Language policy regimes, new speakers and sociolinguistic ethnography

Against the background of recent language policy literature that stresses the multi-sited nature of language policy, WG9 intends to shed light on the state of the art of research on the role of different sorts of actors (authorities, stakeholders), horizontally or vertically aligned, in language policy activities that involve new speakers in different geographical, social and political spaces. WG9 brings together a heterogeneous group of scholars working on a different range of topics and areas, including but not limited to: historical and immigrant language minority settings; migrant groups in diverse populations; language matters at the workplace; settings involving sign language users; virtual language environments. The research activities of WG9 members aim at critically analyzing and reflecting on methodological and theoretical concepts that may illuminate the role and the interaction of actors in the cyclical process of language policy in specific language policy regimes involving new speakers.

WG9 Committee:
Josep Soler (WG Leader)
Jeroen Darquennes (WG Leader)
Gwennan Higham (Communications Officer)

Working Group 9 Members


Carla Bagna

Affiliation: Università per Stranieri di Siena

Graduated in Foreign Languages and Literatures (French language four-year, three-year Russian address language language teaching) in 1998 at the University of Pavia. She received in 2002 the PhD in Teaching Italian to Foreigners at the University for Foreigners of Siena. PhD Thesis: The prepositions in near native speakers of Italian L2. Uses and functions of an evolving system: theoretical and educational implications. Researcher in the same University (1st June 2006 – 1st May 2014) Director of the Language Centre of the University for Foreigners in Siena from october 2010. May 2014: Associate Professor in Educational Linguistics at the University for Foreigners of Siena (Italy)

Research interests: plurilingualism, superdiversity, second language learning/teaching, immigration


Tadhg Ó hIfearnáin

Affiliation: University of Limerick

Research interests: I research within the broad tripartite language policy paradigm composed of language practices, ideologies and beliefs about language, and the intentional or unintentional intervention in these processes by agents of change. I conduct long-term ethnographic research in the Irish Gaeltacht and other extended projects in the Isle of Man and Brittany, as well as contemporary studies of the sociolinguistics of Wales, Scotland, Nova Scotia and minority language policy in Europe. In conducting this research I work collaboratively with local speaker communities, postdoctoral researchers and graduate students and with colleagues in international networks.


Massimiliano Spotti

Affiliation: Department of Culture Studies, Tilburg School of Humanities, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

1) asylum 2.0 and the implication of the internet for the process of asylum seeking practices and the politics of suspicion 

2) the institutional responses to super-diversity in urban and non-urban spaces across Europe with a specific focus on regular primary school classrooms and classrooms for the reception of young third country nationals.

3) e-citizenship apprenticeship, e-inclusion/exclusion and the process of enregisterment - through CEFR based language testing ? of newly arrived migrants in discourses of morality and national belonging.

Research interests: sociolinguistic ethnographic studies in Dutch as L2 classrooms, L2 policing for low literate migrants, superdiversity and language based citizenship testing


Josep Soler

He graduated in English Studies (2002) and General Linguistics (2004) from the University of Barcelona, where he also obtained his Ph.D. in Linguistics and Communication (2010). His main research interests cut across the broadly-defined areas of sociolinguistics and language policy and planning, with an emphasis on speakers' linguistic ideologies. In his latest work, he has been interested in analysing the language question in the internationalisation of higher education, as well as the linguistic ideologies and practices of multilingual families.

Affiliation: Department of English, Stockholm University

Research interests: Language policy, linguistic ideologies, ethnography, discourse studies


Colin Williams

Formerly Research Professor in Sociolinguistics, now an Honorary Professor, in the School of Welsh, Cardiff University. Currently he is a Visiting Fellow, St Edmund's College, the University of Cambridge, UK.

Affiliation: Cardiff University / Cambridge University

Research interests: New Speakers in Official Language Strategies


Natalie Tarr

Affiliation: Center for African Studies CASB, University of Basel, Switzerland 

Research interests: interpretation, plurilingualism, bureaucratisation, language and power, language ideology


Caroline Kerfoot

Affiliation: Centre for Research on Bilingualism, Stockholm UniversityThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Research interests: multilingualism, identities, epistemic access, mobility, migration


Constadina Charalambous

Affiliation: European University Cyprus

Research interests: language education policy, language policy and conflict, language policy and security, language & superdiversity 


Kristian Lewis

Affiliation: Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics

Research interests: multilingualism, minority languages, language policies, language planning


Urko Ikardo

Affiliation: Bortzirietako Euskara Mankomunitatea; Université Libre de Bruxelles

Research interests: New speakers and Basque language policy.


Gwennan Elin Higham

Affiliation: Department of Welsh, Swansea University

Research interests: Migration, new speakers of Welsh, language policy, citizenship, social cohesion, mulitculuralism


Steve Morris

Affiliation: Department of Welsh, Swansea University

Research interests: New speakers of Welsh and social spaces, language planning (especially corpus planning), sociolinguistics, language acquisition


Florence Bonacina-Pugh

Affiliation: University of Edinburgh

Research interests: Language-in-education policies in migratory contexts, Language Policy and Practice, 1+2 Language Strategy in Scotland


Anna Augustyniak

Anik Nandi

Ermina Ramadanovic

Ibon Manterola

Graham Turner

Guzman Mancho-Barés

Heiko F. Marten

Facundo Reyna Muniain

Jeroen Darquennes

Jone Goirigolzarri Garaizar

Julia Sallabank

Karen Corrigan

Kathryn Jones

Luisa Martín Rojo

Maite Puigdevall Serralvo

Minna Suni

Montserrat Casacuberta

Sanita Lazdiņa

Sjaak Kroon

Teresa Galarza

Wilson McLeod





Conferences and Workshops

 International Workshop, Namur, 16-17 March 2017

Language policy issues in ‘new speaker’ contexts – Critical ethnographic perspectives


The New Speakers' 2nd Symposium, Hamburg, May 2016: 

New speakers as primary stakeholders: Governmentality and regimentation issues in different language policy contexts​
Sociolinguistics Symposium 21, Murcia, June 2016:

Language policy regimes, regimentation and governmentality in “new speaker” contexts


Special Edition in Language Policy

WG9 members are currently working together towards publishling a special edition on language policy and new speakerness to be submitted to Language Policy. Members, who met in Namur University March 2017, are writing individual or joint articles which will be internally reviewed before sending to the journal editors.

International Workshop

Language policy issues in ‘new speaker’ contexts – Critical ethnographic perspectives Namur, 16-17 March 2017

Fuelled by the work of Working Group 9 of the COST-Action on New Speakers in a Multilingual Europe this two-day workshop addresses the complex and multi-sited nature of language policy and planning processes in various ‘new speaker’ settings across Europe. During the workshop, the invited speakers will present papers from a range of different contexts (including historical minority languages, migration settings and transnational workplaces). Mainly rooted in critical ethnography the papers will help to clarify how language policy matters are dealt with by speakers ‘on the ground’ as well as by language policy and planning officers and other agents in managerial positions. The workshop will help the speakers to discuss and fine-tune the first draft of a paper for a special issue on language policy and new speakerness that will be submitted to Language Policy in the second half of 2017.

Organizers: Jeroen Darquennes (UNamur) & Josep Soler (Stockholm University)
Venue: UNamur Business & Learning Center, Room 03 (Rue Godefroid 5/7, B-5000 Namur)