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Plurilingualism, Multilingualism and Transnational Languages: Concepts, Strategies & Approaches - LAN00063I

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Thomas Jochum-Critchley
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

The module is about bringing together theoretical knowledge and understanding of pluri-/multilingualism and related concepts and their practical application through the engagement in plurilingual projects aimed at a range of audiences and the wider community. Students will study key theoretical concepts (see below) that underpin the study of pluri/multilingualism, they will also apply these concepts to analyse and understand social and cultural phenomena in English/French/German/Italian/Spanish-speaking communities from a transnational perspective.

Students will also gain first hand experience in raising awareness of the presence and relevance of a diversity of languages in society, and thus make a positive contribution to plurilingualism.

The lectures will be taught in English. Seminars will make use of the full language repertoire of students present, i.e. the languages of study such as French/German/Italian and Spanish and others, depending on student enrolment.

This is a module offered as curated elective across the university.

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

a) As an option module for BA Languages & Cultures (with a year abroad); BA Languages & Cultures and Linguistics (with a year abroad); BA Languages & Cultures with Linguistics; BA Languages and History (with a year abroad): French/German/Italian/Spanish Language and Cultures (Upper Intermediate)

b) As an elective module across the university: Either one of the above or an A-level (or equivalent) in any language studied as second/additional language.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

  • Introducing students to key concepts and issues of pluri/multilingualism, transnationality, and trans-/ interculturality and related concepts

  • Developing students understanding of the plurilingual nature of English/French/German/Italian/Spanish-speaking communities

  • Developing experiential learning through collaborative project work

  • Providing practical experience in engaging with audiences outside the university

  • Develop students effective plurilingual communication skills

Module learning outcomes

  • Knowledge of key concepts and issues in multilingualism, transnationalism and trans/intercultural communication

  • Ability to apply theoretical knowledge and communication skills to produce a concrete project outcome

  • Ability to use a range of language repertoires for effective plurilingual communication

  • Ability to reflect upon effective use of language repertoires

Module content

The module is taught as a combination of lectures and seminars. In the lectures, the following theories / concepts are introduced:

  • Plurilingualism / Multilingualism

  • Culture and Languages in transnational perspective, i.e. popular culture as transnational phenomenon

  • Transcultural / Intercultural Communication

  • Concepts of superdiversity and language repertoires

  • Plurilingual project work (i.e. events, exhibitions, educational initiatives, resource creation etc.)

This lays the groundwork for exploring specific examples of pluri/multilingualism in seminars. These examples focus on different regions/communities where the languages of study are spoken. Examples of topics discussed in seminars (illustration only):

  • Superdiversity/Multilingualism in specific regions/cities

  • Translanguaging and poetry

  • Examples of transnational popular culture

  • Bilingual/Multilingual education

In seminar groups of 10 to 15 students (max), students also work on a plurilingual group project as part of the assessment. The group project has the following specification:

  • Project groups are ideally 3 to 5 students

  • Product includes research/information on an aspect of pluri/multilingualism

  • The project involves engagement with people outside academia

  • The project has a specific outcome that is shared beyond the classroom

Possible project topics are:

  • Researching and presenting linguistic landscapes (York, north/west yorkshire)

  • Researching and presenting the multilingual heritage of York

  • Creating a multilingual exhibition on a topic linked to our programmes

  • Designing a multilingual online resource for an educational event

  • Create a multilingual event (art, music, drama, film …)

  • Multilingual storytelling for children?

  • Exploring the linguistic heritage/landscape of York

  • Developing a multilingual campaign for Language Learning…

The outcomes of the projects are presented in week 11 on a project day where a general audience is invited.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Plurilingualism, Multilingualism and Transnational Languages
3 hours 60
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Plurilingual Group Project
N/A 40

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Plurilingualism, Multilingualism and Transnational Languages
3 hours 60
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Project presentation
0.25 hours 40

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in form of annotated scripts, written feedback sheets, and marks on the university marking scale within the turnaround time specified by the university.

Indicative reading

Maher, J. C. (2017). Multilingualism: a very short introduction. Oxford : Oxford University Press

Piccardo, E., Germain-Rutherford, A., Lawrence, G. (2021). An Introduction to Plurilingualism and This Handbook. In E. Piccardo, A. Germain-Rutherford, and G. Lawrence (eds). The Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual Language Education. New York: Routledge

Kramsch, C. (2009). The multilingual subject. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Creative Multilingualism (n.d.). Blog. Retrieved 14 Nov 2022 from

Burns, J, duncan, D.(2022). Transnational Modern Languages. A Handbook. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.