HomePlurilingualism and language policies in tertiary/higher education and research in Europe and beyond

HomePlurilingualism and language policies in tertiary/higher education and research in Europe and beyond

Plurilingualism and language policies in tertiary/higher education and research in Europe and beyond

Plurilinguisme et politiques linguistiques dans l’éducation supérieure et la recherche en Europe et au-delà

Plurilingüismo y políticas lingüísticas en la educación superior y la investigación en Europa y más allá

Mehrsprachigkeit und Sprachenpolitik in der Hochschulbildung und Forschung in Europa und darüber hinaus

“Language education and multilingualism” Vol. 6 (2023)

*  *  *

Published on Thursday, December 08, 2022


The sixth volume of Langscape’s scholarly open-access, peer-reviewed online journal will be devoted to the theme of “Plurilingualism and language policies in tertiary/higher education and research in Europe and beyond”.



According to the OECD, the 22 European Union country members that belong to the OECD, totalled nearly 16 million higher education students in 2019. Parallel to this, and according to Eurostat1, the 27 European Union country members amounted nearly 2,8 million researchers in 2019, distributed in four main sectors – Business enterprise, government, higher education and private non-profit. As for the higher education sector, it totalled nearly 1,173.000 researchers in 2019, among the post Brexit

27 European Union country members. Since the EU counts twenty-four official languages, not accounting for regional and minority languages, these figures potentially suggest higher education language policies, as well as multilingual research and publishing practices, that should comply with the linguistic diversity that constitutes the EU, and for which EU officials claim to stand for. Yet, is this truly so? Indeed, is it possible to fathom the linguistic choices made by EU-based researchers? Have we got enough data and adequate perspectives to assess whether linguistic diversity is aimed for, encouraged and implemented through EU programmes such as Erasmus and Erasmus+?

As regards research and higher education-related practices, most references (97,9 %) were written in one of 24 official European languages. Among these, 57,9 % were written in English and 38,4 % in French. The 22 other languages amount 1,57 % of the references 2. A similar tendency can be observed on another scholarly catalogue3 showing a rather uneven distribution as far as language choice is concerned. English references amount 25,4 % of the catalogue, whereas references written in one of the 24 official European languages total 13 %. Other research tools show similar results, i.e., the dominance of English, less relevance of languages such as French, Spanish and German and a very limited appearance of other languages.

This suggests a continuation of the lingua franca status for the English language as regards scholarly arenas (Bitetti & Ferreras, 2016), at least insofar as the choice of a publishing language is concerned.4 Similarly, such data suggest existing linguistic diversity in research contexts beyond the mainstream choice of English. Starting from these observations and aiming to explore practices, discourses and mind-sets within a field structured likewise by multi-/plurilingualism and tendencies towards linguistic mainstreaming of English in the academia, the new volume of LEM will publish research concerning related topics focusing tertiary or higher education contexts in Europe and worldwide such as:

  • Research of lingua francae
  • Plurilingual education programmes: state of the art, historical analysis, perspectives in tertiary/higher education
  • Transnational institutions charged of analysing tertiary/higher education, their functions, their scope and educational policies
  • Language ideologies in tertiary/higher education
  • Plurilingual research practices in research teams
  • The dominance of publications in English (or not)
  • Epistemological implications of multilingual research contexts
  • Language learning and language learning provisions in tertiary/higher education
  • The role of minority languages in tertiary/higher education and research
  • Government and institutional policies regarding language uses in tertiary/higher education and research

Submission guidelines

The editors of LEM invite proposals for contributions that address one or several of the above areas. Proposals of 1.5 to 2 pages should be sent by January 12th, 2023. After the pre-selection process, authors will be invited to submit a full paper of 40.000 characters (max., incl. spaces); first draft submission will be expected by May 31st, 2023 to enter a double-blind peer review process.

Authors are requested to outline the topic of their contribution, a clear problem identification/ statement, the research approach and methodology applied, expected outcomes/results, and key literature. Proposals will be pre-evaluated prior to an invitation for a submission of a full manuscript. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed in a double-blind process before final acceptance.

Proposals and articles may be written at the choice of the author(s) in English, French, German or Spanish and should be sent to the following addresses (cc):

  • langscapejournal@hu-berlin.de
  • faecke@philhist.uni-augsburg.de
  • aguilar@sorbonne-nouvelle.fr


  • CfP ends on Jan. 12th, 2023

  • Notification of authors by Feb. 13th, 2023
  • Submission of first drafts by May 31st, 2023
  • Reviews sent to authors by June 30th, 2023
  • Revised drafts by August 15th, 2023
  • Expected date of publication: November 2023

For proposals, please use the LEM stylesheet available here.

Scientific committee

  • Christiane FACKE, Univerité de Habsbourg, Allemagne,
  • Stephane BREIDBACH, Université Humboldt Berlin, Allemagne
  • José AGUILAR, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, France
  • María GONZÁLEZ DAVIES, Université Ramòn Llul, Espagne

Reference List

Di Bitetti, M. S., & Ferreras, J. A. (2017). Publish (in English) or Perish: The Effect on Citation Rate of Using Languages Other than English in Scientific Publications. Ambio, 46, 121–127. Retrieved Oc- tober 12, 2022, from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-016-0820-7.

European Union (n.d.). Languages [online]. Retrieved October 12, 2022, from: https://european- union.europa.eu/principles-countries-history/languages_en.

HAL (n.d.). HAL open science [online]. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from: https://hal.archives- ouvertes.fr.

OpenAIRE (n.d.). OpenAIRE [online]. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from: https://www.openaire.eu.

SciELO (n.d.). SciELO – Scientific Electronic Library Online [online]. Retrieved October 12, 2022, from: https://search.scielo.org/? lang=en&count=15&from=0&output=site&sort=&format=summary&fb=&page=1&q=*.


1. Namely, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish (cf. https://european-union.europa.eu/principles-countries-history/languages_en, last retrieved October 12, 2022).

2. Cf. the French-based, scholarly open archive “HAL”.

3. Cf. Openaire.

4. Cf. An exception to this tendency can however be found on the Brazil-based scientific electronic library online Scielo. Indeed, Scielo’s 1098496-reference catalogue breakdown shows a different distribution as regards language choice. Portuguese features as Scielo’s top publishing language (32,7 %), while French, English, Dutch, Spanish and Greek total 0,2 % of Scielo’s catalogue ( https://search.scielo.org/? lang=en&count=15&from=0&output=site&sort=&format=summary&fb=&page=1&q=* last retrieved October 12, 2022).


  • Thursday, January 12, 2023


  • plurilinguisme, recherche, Europe


  • José Aguilar
    courriel : jose [dot] aguilar [at] sorbonne-nouvelle [dot] fr

Information source

  • José Aguilar
    courriel : jose [dot] aguilar [at] sorbonne-nouvelle [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Plurilingualism and language policies in tertiary/higher education and research in Europe and beyond », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, December 08, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/1a53

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