Welcome to Universiteit Gent

VAN HERREWEGHE, MIEKE: Vice-Rector of Ghent University and Professor of English linguistics. Her research area includes English linguistics (diachronic linguistics and foreign language acquisition) and Flemish Sign Language.

Welcome to the Centre for Diversity & Learning (CDL) of Ghent University, co-organisers of the 2024 ECSPM Symposium

VANTIEGHEM, Wendelien: Professor in ‘Language, diversity & learning’ at Ghent University and director of the Research Centre for Diversity & Learning (CDL). Her research focuses on diversity (e.g., gender, multilingualism, SES, ethnicity, …) and inclusion in the education system, both from the experience of students and teachers.

VAN AVERMAET, Piet: Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy and Head of the Centre for Diversity and Learning, at Ghent University, Belgium. He researches multilingualism in education, social inequality in education, language policy and practice in education, language assessment, diversity, integration and participation, discrimination in education, migration. Email: Piet.VanAvermaet[at]UGent.be

Vision and actions encouraging language learning in the EU

SOLÉ MENA, Anna: Senior Expert on multilingualism at the ‘Schools and Multilingualism’ Unit, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission. Her work is focusing on the implementation of the EU Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to language teaching and learning. She has previously researched simultaneous language acquisition in children.

Promoting multilingualism in Europe’s bilingual capital

VAN PARIJS, Philippe: Guest professor at the Universities of Louvain and Leuven, member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Belgium, Fellow of the British Academy and chair of the Brussels Council for Multilingualism, a body set up by the Minister for the Promotion of Multilingualism in the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region. Email: philippe.vanparijs[at]uclouvain.be

Welcome and introduction to the 8th annual ECSPM Symposium

DENDRINOS, Bessie: Professor Emerita and director of the Research Institute for Multilingualism and Language Policy  at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), as well as president of the Examination Board of the Greek national foreign languages examination suite (known as KPG). She publishes in English and Greek, but her work has also appeared in Spanish, Portuguese and French. Email: vdendrin[at]enl.uoa.gr

Commenting on the concept of ‘plurilanguaging’, a central notion of this year’s event

PICCARDO, Enrica: Professor of Applied Linguistics and Language Education at OISE – University of Toronto. A collaborator with the Council of Europe since 2008, she co-authored the 2020 CEFR Companion Volume (CEFRCV). Her research spans language teaching approaches and curricula, plurilingualism, creativity and complexity in language education. Among her publications, in different languages, is The Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual Language Education (2022). Email: enrica.piccardo[at]utoronto.ca

The monolingual habitus revisited

In this presentation I will revisit a long-standing concept in the sociolinguistics of language education: the monolingual habitus. I will do so by showing that teachers who epitomise a monolingual habitus simultaneously seem to have a multilingual one, and by indicating that these teachers are able to criticise other people’s monolingual habitus. I will argue that teachers, like sociolinguists of education, use these opposing habitual ideas to think, that is, to legitimise, but also to question, the viability of language policies at their school. The notion of the monolingual habitus thus draws useful attention to a part of teachers’ common sense. But it paints a one-sided picture. This impedes a comprehensive understanding of what teachers do, and it may inhibit a productive dialogue between teachers and sociolinguists.

JASPERS, Jürgen: Professor professor of Dutch linguistics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. He publishes widely on classroom interaction, urban multilingualism, Dutch language variation, language policy and ideology. He is chief editor (with Eva Codó) of Multilingua. Journal of Cross-cultural and Interlanguage Communication, and has edited several special issues and book volumes.  Email: jurgen.jaspers[at]ulb.be

MARTÍN ROJO, Luisa: Professor of Linguistics at the Autonomous University of Madrid, and national expert by the European Observatory against Racism and Xenophobia (EU). Her recent publications include an edited collection on Constructing Inequality in Multilingual Classrooms (Mouton, 2010) and Neoliberalism, language, and governmentality co-edited with Alfonso Del Percio (Routledge 2019). Email: luisa.rojo[at]uam.es

Spaces of plurilingualism in institutionally monolingual educational institutions
Do monolinguals even exist? Expanding all students’ plurilingualism in mainstream classrooms.

