Transferring University Language Policy

Country: France

City: Poitiers

Abstr. due: 30.06.2017

Dates: 03.11.17 — 03.11.17

Area Of Sciences: Humanities;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Université de Poitiers


The number of international students have increased while the social responsibility of universities at regional, national and supranational level is being questioned.

Universities have thus adopted various language policies, sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit. This has allowed such universities to organise language learning and define the place of local, national and international languages in relation with one another, particularly with English in teaching, mobility, research and to deal with non-faculty staff.

This one-day conference will observe how university language policies are born, circulate, transform and inform each other.

Universities worldwide have become more international in the past decades, with more linguistic diversity on campuses and in classrooms. In Europe, such supranational organisations as the Council of Europe and the European Union have been accompanying the increase of transnational exchanges in the academic world by publishing the CERFL, creating the ECML, setting up various programmes, and by co-funding consortia initiatives. Not only have such policies been implemented differently across the countries of Europe depending on higher education policies and traditions, but the CERFL’s influence has also extended well beyond Europe, in America as well as in the Asia-Pacific region, as shown by Byram & Parmenter (2012).

Numerous stakeholders play a part in university language policy: students and student organisations, teachers, universities themselves, the army, legal institutions, local governments, activist groups, language management agencies and academies, so that policy change may occur as a result of bottom-up implementation as well as top-down. This blurs the difference between policy and practice. Transfer may thus occur between two or more stakeholders, whether institutions or even individual teachers as those can “formally (in the form of policy text creation) and informally (at the classroom level) appropriate policy in creative and unpredictable ways” (Johnson 2013:55).

Conference Web-Site: