LINGUIST List 32.1471

Tue Apr 27 2021

Calls: Applied Ling, Pragmatics, Socioling/Italy

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 27-Apr-2021
From: Giovanni Tallarico <>
Subject: Multilingualism in professional life. Manifestations, management
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Full Title: Multilingualism in professional life. Manifestations, management

Date: 25-Nov-2021 - 26-Nov-2021
Location: Verona, Italy
Contact Person: Giovanni Tallarico
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site:

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics

Call Deadline: 21-Jun-2021

Meeting Description:

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literature of the University of Verona, in collaboration with the Progetto di Eccellenza : le Digital Humanities applicate alle lingue e letterature straniere (Project of Excellence in the Digital Humanities), is organising an international conference with the aim of exploring the question of multilingualism in business and industry and what this implies for acquiring the relevant language skills. Building on the two-year MultilinVR project, which analysed the language needs of businesses in the Verona region and the experience of specialised training in language skills, it is time to reflect more globally on multilingualism in the professional context and to open up new avenues of research.

Call for Papers:

To start off with, it is important to take stock of how globalisation, immigration, transnational lifestyles, increasing mobility (including professional mobility) have played a decisive role in the way multilingualism is perceived. Multilingualism can take on different forms, individual, social, state-based, and involve various players such as supranational institutions, international organisations and establishments of higher learning. In this sense, multilingualism is a question of public interest. The recent conference of the European Observatory for Plurilingualism (EOP) stressed the fact that multilingual skills are an essential asset in the present-day context. All this implies that exploring multilingualism, while preserving and promoting it, is a major issue in our societies. It is an opportunity to seize and a challenge to respond to. Multilingualism has become a crucial issue at a time when Brexit (Kelly 2018) calls into question the linguistic status quo in Europe challenging the dogma of English as the lingua franca (Tietze 2004) in European institutions and in trade. This conference aims at exploring multilingualism and what impact it has in professional contexts, in particular those strongly impacted by the phenomenon.

It is now an accepted fact that correct management of languages in the workplace has a direct effect on a firm’s competitivity (Grin 2010; Zorzi et al. 2012; Truchot 2015; Gerolimich & Vecchiato 2016; Brivio 2018). The competitive advantages of multilingualism are well documented (Carrère et al. 2016; Hogan-Brun 2017; Gazzola 2017; Gazzola & Mazzacani 2017). Many studies show that there is a link between foreign language skills and succesful export performance (PIMLICO Project 2011). Research by English-speaking experts (Angouri 2013; Feely & Harzing 2003; Ginsburgh & Weber 2011; Welch 2005) has focused on multilingualism as a strategic management tool used in an essentially pragmatic context. In Scandinavia several studies have stressed the dynamics of power associated with multilingualism (Andersen & Rasmussen 2004; Fredriksson et al. 2006; Lønsmann & Mortensen 2018). The importance of affect should not be underestimated either in business negotiations (Allred et al. 1997) nor the emotional resonance that using the negotiating partner’s language can procure (Bordia & Bordia 2015). This brings us to further investigate strategies used to promote multilingual communication, calling on translators and/or interpreters (Clouet 2019), adapting websites (Mattioda 2015), hiring native speakers or staff with language skills, providing language learning facilities. Furthermore, the question will be addressed as to how companies can best define and contribute to a meaningful strategic management of the language question in business.

Proposed papers may correspond to the following orientations (non-exhaustive list):
1. Observing good practices in companies and cases of language management
2. Economic value of languages
3. Needs in multilingual terminology in business communication
4. Integrating non native-speaking workers by taking into account their multilingual skills
5. Managing intercultural differences in multilingual firms
6. The limit of the all-English mantra: case studies
7. The role of translation in professional contexts
8. Learning languages for professional reasons
9. European language policies and recommendations concerning the workplace

Proposed papers should be sent to the following address: by 21 June, 2021. Please note the following requirements:
- Word format or compatible
- Author(s): papers are anonymous
- Length: around 500 words

Page Updated: 27-Apr-2021