Speakerness: Subjectivities, Trajectories and Socialisation

In WG8 we see new speakers as individuals with little or no home or community exposure to a language but who instead acquire it through formal or informal educational settings, as adult language learners, in the workplace, through revitalization projects or as a consequence of their geographical mobility (migration). We also include speakers who have been passive bilinguals and have started to actively use a minority language through everyday interactions in the new speaker category (Walsh and Lane 2014). Drawing from the different projects in which members of this group are working currently or are planning to work on in the near future we agreed to focus the work of Working Group 8 on three main topics:

  • Language trajectories and mudes. This refers to the language-based journeys taken by individuals or groups, both in the process of becoming new speakers, and also in moving beyond the new speaker category. Mudes or linguistic shifts are specific biographical junctures where individuals enact significant changes in their linguistic repertoire.
  • Spaces for language learning. These are also at the centre of our interests as we want to know how and where new speakers acquire the language or variety.
  • Subjectivities. We want to explore how we get shaped by multilingualism and how people conceptualise themselves as multilinguals. Thus, subjectivities and identities will be taken into account in our explorations of newspeakerness.

+ info: Maite Puigdevall & John Walsh (2017). "WG 8 Report (Period of Phase 2: April 2015 to September 2016). Speakerness: Subjectivities, Trajectories, Spaces". (link)

WG8 Committee


Maite Puigdevall Serralvo

WG leader

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 John Walsh

WG leader

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Stephen Joyce

Communication and Publication Officer

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  Estibaliz Amorrortu (Universidad de Deusto)
  Jannis Androutsopoulos (Universität Hamburg)
  Tulay Caglitutuncigil (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
  Constadina Charalambous (PhD, King’s College London) is an Assistant Professor of Language Education & Literacy at the European University of Cyprus. Her research interests include language education, interactional sociolinguistics, and language learning in contexts of conflict. She has recently completed a project on investigating the role of language learning in promoting peaceful coexistence (funded by the Levehulme Trust). She has also conducted research on peace education initiatives in Cyprus and has been involved in teacher-training seminars. She has publications in many international peer reviewed journals (eg. Linguistics & Education, Teaching and Teachers Education, Applied Linguistics, Language and Intercultural communication, etc.) and she has recently co-authored a book entitled “Peace education in a conflict-affected context (2016, Cambridge University Press). 
    Panayiota Charalambous (European University of Cyprus)
  Stuart Dunmore (University of Glasgow)
    Alicia Fernández Barrera (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha)
  Avel·lí Flors-Mas (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya). Currently I am finishing my PhD, where I compare the effects of language-in- education policies in Catalonia and Valencia on the linguistic repertoires and trajectories of secondary-school students with different linguistic backgrounds. I also work in the educational sociolinguistics group at the Research Centre for Sociolinguistics and Communication at the Universitat de Barcelona (CUSC-UB).
  Maria Rosa Garrido Sardà is a postdoc researcher at the Institute of Multilingualism, University of Fribourg. Her on-going postdoc research explores language, mobility and identity in the trajectories of  skilled workers who cross linguistic and national borders for humanitarian work.
  Jone Goirigolzarri (Universidad de Deusto)
  Elisa Hidalgo McCabe (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid) is a PhD student from Universidad Autónoma of Madrid. Her research focuses on the sociolinguistic factors affecting students’ trajectories from primary to secondary bilingual education. She is currently a member of the research group UAM-CLIL through her involvement in the project TRANS-CLIL investigating the transition from primary to secondary education in CLIL contexts. During her Master studies in Applied Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA, she participated in the Parent-Teacher Literacy Project on the development of language and literacy skills of migrant adults. Her current research interests include language ideologies, teaching in a foreign language (CLIL) and classroom interaction. She is currently exploring the language trajectories of students attending bilingual public schools in Madrid, Spain, with a focus on the ways in which they become “new speakers” of English. She is also addressing globalization and mobility in relation to multilingual language policies and their impact on bilingual education programmes in Madrid.
    Kathryn Jones (IAITH: Welsh Centre for Language Planning)
  Stephen Joyce (Roinn na Gaeilge, Ollscoil na hÉireann, Gaillimh / Department of Irish, National University of Ireland, Galway). Currently I'm working on a doctoral research project examining the motivations, identities and language ideologies of young new speakers of Irish and Basque, focusing on established and emerging urban spaces for language socialisation.
  Elina Kangas (MultiLing, University of Oslo)
  Clara Keating (Universidade de Coimbra)
  Pia Lane (MultiLing, University of Oslo)
  Janet Laugharne (Cardiff Metropolitan University)
  Deirdre Ní Loingsigh (University of Limerick/Ollscoil Luimnigh). With regard to WG8, my current research on new speakers relates to the following themes: Language advising and new speakerness; the language support requirements of new speakers of Irish; new speakers of Irish in the organisational context; the spatial practices of new speakers & the deployment and appropriation of physical and virtual spaces for language use; safe space(s); spaces of transformation; language anxiety; new speaker networks and the role of the “cultural architect”; and finally, the scope of participatory action research (PAR) on new speakers.

Malgorzata Machowska-Kosciak (Trinity College Dublin) completed her Ph.D. in 2015 in the School of Linguistic, Speech and Communication Sciences at Trinity College Dublin. She is working as a lecturer in Marino Institute of Education, an associated college of Trinity College Dublin. In her doctoral thesis she has focused on first and second language socialization among Polish immigrant adolescents living in Ireland. Her research relate to the areas such as: sociology of language, intercultural communication, internationalization of education, language learning and maintenance, multilingualism, integration of migrant minorities, discourse analysis, affective and epistemic stance taking through discourse, identity and power relations inherent in society. Malgorzata Machowska-Kosciak and Karolina Rosiak are recently working on language socialisation and affect in Polish migrants to Ireland and Wales. Subjectivities and identities are taken into account in our explorations of “newspeakerness”.

  Marina Massaguer Comes is a PhD candidate in Sociolinguistics at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). She is interested in the study of bi/multilingualism in Catalonia, language ideologies, and the relationship between language and identity. Her PhD research project, “Non-Catalan Speakers in Catalonia: Power, Belonging, and Legitimacy in the Post-National Era”, focuses on people living in Catalonia who do not speak Catalan or do so very rarely. Marina’s project aims to explore these profiles of speakers precisely in terms of how they position themselves in relation to socially available categorisations connected to language, ethnocultural identity, and other socioeconomic aspects; how they accept, contest or negotiate general assumption regarding these categories, and what the consequences of these processes are both for the individuals and for the community.
  Máiréad Moriarty (University of Limerick/Ollscoil Luimnigh)
  Anik Nandi (Heriot-Watt University). I am also a research associate in Galician sociolinguistics at Institute of Galician Language, USC, Spain and external Research Fellow in the UNESCO Chair on World Language Heritage at UBC, Spain. My research interests include language policy and planning, family language policy, intergenerational transmission, Spanish sociolinguistics, Galician language and new speakers.

Kevin Petit Cahill (Université Lumière Lyon2) is a doctoral student under the supervision of  Peter Griggs (Université Lumière Lyon2) et James Costa (Sorbonne Nouvelle University). His doctoral research is entitled Learning Irish through Immersion: A sociolinguistic ethnography of summer colleges. It focuses on language choices and language ritualization in interactions during «immersion» Irish language courses and aims at understanding the role played by language in the social relationships between speakers of Irish with varying degrees of fluency and from different geographic and social backgrounds, through the analysis of interviews, field notes, questionnaires, audio recordings of interactions in class, and official documents.

  Maite Puigdevall Serralvo (Universitat Oberta de Catalyunya). My research focuses on new speakers of Catalan; language trajectories and “mudes”; spaces for language learning and “mudes”; language and emotions.
  Ana María Relaño Pastor (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha)
Facundo Reyna Muniain (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel)
  Karolina Rosiak (Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu). My research focuses on socialisation and language ideologies of Polish migrants in Wales.
  Agnese Sampietro. Her dissertation (defended in May 2016) was the first thesis from a linguistic perspective focused on the phenomenon of emoticons and emoji.
    Nora Schleicher (BKF University of Applied Sciences, Budapest)
  Minna Suni (Jyväskylän yliopisto / Jyväskylä University)
  Tom Van Hout (Universiteit Leiden)
  Ellen Van Praet (Universiteit Gent)
  Dr. John Walsh is a Senior Lecturer in Irish at the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. He teaches sociolinguistics at undergraduate and postgraduate level. In 2012, he was appointed Vice-Dean for Research in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. Dr. Walsh’s doctorate on the influence of the Irish language on Ireland socio-economic development was awarded by Dublin City University. Before that, he completed an MA in International Relations (Sociology, Politics, Law) also at DCU. He holds a BA in Irish and Welsh from University College Dublin. Dr. Walsh previously worked as a lecturer in Irish at DCU, with the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages in Brussels, and as a journalist with Raidió Teilifís Éireann and TG4. His current research focuses on the ideologies and motivations of ‘new speakers’ of minority languages, people who were not raised speaking those languages but who speak them fluently and regularly.



Books and articles


Pia Lane & Miki Makihara (2017). ‘Language and indigenous minorities’. In: García, Flores & Spotti (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Language and Society. Oxford University Press, 299-230.

Lane (2017). Language standardisation as frozen mediated actions – the materiality of language standardisation. In: Lane, Costa ad De Korne (Eds.). Standardizing minority languages: Competing ideologies of authority and authenticity in the global periphery, 101-117.

Alicia Fernández Barrera (2017). 'Language Appropriations, Ideologies and Identities in Bilingual Schools in Castilla-La Mancha (Spain)'. In Sara Young & Emma Brooks (Eds.), Language Ideologies and Teaching in Multilingual ContextsBellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 10 (2), 41-58.

John Walsh (2017). 'The role of emotions and positionality in the trajectories of "new speakers" of Irish'. International Journal of Bilingualism.


Máiréad Moriarty (2016). “Developing resources for translanguaging in minority language contexts: A case study of rapping in an Irish primary school”. Language, Culture, Curriculum http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07908318.2016.1230623

Dunmore, S. 2016. ‘Immersion education outcomes and the Gaelic community: Identities and language ideologies among Gaelic-medium educated adults in Scotland’, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2016 .1249875

Claire Nance, Wilson McLeod, Bernadette O’Rourke and Stuart Dunmore (2016). ‘Identity, accent aim, and motivation in second language users: New Scottish Gaelic speakers’ use of phonetic variation, Journal of Sociolinguistics 20: 164-91.

Ane Ortega, Estibaliz Amorrortu, Jone Goirigolzarri and Jacqueline Urla (2016). Euskal hiztun berriak: esperientziak, jarrerak eta identitateak. Deustuko Unibertsitatea, Bizkailab: Bilbao.

Lane (2016). Standardising Kven: Participation and the role of users. Sociolinguistica 30, 105-124

Petit, K. (2016). “Successful Learners of Irish as an L2: Motivation, Identity and Linguistic Mudes” Studia Celtica Posnaniensia, 1, 39-57. https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/scp.2016.1.issue-1/scp-2016-0003/scp-2016-0003.xml?format=INT

Karolina Rosiak (2016). ‘The Welsh language and social integration from the point of view of the new Polish emigration to Wales’. Zeszyty Łużyckie 50: 315-332.

Karolina Rosiak and Michael Hornsby (2016). ‘Motivational Factors in the Acquisition of Welsh in Poland’. Studia Celtica Posnaniensia 1: 57-72.

Jacqueline Urla, Estibaliz Amorrortu, Ane Ortega and Jone Goirigolzarri (2016). ‘Authenticity and Linguistic variety among New Speakers of Basque’. In:  Ferreira, Vera and Bouda, Peter (eds.) Language Documentation and Conservation. Special Publication 9: Language Documentation and Conservation in Europe, 1–12.

Tom Van Hout & Ellen Van Praet (2016). Teaching Case: Lookalike Professional English. IEEE Transactions of professional communication, 59(4), 398-406. doi: 10.1109/TPC.2016.2608198


Máiréad Moriarty (2015). Globalizing language policy and planning: An Irish language perspective. Great Britain: Palgrave MacMillan.

Bernadette O’Rourke and John Walsh (2015). ‘New Speakers of Irish: shifting boundaries across time and space’. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 231, 63-83.

Karolina Rosiak (2015). “The use of diminutive expressions in the context of recent revitalization efforts in Wales.” In: Leszek Szymański and Marek Kuczyński (eds.). Language, Thought and Education: Exploring Networks. Zielona Góra: Uniwersytet Zielonogórski.

John Walsh, Bernadette O’Rourke and Hugh Rowland (2015). Tuarascáil Taighde ar Nuachainteoirí na Gaeilge. Baile Átha Cliath: Foras na Gaeilge.

John Walsh, Bernadette O’Rourke and Hugh Rowland (2015). Research Report on New Speakers of Irish. Dublin: Foras na Gaeilge (translation of above).

John Walsh and Bernadette O’Rourke (2015). ‘Mudes teangeolaíocha agus nuachainteoirí na Gaeilge’ (‘Linguistic mudes and new speakers of Irish’). Comhar Taighde (1). Available at: http://www.comhartaighde.com/eagrain/1/walsh-orourke/

John Walsh and Laoise Ní Dhúda (2015). ‘“New Speakers” of Irish in the United States: Practices and Motivations’. Applied Linguistics Review 6 (2):173-192.

