2020 Language Policy Forum

Language policy and human movements: Global, regional, local

7-8 May 2020

Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 184 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 8PQ

In 2020 we continue our highly successful series of international, affordable, and accessible conferences. Each year we welcome people from dozens of countries to our inclusive event, encouraging involvement of researchers from a range of career stages and with a range of accessibility needs and caring responsibilities.

Plenary speakers

Professor Wendy Bennett

Professor of French Philology and Linguistics

Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

University of Cambridge

Professor Joseph Lo Bianco

Professor of Language and Literacy Education

Graduate School of Education

University of Melbourne

please print and display our flyer!

Key dates

Abstract submission deadline: 18.12.19. Acceptance notice: 25.1.20. Registration opens: 3.2.2020. Upload of outline draft presentation/poster for sign language interpreters: 24.4.20.

Call for papers

(Abstract submission form at the bottom of the page.)

Human movement is one of the most prominent defining features of modern society, and while people are on the move, so too are languages. Much research has looked at migration and its impact on linguistic diversity and language practice; however, less is known about how the process of language movement is negotiated, managed and governed both within and across borders.

Central to the debate on this issue is the need to understand the relationship between ‘border’ and ‘order’, and how these notions are (re)conceptualised and contested. What, for example, is the role of language in creating and maintaining a sense of order? LPF 2020 provides a unique opportunity to critically engage with this debate from a language policy perspective. We are interested in interdisciplinary and multi-layered understandings of language policy in relation to all forms of human movement: global, regional, local.

Critical issues of interest range from local and regional issues - such as language policy in the multilingual classroom and language planning to achieve regional peace - to national and international matters - such as language policy for nation building and language policy challenges in international student mobility.

LPF 2020 in Cambridge is intended to build on the themes raised at LPF 2019 in Edinburgh, and to provide a space where different research approaches and methods on language policy are interrogated. We strive to take forward the methodological conversation and try out new ideas to examine theoretical and conceptual issues of language policy and human movement.

The Language Policy Forum is international, affordable, and accessible. We strive for inclusivity, especially attending to various disabilities, as well as precarity in academic employment. The BAAL Language Policy special interest group (www.langpol.ac.uk) exists to enable such broad and inclusive dialogue. Our fee structure reflects this, as does our attention to other forms of accessibility, including physical access, provision of childcare, and sign language interpreting.

The conference languages are English and British Sign Language.

Presentations will be 20 minutes, followed by 5 mins Q&A. There will be 5 minutes for handover between two sessions.

Local chair: Yongcan Liu.

Local organising committee: Karen Forbes, Linda Fisher, Cindy Chang, Javier Moreno, Lini Xiao.

Conference fees

  • Employed full-time, BAAL non-member: £120 (to join BAAL, visit https://baal.org.uk/join/)
  • Employed full-time, BAAL member: £100
  • Non-BAAL fractional/adjunct, non-BAAL student with conference funding: £60
  • BAAL fractional/adjunct, BAAL student with conference funding: £50
  • Retired, unemployed, student without conference funding: £20


Click each blue place marker below to see details of each venue.

The closest airport is London Stansted, which links to Cambridge by coach, train (30-40 minutes), and road (M11). Train travel from London Heathrow or London Gatwick is also quite straightforward (though longer, around 2 hours) - see www.nationalrail.co.uk. Travel from London Luton involves bus + train - see www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk.

We recommend that you make booking well in advance to avoid significantly more expensive train tickets bought close to or on the day of travel.


May is a busy time in Cambridge and we advise that you book your accommodation as early as possible.

Cambridge has a wide range of hotels, B&B accommodation and guest houses. The following are close to the conference venue: Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 184 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8PQ.

Imperial Cambridge Hotel

Travelodge Cambridge Central


Hotel Ibis

If you are interested in staying in a Cambridge College and having some college experience, please book through College Rooms.

We look forward to welcoming you to Cambridge in 2020!