Language inequality in education, law and citizenship

By Hui (Annette) Zhao, Nicola McLelland and Leanne Henderson | 19 December 2020 | Policy Collection

In April 2019, the University of Nottingham brought together academics with practitioners – teachers, examiners, dictionary-makers, speech therapists, legislators, translators, lobbyists, policy-makers, and others – to examine how assumptions and beliefs about correct, acceptable or standard languages impact on everyday life in a multilingual world. The papers in this Languages, Society and Policy special collection, all by participants in that "Language Rules?" workshop, offer perspectives on language inequality in education, law and citizenship, from the USA, Ireland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands as well as from within the UK. Five policy papers by Adler, Kibbee, Migge, Moreno-Rivero and Stollhans reflect on the implications of research on multilingualism for decision-making in aspects of law, citizenship, and education, while Debono's opinion piece challenges us to consider the role of academic linguistic experts in court. Krogull and Darquennes, meanwhile, issue a challenge to researchers of historical sociolinguistics to tackle research questions in ways that yield insights to inform contemporary real-world decision-making.


Policy Papers


Addressing linguistic inequality in legal settings

by Dougla A. Kibbee

Counting languages: how to do it and what to avoid. A German perspective

by Astrid Adler

Linguistic variation in language learning classrooms: considering the role of regional variation and ‘non-standard’ varieties

by Sascha Stollhans

Translation as social policy: quality management in public service interpreting and translation

by Javier Moreno-Rivero

Why embed multilingualism into university practices?

by Bettina Migge


Opinion articles


How to learn from history? Some policy-relevant research possibilities on the circulation of ideas and beliefs about language

by Andreas Krogull and Jeroen Darquennes

Verbal violence, conflicts, glottophobic discriminations – is sociolinguistics in court such a good idea? (reflections in a French context)

by Marc Debono