In press

Michael Hornsby and Karolina Rosiak (in press). Eastern European Perspectives on Celtic Studies. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Malgorzata Machowska-Kosciak (in press). “‘To be like a home extension’- challenges of language learning and language maintenance- lessons from Polish-Irish experience”

Stefan Moal, Noel Ó Murchadha & John Walsh (forthcoming, 2017). ‘New speakers and language in the media: audience design in Breton and Irish broadcast media’. In: Hornsby, Michael, Moriarty, Máiréad, Ó Murchadha, Noel & Smith-Christmas, Cassie (eds.) New Speakers of Minority Languages: Linguistic ideologies and practices. London: Palgrave.

Bernadette O’Rourke, Joan Pujolar and John Walsh (forthcoming, 2017). ‘Language education and new speakers of minority languages’. In: McCarty, Teresa (ed.) Encyclopedia of Language and Education (3rd edition). New York: Springer.

Kevin Petit Cahill (forthcoming). ‘Les stages d’immersion d’irlandais comme rite de passage : militantisme et valeur ajoutée’. Actes du colloque Jeunes Chercheurs: Construction / déconstruction des identités linguistiques, Université Paul-Valéry, Montpellier 3. Editions Connaissances et Savoirs: Saint Denis.

Maite Puigdevall, John Walsh, Ane Ortega and Estibaliz Amorrortu (forthcoming, 2018), ‘New speakers and linguistic mudes: becoming, passing and belonging’. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.

Jacqueline Urla, Estibaliz Amorrortu, Ane Ortega and Jone Goirigolzarri (forthcoming). “Basque Standardization and the New Speaker: Political Praxis and the Shifting Dynamics of Authority and Value”, in forthcoming volume edited by Pia Lane and James Costa on standardisation.

Colin Williams and John Walsh (forthcoming, 2018). ‘The Regulation and Governance of Official Languages’. In: Hogan-Brun, G. & O’Rourke, B. (eds.) The Handbook on Minority Languages and Communities. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dunmore, S. (in press). ‘New Gaelic Speakers, New Gaels? Language ideologies and ethnolinguistic continuity among Gaelic-medium educated adults’, in Smith-Christmas et al. (eds) New Speakers of Minority Languages: Linguistic Practice and Ideology (Basingstoke: Palgrave), pp tbc.

In progress

Tulay Caglitutuncigil (in progress, 2018). ‘Between myth and reality: Language classrooms in Spanish and Catalan social integration programs. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.

Constadina Charalambous, Ben Rampton & Panayiota Charalambous (in progress).“Language education and the negotiation of a ‘conflicted heritage’”

Maite Puigdevall, John Walsh, Ane Ortega and Estibaliz Amorrortu (in progress, 2018). ‘Shame, frustration and pride: Emotions of new speakers of Irish, Basque and Catalan in their process of adopting the languages’. (Journal to be confirmed)

Karolina Rosiak (in progress). “Attitudes of parents towards Polish as a heritage language in Wales: 3 Case Studies”

Karolina Rosiak & Kathryn Jones (in progress). “Speakers of Welsh: Motivations, Values and Learner Trajectories”

Karolina Rosiak & Małgorzata Machowska-Kosciak (in progress). “’They lie, swear and their weddings are completely different’ - language socialisation and affect in Polish migrants to Ireland and Wales

Dunmore, S. (forthcoming) ‘When school is over and done with: Linguistic practices and socio-demographic profiles of Gaelic-medium educated adults’, in MacLeod et al. (eds) Gaelic in Contemporary Scotland: The Sociolinguistics of an Endangered Language (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press), pp. tbc.


Maite Puigdevall & John Walsh (2017). "WG 8 Report (Period of Phase 2: April 2015 to September 2016). Speakerness: Subjectivities, Trajectories, Spaces". (link)

Other materials

Leaflet "Nuachainteoirí san Eoraip Ilteangach/New Speakers in a multilingual Europe" (link)


Past Events

Sociolinguistics Summer School 8-COST Action 1S1306 New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe Training School

WG8 Committee encourages Early Career Researchers working within WG8 to attend and present their preliminary results in this event, taking place at the historical building of the Universitat de Barcelona, 4th-7th July 2017, and co-hosted by COST Action 1S1306, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, and the Research Centre for Sociolinguistics and Communication at Universitat de Barcelona (CUSC-UB).

Sociolinguistics Summer School is an annual international meeting point organised by and directed to MA and PhD students and early career researchers. SSS provides them a great opportunity to both attend plenary lectures and workshops conducted by leading researchers in the field and to present and discuss their own findings with fellow ECR’s.

