ALC8037 : Multilingualism, language planning, policy and identity

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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 objectives; introduction to contents and structure of the module; definitions and features of multilingualism

Week 2
Language use: being multilingual vs being monolingual; code-switching, translanguaging and borrowing

Week 3
Multilingualism, language and identity

Week 4
Language and status: the historical and political dimension of language standardisation

Week 5
Language planning and multilingualism: approaches and issues (Models of LPLP; language planning typology; status, acquisition, and corpus planning)

Week 6
Multilingualism in research & research proposal preparation

Week 7
Language and power: multilingualism and English as a Lingua Franca

Week 8
Linguistic diversity, language rights and heritage language education

Week 9
Multilingualism,language education, policy and practice

Week 10
Authenticity, legitimacy and native speakerism in language education

Week 11
Issues and agency inlanguage planning and policy

Week 12
Module review & essay preparation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion138:0038:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1138:00138:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will provide students with an overview of theoretical concepts, previous research, and the development of the field. The module leader will present key theories, concepts and debates around each session topic, but interaction and critical discussion will be highly encouraged. Group work activities and discussion will facilitate a more in-depth student engagement with the themes and issues covered in the module. This format will provide the students with opportunities to learn from and about one another – a critically important aspect of the CCC programme, where participants originate from a diverse range of backgrounds. Participation will focus not only on the required readings, but also on current affairs (e.g. issues manifested through discussions migration, education, and rights) and students’ own inter/cross-cultural experiences. On the final week, students will be able to review their learning in the module and to discuss assignment topics.
Participation is at the crux of this module: since a range of theories, methodologies, and contexts will be explored, it is important that students engage with the literature and in discussions in order to critically assess these issues The aim is to promote a discursive and dialogic type of learning environment in which learners are guided to exchange ideas and experiences.. Also, students will have an opportunity to discuss their work and reflect on the module and their own professional development through electronic learning support (e.g. email and Blackboard).
In addition to the taught sessions, students are expected to work independently. This ‘out of class’ work will be directed by the module leader and can include reading relevant to the next session, preparation for a discussion or presentation, fieldwork related to a particular theme or session, or research into a related area for instance. In addition to these directed tasks students are expected to spend time developing their understanding of the ideas in the module and their key skills.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2A1004000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

For the assessment , students will be expected to propose future research in this area by designing (although not completing) a study considering one of more aspects of multilingualism in their chosen context This proposed future research should draw directly on the methodologies overviewed in class. The objective of this proposed research is for students to be critically aware of the relevance of and practical issues involved in research design.

The assessment is also designed to evaluate students on their ability to critically engage with one of more aspects of multilingualism according to theories and methodologies discussed in class.

Reading Lists