Classrooms today are increasingly filled with teachers and learners from multiple linguistic, cultural, social, racial, and religious backgrounds.  While awareness and respect for such differences is a good starting point for building social understanding, Prasad and Lory (2020) have advocated for fostering linguistic and cultural collaboration through the design of critical, creative and collaborative multilingual and multimodal projects. This presentation draws on classroom-based research conducted in schools in Canada and the United States to examine students’ perspectives about their plurilingualism and work they generate when teachers actively design instruction to leverage and expand all students’ plurilingual repertoires in mainstream classrooms.

PRASAD, Gail: Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University. Her research examines children, youth, teachers and families’ social representations of linguistic diversity, as well as critical, creative and collaborative approaches to teaching and learning for critical multilingual language awareness in the classroom and beyond. Email: glprasad[at]edu.yorku.ca

The English-Medium Engineering Classroom: Spaces of Multilingualism and/or Individual Repertoires?

In this presentation, we approach the sociolinguistic question of “space” vs “speaker” through an examination of multilingual classroom practice in an officially-designated monolingual setting. The interactional dataset was collected during two semesters of linguistic ethnographic field work in an English-medium industrial design engineering course taught at a Flemish university. Analyzing the interactions between lecturers and students through Goffman’s frame analysis (1974) and Lipsky’s street-level bureaucracy (1980) draws attention to lecturers’ in situ language policy (re-)production as manifest in their interactional management of the classroom as a learning site. Our findings bring into focus how an explanation for the unfolding multilingual dynamics necessarily appeals to “expectations of place and activity” as well as “the individual repertoires of the interactants” (Slembrouck, 2020, p.76).

SLEMBROUCK, Stef: Professor in English Linguistics and director of the University Language Centre at Ghent University. He has published extensively on language use and interaction in institutional and professional contexts (education, social welfare, child protection, health). A considerable part of his work concentrates on globalization-affected multilingualism. Email: Stef.Slembrouck[at]UGent.be


DE SOETE, Alexander: PhD candidate at Ghent University, where he is a member of the MULTIPLES research group, and at the University of the Western Cape, where he is affiliated with the Center for Multilingualism and Diversities Research. His PhD study revolves around the use of English as a Medium of Instruction and its entanglement with local languages. Email: Alexander.DeSoete[at]UGent.be

Plurilingual scholars in (predominantly) monolingual higher education institutions.

In an effort to internationalise higher education institutions, the number of plurilingual expatriate academics who do not speak the country’s official language(s) as their first language is increasing. While studies on EMI have focused on how academics adopt English (voluntarily or not) as their language of instruction, the adoption of languages other than English tends to go unnoticed. In this presentation, crisscrossing ethnographic and autoethnographic data, I will analyse the linguistic practices of a plurilingual teacher in German higher education, examining how students perceive the non-native skills of the teacher in question. I will show that despite the multilingual ethos present in the classroom, students’ perceptions are filtered by the prevailing monolingual mindset.

MELO-PFEIFER, Sílvia: Professor at the Faculty of Education of the University of Hamburg (Germany), in the domain of French and Spanish teacher education. She obtained her PhD in Foreign Language Education at the University of Aveiro (Portugal). Her research interests cover multilingual language and teacher education, researching multilingualism and multilingually, and the use of art-based approaches in education. Email: silvia.melo-pfeifer[at]uni-hamburg.de

BARNI, Monica: Professor of Educational Linguistics at the Sapienza Università di Roma. Her research activity focus on teaching, learning and assessment of languages and analysis and impact of national and European language policies. Email: monica.barni[at]uniroma1.it

Translanguaging as a ground-up pedagogy: Creating (dis)continuities

Against the background of a multilingual norm in education, multilingual children with a migrant background often experience discontinuities in their language practices across learning settings. Based on insights from language acquisition and psycholinguistics, we begin by dismantling the false dichotomy of whether children should mix or separate named languages. We then discuss implications for plurilingual students in multilingual classrooms from the perspective of translanguaging as a ground-up pedagogy. Employing a boundary-work lens, we show that translanguaging holds significant potential for change establishing continuity for multilingual children; however, such continuity emerges in a dynamic interplay with discontinuities for education systems and sometimes even children themselves.