Traditionally organised in England, Scotland and Ireland, the 7th edition of SSS disembarked for the first time on the continent to take place in Lyon in 2016. For 2017, the IdentiCat research group of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) offered to host SSS8 in Barcelona as part of the activities of the ISCH COST Action IS1306 New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe. Newspeakerness in relation to globalisation, management of multilingualism, and social identity will be the core theme of the SSS8, although presentations about all the current trends in sociolinguistics will be welcomed.

Panels at conferences

Sociolinguistics Symposium 21, Universidad de Murcia, June 15th-18th 2016

New speakers: Subjectivities, trajectories and spaces (link)

Coordinators: Maite Puigdevall-Serralvo and Pia Lane


  • Maite Puigdevall-Serralvo, John Walsh & Estibaliz Amorrortu: Emotions and new speakers of Irish, Basque and Catalan
  • Clara Keating & Pia Lane: New speakers and life trajectories - an analysis of language experiences of Portuguese migrant speakers and Kven heritage speakers
  • Malgorzata Machowska-Kosciak, Karolina Rosiak, Kathryn Jones: 'They lie, swear and their weddings are completely different' -language socialisation and affect in Polish migrants to Ireland and Wales
  • Facundo Reyna Muniain, Anik Nandi & Ibon Manterola: New speaker parents‘ language revitalisation strategies in diasporic and autochthonous  contexts: Cases from Galician and Basque medium immersion schools



The New Speakers Network Whole Action Conference, Universität Hamburg, May 12th-14th 2016
Panel 1. Language trajectories (link)

Coordinators: Pia Lane and Maite Puigdevall Serralvo


  • John Walsh, Maite Puigdevall, Estibaliz Amorrortu & Jone Gorigoizarri: Emotions and new speakers of Irish, Basque and Catalan
  • Kevin Petit: The Irish summer college rite of passage
  • Elina Kangas: “New speakers” of Meänkieli and language standardisation: practices and tensions
  • Malgorzata Machowska-Kosciak, Karolina Rosiak & Kathryn Jones: ‘They lie, swear and their weddings are completely different’ - language socialisation and affect in Polish migrants to Ireland and Wales
  • Nóra Schleicher & Minna Suni: To go or not to go? The role of language in the migration process of medical workers
  • Maria Rosa Garrido: Historicising new speakers of French for humanitarian work: Internationalisation, mobility and multilingualism


Panel 2. Spaces of language socialisation (link)

Coordinators: Pia Lane and Maite Puigdevall Serralvo


  • Avel·lí Flors-Mas: “It’s not that I don‘t want to speak Catalan, it‘s that you can’t speak it”. Linguistic repertoires and practices of migrant secondary-school students in Castelló de la Plana (Valencia, Spain)
  • Stephen Joyce: New speakers of Irish: The creation of new spaces of language socialisation
  • Deirdre Ní Loingsigh: Mandate, risk-taking and meaning-making: the spatial practices of new speakers of Irish in the workplace
  • Constadina Charalambous, Panayiota Charalambous & Ben Rampton: Language learning and trajectories of dislocation: insights from learning Turkish in Greek-Cypriot classrooms
  • Elisa A. Hidalgo McCabe : Student trajectories in the high and low immersion bilingual classroom
  • Ana María Relaño Pastor & Alicia Fernández Barrera: The ‘whats’ and ‘hows’ of language socialization practices among bilingual teachers in La Mancha schools


Stakeholder events

ESOL Provision for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Nov 24th and 25th 2016

Organizer: Máiréad Moriarty

Description: This event brought key stakeholders in the provision of English language to refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland together. The key stakeholders who took part included: (i) refugees and asylum seekers who avail of both formal and informal ESOL provision in Ireland; (2) ESOL teachers and practitioners and (3) those who coordinate and manage the provision of these services. The event concentrated on the development of a national language policy which will now be presented to the Department of Education and Skills.


Refugees and Asylum Seekers’ Needs of Analysis

April to July 2016

Organizer: Máiréad Moriarty

Description: A needs analysis was conducted amongst recently arrived refugees and asylum seekers to Ireland on their perspective on the form on English language training they requires.

MultiLing, University of Oslo


Get in Touch

  • Maite Puigdevall Serralvo (WG leader)
  • John Walsh (WG leader)
  • Marina Massaguer Comes (Publication Officer)
  • Malgorzata Machowska-Kosciak (Communication Officer)
  • Avel·lí Flors-Mas (Communication Officer)