Call for Papers
Forms of Multilingualism in Secondary and Tertiary Education

Use, function and perception of languages and varieties

International Conference at the University of Innsbruck

Dates: 15.-17.09.2016
Organisation: Monika Dannerer & Peter Mauser


Due to migration processes, (educational) mobility, and globalisation, multilingualism plays an important role in society. General awareness of multilingualism is high – both in terms of different varieties of the same language (so-called “internal multilingualism”) as well as with regard to different languages (“external multilingualism”). On the whole, assessment of multilingualism is often very positive (multilingualism as an "opportunity", as a value in itself). For particular cases, however, the spectrum of attitudes is broad, and the various forms of internal and external multilingualism receive rather mixed assessments or are judged predominantly negatively (denigration of many languages and varieties, multilingualism as a "cost factor").  This ambivalence also becomes apparent in the educational institutions in which the aforementioned forms of multilingualism inherently play an important role: Local varieties, although occurring in many communication situations, are either not named at all or are only referred to as a linguistic behaviour that must be avoided. Certain (foreign) languages – increasingly as working languages – are  promoted with a large investment of time and money and contribute to greater prestige for schools, for example. In contrast, most of the heritage languages of pupils, students, or teachers are still considered an obstacle or are simply ignored, both in the everyday life of the institution and during the learning process.  

Although these types of multilingualism are closely intertwined in everyday life, they are mostly dealt with in different research traditions.

Against the background of an integrative notion of multilingualism and an enhanced dialogue between researchers of different research directions, forms and functions of multilingualism in secondary and tertiary education should be dealt with during the conference, with preference being given to oral communication. The focus can be on:

  • Language use: languages and varieties in (academic) teaching as well as in academic administration and in the everyday life of institutions, as learning and teaching objectives, as a “tool”, as basis for multilingual interaction, as tolerated, covered or even hidden behaviour
  • Language attitudes: Teachers’ and students’ perceptions of and attitudes towards heritage languages, educational and academic languages, foreign (school) languages, in terms of standard varieties, regiolects and dialects
  • Language and education policy framework: guiding principles (language barrier, multilingualism as a deficit or as an opportunity, etc.), trouble spots, blind spots
  • New linguistic concepts: research-methodological approaches to an integrative treatment of different forms of multilingualism, (new) approaches to the triangulation of methods and data

Forms of presentation
: presentation, poster presentation
Speaking time is limited to 20 minutes plus 10 minutes discussion time

Conference languages
: English, German

Submission of abstracts (extended!)

Send your abstract in pdf format (max. 300 words, excluding list of references) in German or English before 24th January, 2016 to

The decision regarding the acceptance of your contribution - which will be based on peer review - will be made by March 2016.

All dates at a glance (new!)

  • 24.01.2016: submission of abstracts
  • 18.03.2016: information on the acceptance of contributions
  • 08.04.2016: preliminary Conference Programme

Conference organisation  

Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Monika Dannerer

Institut für Germanistik, Universität Innsbruck
Innrain 52d, A-6020 Innsbruck, Österreich

Ass.Prof. Mag. Dr. Peter Mauser

Fachbereich Germanistik der Universität Salzburg
Erzabt-Klotz-Straße 1, A-5020 Salzburg, Österreich

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