Professionalising Multilingualism, Conference 2010

Gudrun Ziegler gudrun.ziegler at
Sun Apr 12 16:24:58 UTC 2009

Dear colleagues,

please find attached the call for papers for the 2010 conference on  
"Professionalising Multilingualism in Higher Education: developing  
plurilingual individuals and multilingual institutions".
Apologies for cross-postings, kind regards, Gudrun Ziegler

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Dr. Gudrun Ziegler, Associate Professor, Faculty of Language &  
Literature, Humanities, Arts & Education
Mail to: gudrun.ziegler at AND gudrun.ziegler at
Send to: University of Luxembourg, Campus Walferdange, Route de  
Diekrich, L-7201 Luxembourg
Call: 00352 46 66 44 - 93 63 - Fax: 00352 46 66 44 - 96 38

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Professionalising multilingualism in higher education:
developing plurilingual individuals and multilingual
International conference

Hosting institution
University of Luxembourg
February 4-6, 2010
Conference website
March 2009 – First call for papers
01.4.2009 – On line interface available for submission
April 2009 – Second call for papers
May 2009 – Last call for papers
30.6.2009 – Deadline for submission
30.9.2009 – Latest notification of acceptance

Background and purpose of the conference
Following the previous conferences held in Freiburg (2003), Helsinki  
(2005) and Bolzano
(2007), the community of multilingual universities will meet in the  
Grand Duchy of
Luxemburg. The Luxemburg conference will address the issue of  
multilingualism in Higher Education, with a particular emphasis on the  
development of
plurilingual individuals and multilingual institutions. More  
specifically, the practices of the
actors (researchers, teachers, students…) in their daily environment  
and activities will be
taken into account, raising the question of certification of  
competences and institutional
regulations regarding multilingualism.
Addressing the issue of professionalisation in relation to the  
development of institutional
multilingualism and individual plurilingualism requires a change of  
perspective by using a
distinction as referred to by the Common European Framework of  
Reference for Languages,
In order to deal with this issue, firstly, the figure of a non-native  
speaker or learner,
trying to bridge the gap to the native speaker, is replaced by the  
more complete figure of
the learner as a social actor. In other words, the plurilingual social  
actor is not only learning
languages in the classroom but also by using languages and different  
knowledge repertoires
at his/her disposal in a variety of contexts (scientific, technical,  
administrative and so on) in
which s/he is acting.
Secondly, complex interactions are considered in space and time as  
they are
interconnected along four independent dimensions.
1. The experimental dimension is linked to an individual trajectory  
and all the material
that is not directly observable in an interaction but is nevertheless  
present and
transparent in an individual’s action. The plurilingual individual  
(whether a student or a
professional, whether highly experienced or a novice in a multilingual  
environment) in
the context of social, cultural, or geographic mobility is not only  
vocationally and
linguistically skilled but also a practitioner with the capacity to  
transform experiences,
qualifications and repertoires into resources for communication.
2. The socio-organisational dimension can be observed in the  
plurilingual’s action and
habits. How does the individual / social actor behave in his/her  
vocational environment
and activities? Which spaces does s/he use and prefer? Which tools and  
devices are
brought into play? How do hesitations and silences work in  
multilingual encounters? How
is participation in conversations accomplished? These observations  
contribute to the
enrichment of the growing comprehension of the features of  
plurilingual individuals in
their social context, allowing for a contextualising of the  
multifaceted personality of the
multilingual professional.
3. From a systemic point of view, the individual has to be regarded in  
involvement with the multilingual institution. From this perspective  
the institution can be
considered through its forms of organisation and its regulations –  
specifically linked to its
language policy - regarding the recruitment of staff, the selection of  
students or
vocational training for members. Procedures, tools, and documentation  
available are
then dedicated to the professionalisation of multilingual practices at  
all levels
(administration, teaching, research) allowing also for the evaluation/ 
certification of such
multilingual practices (not limited to the certification of one  
language/languages). All
these aspects traditionally tend to constrain an individual, rather  
than develop him / her
as part of the institution.
4. Finally, an inter-subjective dimension includes all (multilingual)  
practices occurring within the institutional context. Deriving/ 
emanating from the shared
life, resulting from common habits, mutual adaptations, implicit or  
explicit rules, all these
practices create interpretations, (mis)understandings and managing  
devices for
multilingual everyday issues in relation to personal purposes.
Drawing from this perspective of the plurilingual individual as a  
social actor using
different resources in context, s/he can be described according to the  
four aforementioned
dimensions, allowing connections between:
• The individual and the organisation/institution.
• The past, the present and the future: the (plurilingual) individual  
is a life long
learner developing in different institutional contexts.
• The inside and the outside of formalised contexts: the  
(plurilingual) individual
learns in and through different contexts, inside and outside of a  
institutional setting.
• Formal and informal learning experiences: te (plurilingual)  
individual learns in
and through a broad range of interchanges, managing academic and  
More specifically, with regard to this conception of multilingualism  
and plurilingualism,
the issue of suitable language training is addressed from a lifelong  
learning perspective,
considering multilingual competences (and their certification) as an  
overall phenomenon not
only bound to study programmes dedicated to the learning of languages.  
In sum, the issue
of plurilingual individuals acting in multilingual institutions gives  
rise to a reconceptualisation
of the professionalising dimension regarding not only multilingualism in
higher education.
Five thematic strands have been identified according to this  
conceptual framework.
Thematic strands
1 – Becoming a plurilingual professional in a multilingual world.
Research has emphasised the role of higher education in the  
development of
plurilingualism and multicultural areas. From this point of view, the  
training issue and the
question of vocational teacher training is of core interest: which  
characteristics have to be
developed in professionals in teaching (not only in teaching  
languages)? Which challenges
and contexts have to be managed by the plurilingual professionals?
2 – Multilingualism in higher education and research: an economic
Multilingual universities represent the economic dimensions of  
multilingualism today. On
the one hand side, university administrations have to handle costs and  
validations regarding
documents and the set-up of administration in different languages. On  
the other hand, they
are key players in the creation of added value with regard to the  
future economic success of
candidates in a multilingual world and the enhancement the potentials  
of a region which
hosts a multilingual university.
3 - Plurilingual biographies and professional identities
Everyday life at university engages biographical, linguistic and  
professional backgrounds
as regards acting in formal and informal multilingual communication at  
university in
scientific, technical or administrative domains. Moreover,  
multilingual biographies and
professional practices serve as training tools for multilingualism in  
professional contexts
outside the academic framework.
April 2009
4 - Multilingual higher education: implementing multilingual study
programmes and assessment
Multilingual higher education settings raise the question of the  
implementation of
standards and normalisation efforts for multilingualism and/or  
multilingual practices.
Moreover, experiences and observations of multilingual study  
programmes and their
succesful implementation demonstrate new models of assessment and  
evaluation, which
cannot (only) be based on monolingual standards.
5 - Language policies for multilingual universities
Beyond linguistic imperialism and historical implications, languages  
compete in relation
to their roles in vocational domains, geographic areas, individual  
practices, institutional
rules and political regulations. Firstly multilingual universities,  
here the university of
Luxembourg, have issues of territorial, societal and educational  
multilingualisms. Secondly,
in general, the transferability of the model of the multilingual  
university needs to be
investigated and further developed.
Languages & multilingual conference practices
The languages of the conference are the three official languages of  
the university of
Luxembourg, i.e. English, French, and German. Multilingual  
presentation modes are highly
encouraged. In order to make use of multilingualism and to ensure  
mutual comprehension
and discussion, we suggest the adoption of a bi- or trilingual  
communication mode (for
instance, oral presentation in the chosen language and visual  
presentation and/or hand-out
in another language). The conference organisation will not provide  
Programme & participants
Scientific public
The conference will feature three plenary talks for the specialised  
scientific audience, as
well as two general conferences for the larger public addressing  
general sociopolitical/
socio-economic issues in line with the conference topic, two full days  
of parallel
scientific symposia, panels, workshops and poster sessions. All  
researchers working in the
area of the scientific strands of the conference are highly welcome to  
submit contributions.
Professional public – the training strand for the administrative and  
staff in multilingual institutions
In parallel to the conference, one full day will be allotted for  
activities and workshops
relevant for a smaller group of professionals working with  
multilingualism in their daily
environment, such as in a bilingual or multilingual higher educational  
Professional participants (administration, secretary, student affairs)  
of this particular strand
will be contacted by their central administration or a researcher/ 
professional working in this

