COM2021: The Conference on Multilingualism

June 23, 2021 - June 25, 2021

About COM2021

The Conference on Multilingualism has its origin in 2005 at the University of Trento, where it was known under the name of “Workshop on Bilingualism”. In 2016, the conference was renamed to “Conference on Multilingualism” in order to include a broader range of aspects of multilingualism. It is aimed at exploring the many different aspects of multilingualism in the fields of linguistics, psychology, neurology, sociology and educational sciences. In the past, it was held in Ghent, in Leiden, and in Reading. In 2021 it is coming to Konstanz.

Given the continuing travel restrictions and uncertainty due to COVID-19 we have decided to host COM2021 online.

Dr Francis Hult, one of our Network’s Advisory Members, is a keynote speaker.

English in a Multilingual World

Francis M. Hult (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

English is often axiomatically indexed with globalization. Many school systems emphasize the learning of English with the aim of preparing students for employment, mobility, and English-medium tertiary education. Universities, in turn, increasingly focus on the English proficiency of students, staff, instructors, and researchers. English continues to be, as Bamgbose (2003) puts it, a “recurring decimal” in language planning and policy. But how all-encompassing is it? In this talk, I situate English in the world’s ecology of languages. I begin by problematizing the notion of English as a global language. I then consider how we can view English-medium instruction (EMI) and English as a lingua franca (ELF) through a multilingual lens (e.g., Jenkins, 2015; Kirkpatrick, 2014; Ou, Gu & Hult, 2020) in order to look beyond the ‘E’ to see how English can be positioned vis-à-vis the many guises of multilingualism (e.g., Blackledge & Creese, 2014; Canagarajah, 2013). Finally, I argue for renewed attention to language ecology (e.g., Hult, 2013; Li, Steffensen & Huang, 2020) in the study of multilingualism as a way to avoid a fragmented view of English in the world.

The general registration fee is €20.  The full program is available here: