Language Policy Forum 2019

Language policy: Lenses, layers, entry points

30-31 May 2019, University of Edinburgh, UK

School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Our 2019 conference leads on from our highly successful inaugural conference in 2018 at Sheffield Hallam University, UK, where delegates from over 20 countries met to discuss a diversity of issues in language policy. This year we have another vibrant, diverse, international and interdisciplinary crowd. Non-presenting attendees are welcome as well - welcome all!


The local organising committee: Rachel O'Neill (chair), Wilson McLeod, Florence Bonacina-Pugh, Hao Zhang, Joe Simpson and Mai Nguyen.

Email inquiries to:

Want to help publicise the conference? Print & display our flyer!

MAP OF Key locations

A) Main venue, 50 George Square. B) Rapid Networking (10:20 day 2), Informatics Forum, Charles Street. Pre-conference social (8pm, 29 May) AND post-dinner after party (30 May), St Andrews Brewing Co., 32-34 Potterrow. C) Conference dinner (30 May), Ciao Roma, 64 South Bridge (advance booking only).


Plenary speakers

Professor of Applied Languages

University of Limerick, Ireland

Professor of Educational Linguistics

Kings College London, UK

'Language Policy 3.0: are we ready, are we relevant?'

Using Friedman’s (2007) framework of globalization, in this paper, I explore the readiness or otherwise of language policy in terms of focus, theories and methods for dealing with what I am terming ‘Language policy 3.0’. According to Friedman’s ‘Flat World Theory’, globalization can be understood in terms of different eras primarily in relation to the key actors of the respective era. Thus, he sees globalization 1.0 as being driven primarily by countries; globalization 2.0 by companies; and globalization 3.0 by individuals. At play in these different eras have been different technological imperatives and economic frameworks which have determined the shape of these different eras of globalization.

In this paper, I argue that Friedman’s framework albeit flawed and partial is a good one for exploring and understanding language policy. Reviewing how language policy has evolved in relation to understanding globalization 1.0 and 2.0, I then go on to question how language policy studies are grappling with the current era of globalization.

In particular, I would like to posit two important questions: First of all, is language policy ready and able to cope with globalization 3.0? Are our tools, concepts and methods fit for purpose and if not how might they need to evolve? Secondly, is language policy relevant in globalization 3.0? Is our focus the right one? And, if not, how might or should language policy keep up with globalization 3.0?

Friedman, T. (2007) The World is Flat: The Globalized World in the Twenty-first Century (Revised Edition). London and New York: Penguin.

'Policy Incommensurability: Assimilation and monolingualism in contemporary diversity in the UK'

Ethnolinguistic diversity is now regarded as a permanent feature of society. Social integration is recognised as a society goal and ethnic diversity is celebrated in policy rhetoric. On the ground, however, there is a strong tendency for government policies to continue to treat monolingualism in English and (putative) monolithic Britishness as the unmarked norms in civil society.

In this talk I will explore the impact of this view on aspects of schooling education and migration policies. More specifically I will focus on (a) the curriculum provision for English as an Additional Language (EAL) in schools, and (b) the English language requirements for new citizens. I will support my arguments firstly by providing a brief genealogy of education policy trajectories regarding linguistic diversity over the past 50 years, and secondly by an analysis of the language model underlying the current English language requirements for new citizens.

It will be shown that the current policies misrecognize the nature of contemporary diversities in society. This discussion will include policy texts and draw on studies in the fields of language education, language policy, language testing, linguistic anthropology, sociocultural theories, and the emerging discipline of raciolinguistics.

Advice panel on writing monographs

In last year's conference we scheduled a panel of journal editors to give advice for prospective authors. This year we're running a similar panel for early career researchers, on the subject of writing monographs. Four experienced monograph authors will give their top tips about the long and winding road of writing, submitting, editing, proofing, and everything in between!

Julia Sallabank, SOAS University of London: Attitudes to Endangered Languages: Identities and Policies, Cambridge University Press, 2013

Joseph Gafaranga, University of Edinburgh: Bilingualism as Interactional Practices, Edinburgh University Press, 2018

Lisa McEntee-Atalianis, Birkbeck University: Identity in Applied Linguistics Research, Bloomsbury, 2018

David Cassels Johnson, University of Iowa: Language Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013


The programme is live! Please click here to see our exciting lineup of speakers and panels!

Joining the Language Policy BAAL SIG

Updates and preliminary discussions will take place on the mailing list of the Language Policy special interest group. The group is open to all, and free to join:

Registration and fees

**EXTENDED REGISTRATION DEADLINE: presenters, May 10; non-presenters, May 15**

Please register via this link (BOTH presenters and non-presenters).

We are aiming for maximum inclusivity in this conference, at all career stages, and taking into account variations in job security throughout academia. Please note that to keep costs to a minimum, lunch will not provided. There is, however, a cafeteria on site as well as many restaurants and shops nearby.

  • Employed full-time, BAAL non-member: £120
  • Employed full-time, BAAL member: £100
  • Non-BAAL fractional, non-BAAL student with conference funding: £60
  • BAAL fractional, BAAL student with conference funding: £50
  • Retired, unemployed, student without conference funding: £20

Delegates are welcome to bring family or friends to the conference dinner. They will each need to pay the £17 dinner fee at the conference front desk, and they will be given a receipt.

Draft presentation/poster upload for sign language interpreters (deadline 15 May)

Please upload a draft of your presentation or poster by Wednesday 15 May. This does NOT need to be entirely complete and will NOT be used for the conference itself. It is only for the sign language interpreters to become familiar with your terminology, structure, etc. You can bring an updated version with you. Please upload your file here.


We aim for maximum accessibility, including physical location and navigation of buildings. The venue is fully accessible, with level access and lifts between floors.

We are extremely grateful to SCILT for supporting BSL / English sign language interpreting at the conference. Please contact Events Organiser Rachel O’Neill ( to discuss, which can be in BSL by Skype / Facetime.

A phone signal is available on most networks throughout the campus. There is also campus-wide eduroam (works with any university login), and a guest wifi signal (login details will be given during the conference).

If you have other accessibility needs, please also email to discuss.

Suggested nearby Accommodation

food at the conference

Teas and coffees are included in the conference fee and shown on the programme. Lunch is not included, but is available to buy cheaply in the cafe in 50 George Square. The conference meal is on Thursday 30th May at nearby Ciao Roma (advance bookings only). When you pay the conference fee you will have the option of booking the conference meal too at £17. This is a first course and a glass of wine or soft drink. Other events will be added to this web page.