Presentation formats
Different presentation formats are available. Please read the  
indications provided for
submitting your proposal in a presentation mode that best suits your  
Type A) Individual paper
Single or co-authored, 20 minutes presentation, 5 minutes discussion,  
organised in
thematically organized sections.
Type B) Symposium
Single or co-authored. 90 minutes timeframe including discussion,  
bringing together at least
three (maximum five) different contributions within one symposium topic.
Type C) Poster
Single or co-authored, presented during one of the two poster  
presentation slots (poster
sessions are not held in parallel to other sessions).
Type D) Workshop (S, Scientific public)
45 minutes, including a minimum of 25 minutes for exchanges with the  
participants, data or
application show, tell and interact sessions on recent research  
Type E) Workshops (T, professional public/training strand)
90 minutes, designed for interested administrative and other  
professionals working in a
multilingual higher education institution, practical in its scope,  
concern and implementation
on one special day of the conference.
Proposal set-up
Please read the following instructions carefully as they apply for any  
of the abovementioned
presentation formats (all types A, B, C, D, E).
Please choose one of the following languages to submit your proposal:  
English, French,
or German.
• 500 word abstract including
• Title, subtitle
• Thematic strand you refer to (indicate thematic strand number as  
stated in
the call)
• Keywords, 5 maximum
• Background and purpose of the contribution (including previous work)
• Rationale of the contribution
• Results
• References
• Indication in which languages your presentation/workshop will be  
• Specification regarding material/technical requirements, if  

Specific to Type B): An abstract for the symposium as well as  
individual abstracts (500
words each) per presentation within the symposium have to be submitted.
Specific to Type D) & Type E): Specify how the workshop is set-up.  
Indicate a preferred
maximum/minimum of participants per workshop.
Specific to Type E): Please note that one day within the three  
conference days will
include all workshops and activities in line with the training/ 
professional strand. (Note: For
further information concerning Type E, please contact Michael Langner.)
Proposal submission
Please submit your proposal through the conference website by June, 30th
The submission of the proposal is free of charge.
Note: Read the instructions provided by the conference submission tool  
carefully in
advance and have the relevant information ready for feeding your  
information as well as
abstract into the requested sections.
Conference fee
 Category A – Regular, 220€ for full participation in the  
 Category B - Reduced, 110€ for full participation of students  
(the presentation of
a valid student identity card is mandatory);
 Category C - One day training for 110€ for administrative/ 
professional staff.
Prices including all materials, coffee breaks and the conference dinner.
Hosting university
Luxembourg is often quoted as a model in and for the European  
environment: a trilingual country with a national language and French  
and German
administrative languages. Therefore the young university of Luxembourg  
as been created as
a multilingual university relying on English, French and German as  
working languages at the
University of Luxembourg
The University of Luxembourg has been created with the following  
intent : « dans ses
principes organisateurs, l’Université tient compte des  
spécificités traditionnelles du
Luxembourg, à savoir la mobilité des étudiants et le multilinguisme.  
Pour ce qui est du
régime des langues, c’est le principe d’une université  
multilingue qui est retenu. Ce principe
est le reflet de la réalité linguistique du Grand-duché de  
Luxembourg. L’université est
internationale avant d’être nationale. »
On an everyday basis, Luxembourgish plays also an important role  
within the University
of Luxembourg. Study programmes, etc. at the UL rely on English,  
French and German as
university and academic languages. Bachelor and master programmes are  
either held in a
bilingual or in a multilingual mode.
Fir Iech déi multilingual Réalitéit vum lëtzebuerger Land an senger
Universitéit virzestellen, hunn mir d'Eier Iech den 4 bis den 6 Febuar
an der Abtei Neumünster ze begréissen!

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