the complex nature of multilingualism, students will be encouraged to reflect on the complexity in their own identities and attitudes towards others. . Students will also be introduced to on-going research in the field of multilingualism, with a variety of international case studies.

Outline Of Syllabus

Week 1: Module overview (contents, structure, assessment); definitions of multilingualism

Week 2: Multilingualism, language and identity: being multilingual vs being monolingual

Week 3 :Language use: features of multilingualism; code-switching and translanguaging

Week 4: Authenticity, legitimacy and native speakerism in language education

Week 5: Introduction to language planning and policy (LPP)

Week 6: Researching LPP (theory and practice)

Week 7: Linguistic diversity, language rights and heritage language education

Week 8: Multilingualism in research and research proposal preparation

Week 9: Language and power: multilingualism and Linguae Francae

Week 10: Multilingual pedagogies and global citizenship: a case study

Week 11: Drop-in session: Module conclusion and Q&A
Summary of key issues and assessment questions and answer session

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities101:0010:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion100:305:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study183:0083:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide an introduction to the weekly content, establish a basic level of understanding of the topic, provide opportunities for discussion and personal reflections, and signal areas for individual further study and essential and further reading. Group activities are often linked to pre-class weekly reading

Structured Guided Learning activities provide students with weekly opportunities to consolidate learning through guided tasks linked to the weekly topic.

Independent study will enable wider reading, further personal self-reflection and assignment preparation.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2A100Extended Research Proposal (3.500 words).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

All skills and knowledge, including the ability to critically evaluate research, to identify gaps in the field of research, to identify links between research and practice, and design a research project, will be assessed through an extended research proposal.

Reading Lists