BLOM, Elma: Professor of Language Development and Multilingualism in Family and Education at Utrecht University. Within the context of multilingualism, she investigates environmental influences on and relations between children’s language, cognition and wellbeing. She leads Multi-STEM, which is a large-scale research program and consortium on translanguaging across learning settings. Email: W.B.T.Blom[at]uu.nl

MORARU, Mirona: Postdoctoral researcher in Multi-STEM (Utrecht University, the Netherlands). Her research examines the relationship between multilingualism, migration, and education, with a current focus on translanguaging. Drawing on critical sociolinguistics, sociology, translation studies, migration studies, she is interested in how language reproduces and transforms power relations.  Email: m.moraru[at]uu.nl

SWANENBERG, Jos: Professor of Diversity in Language and Culture at Tilburg University, and senior researcher at the Meertens Institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam. He co-edited Language and Culture on the Margins. Global/Local Interactions (2019) and Language Policies and the Politics of Language Practices (2021). Email: A.P.C.Swanenberg[at]tilburguniversity.edu

Plurilingual pupils’ and teacher’s voices in school settings
Language awareness, participative reflective practice and developing a multilingual identity

In this presentation I consider how greater language awareness may be built through reflective practice and how this in turn has implications for the development of learners’ and teachers’ multilingual identities. Language awareness that implicates cognitive, social and emotional dimensions can provide a key route to identity development for all, regardless of the nature of their linguistic repertoire. I draw on a number of projects based in classrooms and teacher training to illustrate a central argument about the power of a multilingual identity to shape participation in language learning and other dimensions of academic and social lives.

FISHER, Linda: Professor in Languages Education, University of Cambridge, UK Education Strand Lead, the MEITS project and co-investigator, Education strand of Creative Multilingualism. Her current research interests are in multilingualism, multilingual identity, motivation, the academic and social integration of learners with English as an Additional Language, second language teacher education, and metaphor in relation to belief formation. Email: lgf20[at]cam.ac.uk

Breaking the silence, unlocking the potential of multilingual classrooms

In spite of long-standing, research-led, top down policies advocating greater inclusion of linguistic and cultural diversity in educational settings, many educators are still struggling to take what has been referred to as “the multilingual turn”. Learners’ languages may be attributed a semi-tokenistic value at best, or implicitly or explicitly excluded from the schoolscape at worst. How can we gain deeper insight as to why plurilanguaging is all too often regarded as a problem rather than as a resource and an enrichment for all? How can we support teachers, as key agents of change, to play a central role in bridging the gap between policy and practice?

YOUNG, Andrea: Professor of English & Applied Linguistics at the University of Strasbourg, as well as a Professor II of Early Childhood Education and Multilingualism at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. Her research and teaching interests include teacher education for the support of second language acquisition, home/school educational partnerships, teacher language awareness and plurilingual and intercultural education. Email: andrea.young[at]unistra.fr

“It’s good for us but not for him”: monolingual strata in plurilingual classroom practice

There is little doubt that the lens of ‘languaging’ (Piccardo, 2018) has destabilised the simulated monolingualism that characterises many plurilingual European school settings. Yet it brings with it a new series of complexities. Drawing on Heugh’s (2015) notions of horizontal and vertical language repertoire, this presentation explores how four classes of primary-aged pupils in Brussels, responded when they were first enabled to use their full linguistic repertoire in school. It shows how the boundaries of classroom languaging were negotiated amongst the pupils and how this process was informed by certain shared notions of linguistic fixity and framed by the ways in which different language repertoires mapped onto pre-existing value frameworks. In particular, it explores the compromised status of monolingual pupils in this shifting linguistic market.

