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Multilingual and Multicultural Communities Level 6


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor and tutor: Professor Jean-Marc Dewaele
  • Prerequisite: Approaches to Language
  • Assessment: a 3500-word essay (100%)

Module description

Multilingualism is an outstanding feature of modern societies and of large cities like London in particular. In this module we introduce you to key theoretical and practical issues in the study of multilingual societies, dealing with multilingualism at the levels of the nation, the region and the group. You will discuss and research issues concerning both familiar and unfamiliar multilingual contexts.

The overarching aim of the module is to familiarise you with research on multilingualism at the macro (community) level. This includes a critical overview on linguistic, cultural, sociological, historical and political aspects. You are invited to reflect on your own multilingual communities and link your experiences to the course content.

Indicative syllabus

  • Language policy (general)
  • Languages and cultures
  • Core concepts and core values in multilingualism research
  • Language attitudes
  • Assimilation and pluralism
  • Minority languages
  • Multilingual regions and nation states: Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, former Soviet republics, Wales, Ireland

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be expected to:

  • have deepened your theoretical understanding of how multilingual communities function and change over time, and how this knowledge can be applied in different multilingual settings
  • be able to critically evaluate research on the topic and to design basic research projects.