Skip to main content

Unit information: Multi- and Plurilingualism: Language Policies across Europe and Beyond in 2021/22

Unit name Multi- and Plurilingualism: Language Policies across Europe and Beyond
Unit code MODL30038
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Havinga
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will be taught by Dr Jessica Lueth.

In this unit, students will explore a range of issues in the interdisciplinary field of language policy and practice. Students will be introduced to key scholars (e.g. David C. Johnson, Joseph LoBianco, Elana Shohamy, Bernhard Spolsky) and concepts related to language policy (e.g. multi- and plurilingualism, minority and minoritised languages, linguistic landscapes, translanguaging). We will critically engage with a variety of language policies at local, regional, national, and supranational levels, ranging from a school’s language policy to the Barcelona objective L1+2 (European Council, 2002). Students will be asked to draw on their own language learning experiences and skills in order to explore and research language policy in different contexts. We will examine how policies and practices relate and discuss what language policies in the future may look like to enhance social justice, inclusivity, and equality in our societies.

We will begin this unit with an introduction to definitions of language policy by key scholars in the field. This introduction will lead us to several other concepts that are often closely intertwined with language policy, such as language status, linguistic repertoire, and language planning. To better understand the intertwined and interdisciplinary nature of language policy and its impact on real life, we will move on to examine a number of different language policies. Finally, students will critically engage with a language policy of their own choice and discuss what policy-makers might want to consider regarding future language policies.

This unit aims:

  • To introduce students to key scholars and concepts in language policy and practice.
  • To develop skills in reading policies and relevant academic literature and reflect on them critically.
  • To encourage students to use the knowledge and skills they acquired to explore language policies and practices in different contexts.
  • To discuss relevant concepts for future language policies and their possible impact in practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Identify, summarise and discuss key concepts in language policy and practice.

2. Apply key concepts to critically read and interpret language policies and practices at different levels.

3. Critically reflect on their own position on language policies and practices.

4. Develop presentation, research, and academic writing skills appropriate to level H.

5. Formulate an independent project of their own for assessment.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including group seminar-style discussion and self-directed exercises. It will normally involve a 1 x 2-hour seminar per week.

Assessment Information

1 x 2,500-word written report (40%). [ILOs 1–4]

1 x poster presentation (60%) [ILOs 1–5]


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. MODL30038).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.