FOSTER, NELL: Teacher and pedagogical advisor at the Université libre de Bruxelles and she is a post-doctoral collaborator at the Centre for Diversity and Learning at Ghent University. Her work focuses on Functional Multilingual Learning and effective teaching in plurilingual educational settings. Email: nell.foster[at]ulb.be

GOGOLIN, Ingrid: Professor for international comparative and intercultural education research at Universität Hamburg, Germany. Her research is focused on migration and language diversity in education. She was awarded honorary doctor degrees by the University of Dortmund, Germany (2013) and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece (2017)www.ingrid-gogolin.eu Email: ingrid.gogolin[at]uni-hamburg.de

The role of negotiators for multilingual educational spaces
Working towards a strong interaction between parents and school

The common goal of parents and schools: happy children with maximum learning opportunities. Schools have emphasized the importance of parental involvement, encouraging parents to take an active role in this process. However, ‘parental involvement’ often means that the school determines  goals and the path to achieving them. We prefer to focus on ‘collaboration’ and emphasize the equality of the partnership, starting from:
– a common interest in the home language
– a shared commitment to the school language
– the belief that we can support each other in difficult moments.
We illustrate this with some concrete initiatives.

DE SMEDT, Hilde: Speech and language therapist and has been working for 40 years in the Integration Center Foyer in Brussels. From close contact with the immigrant community and through many projects, she built up a widely recognized expertise on multilingualism. She currently runs PIM (Partners In Meertaligheid) an advisory service for multilingual families, schools and caregivers. Email: hilde.desmedt[at]foyer.be

Bilingualism Matters experts working with parents and teachers of bi-/multilingual children: science communication and advice

Bilingualism Matters (BM) International Network is a community of organisations and individuals who share the commitment to make research-based evidence on multilingualism and language learning available and accessible to families, communities, and professionals in education, health or policy. It was established in 2008 at the University of Edinburgh as an information service for parents and in 2014 it became a Research and Information Centre. Since then, the model of public engagement developed in Edinburgh has been replicated in multiple BM centres across the world. In 2022, BM launched as a spin-out social enterprise from its original home at the University of Edinburgh. In this talk I will present examples of good practice in science communication and advice from the BM international network.

MARINIS, Theodoros: Professor of Multilingualism and Director of the Centre for MultilingualismUniversity of Konstanz. He led the EUfunded ITN ‘The Multilingual Mind’ www.multilingualmind.eu and is part of the EU-funded project ‘Act and connect for integration: language learning & cultural awareness’ that support the integration/inclusion of migrant children/adolescents in education. Email: t.marinis[at]uni-konstanz.de

RINKER, Tanja: Professor of German as a Second and Foreign Language at the Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, DE. Since 2016, she has been leader of the “Multilingualism in the Classroom” project, funded by the Ministry of Education and Research in Baden-Württemberg. In 2018, she became part of the EU-consortium “MultiMind” which aims at training PhD students in the area of multilingualism. Email: Tanja.Rinker[at]ku.de

Interventions and tools for plurilingual education
A refreshing and intensive e-course on multilingualism for teachers

The e-course Multilingualism and Learning supports working teachers in their classroom practice, to bring their pupils to Functional Multilingual Learning. It is an extensive online course in Flemish that presents both knowledge and lots of exercise, in a series of 8 modules. Exchange with other teachers in the course deepens and enriches the materials. Laura and Iris will briefly guide you through the different modules, goals and building blocks of the course.

EMERY, Laura: works at the Centre for Diversity and Learning at Ghent University. In September 2022 she obtained her PhD degree on the topic of the orientation of newly arrived migrant students in secondary education in Flanders. Since then she gives workshops on this topic and on other themes that are relevant to multilingual learners. Email: laura.emery.vub[at]gmail.com

VANDEVELDE, Iris: Works at the Centre for Diversity and Learning at Ghent University. She translates the research results of the centre into visuals, copy, courses, websites and educational materials for school teams. Together with a broader team, she designed an e-course on multilingualism in the classroom. Email: Iris.Vandevelde[at]UGent.be

How a blended training programme can change teachers’ monolingual mindset – a programme funded by UNICEF

The talk draws on a teachers’ capacity building project (‘GLML T4I’), funded by UNICEF, as part of the EU initiative “All Children in Education (ACE)”.
In an institutionally monolingual nation-state such as Greece, teacher trainees are expected to, inter alia: a) discover and be aware of the social and individual multilingualism; b) understand the linguistic ecology and its links with the construction of identities; c) become able to explore multilingual resources.
We will showcase the main finding of research undertaken in the framework of the project, which is the strong connection between plurilingual awareness, the transformation of teaching practices, and the will of teachers to act as multipliers for a “new” approach to language(s) in the school context.

ANDROULAKIS, George: Professor of Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching, and Director of the Greek Language and Multilingualism Lab (GLML) at the University of Thessaly, Greece. He has been a Visiting Professor in Universities in Europe and Canada, and was Vice-President for Academic and International Affairs of the Hellenic Open University 2015-2018. His research focuses on multilingualism in migrant communities, language policy, language teaching, and inclusive education. Email: androulakis[at]uth.gr

MINARDI, Silvia: President of the LEND (Lingua e Nuova Didattica) Association, she has a PhD in Linguistics, teaches in secondary school in Italy, and has recently been appointed member of the Language Policy Expert Group of the Council of Europe working on the new Strategy (2024/2030) on Plurilingual and Intercultural Education for Democracy.  Email: silvia.minardi[at]gmail.com

Brief contributions by symposium participants

GÍSLADÓTTIR, Guðrún: General Secretary of ECSPM, co-chair of EARights, fine arts photographer and translator, she studied Scandinavian Languages and Linguistics. A polyglot, she is author of “Languages as ways of being: The linguistic biography of a Nordic nomad”, in The Dominant Language Constellations Approach in Education and Language Acquisition (Springer 2022). Email: cc[at]gudrun.cc

Concluding dicussion

Summing up and putting forth important questions that remain to be investigated.

HUFFEISEN, Brita: Professor of German linguistics with an emphasis on multilingualism research at Technische Universität Darmstadt in Germany. She is also the Director of its Language Resource Center. She engages in Master programs on multilingualism and German as a second/foreign language as well as teacher education and has so far supervised 15 PhD dissertations on topics such as German as a second foreign language worldwide, multilingual whole school policy development, and related topics. Email: hufeisen[at]spz.tu-darmstadt.de

MARTYNIUK, Waldemar: Professor at the Institute of Polish Language and Culture for Foreigners of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Teacher trainer, author of textbooks, curricula, and testing materials for Polish as a foreign language. Executive Director of ECML of the Council of Europe (2008-2013). Since 2019, Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE). Email: waldemar.1.martyniuk[at]uj.edu.pl

SPOTTI, Massimiliano: Associate Professor of Digital Literacies and Ethnography at the Department of Culture Studies at Tilburg University, NL and Chair of the Humanities Advisory Board for the Dutch Research Council. His research focuses on migrants’ civic integration via socio-technological platforms and the processes of inclusion/exclusion in Dutch as L2 classrooms. Email: m.spotti[at]tilburguniversity.edu

TINNEFELD, Thomas: Professor of Applied Languages at Saarland University of Applied Sciences in Germany. He is President of the Language Council of Saarland and sits on the Board of ICC – the International Language Association. His research interests cover applied linguistics, language methodology, grammaticography, and interculturality. Email: thomas.tinnefeld@htwsaar.de

SLAVKOV, Nikolay: Professor at the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) of the University of Ottawa and Director of the Canadian Centre for Studies and Research in Bilingualism and Language Planning (CCERBAL). His work centres on language pedagogy and innovation, technology, language development, family language policy, and bi-/multilingualism. Email: nikolay.slavkov[at]uottawa.ca

VAN AVERMAET, Piet: Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy and Head of the Centre for Diversity and Learning, at Ghent University, Belgium. He researches multilingualism in education, social inequality in education, language policy and practice in education, language assessment, diversity, integration and participation, discrimination in education, migration. Email: Piet.VanAvermaet[at]UGent.be