Call for papers

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Call for papers

Appreciating Plurilingual Competencies: Current and Future Perspectives

…una Europa di poliglotti non è un’Europa di persone che parlano correntemente molte lingue, ma nel migliore dei casi di persone che possono incontrarsi parlando ciascuno la propria lingua e intendendo quella dell’altro, che pure non saprebbero parlare in modo fluente, e intendendola, sia pure a fatica, intendessero il « genio », l’universo culturale che ciascuno esprime parlando la lingua dei propri avi e della propria tradizione. 

                  Umberto Eco, La ricerca della lingua perfetta, 1993

Plurilingualism, as a concept differentiated from multilingualism, first entered European debates on language policy in the 2000s. It was integrated subsequently into the 2018 CEFR Companion Volume with new descriptors and since has established itself in the language teaching and learning landscape under the operational concept of plurilingual/pluricultural competence.

Plurilingualism has grown beyond the idea of a mental compartmentalization of languages as well as the ideal of the native speaker, both of which are widely considered to be utopian but nevertheless serve as the model for current language learning strategies.  In contrast, the concept of plurilingual competence entails the relative mastery of receptive and productive modalities in several languages (and dialects) for communicative situations in which the concurrent and flexible use of multiple languages is required. Plurilingual competence is based on a complementarity of languages in learning, which can be seen as an almost organic continuum requiring innovative, dynamic, and transversal approaches, as well as a (re)adaptation of pedagogical and didactic devices. In this context, the notion of an individual linguistic repertoire could constitute one of the focal points for developing methodologies and practices promoting plurilingual learning.

The concept of plurilingualism is broad and complex, and it poses the question of whether the operating concept described above is sufficiently operational for language learning/development(?). Pragmatically, it may be difficult to transition from existing divisions and transcend multiple monolingual practices to foster acceptance for flexible and diversified plurilingualism with generally recognized cognitive, social, and cultural advantages. In this context, this symposium will adopt a highly practical and interdisciplinary approach. Language instructors working in higher education and researchers from diverse cultural and geographical backgrounds are invited to present and share their experiences and best practices, to explore and develop new perspectives, and to stimulate in-depth reflections on the issues at the heart of plurilingualism. During the two-day symposium, the aim will be to establish fruitful and intense discussions and exchanges of opinions about plurilingual and pluricultural attitudes in academic contexts along with opportunities for the future.

Thematic areas

1) Plurilingualism-related theoretical concepts

Dynamic Systems Theory perspective, neuroscience, cognitive science, Plurilingual future self (Ushioda 2017), Ideal Multilingual Self (Henry 2017, 2018, 2020), linguistic multi-competence (Cook 2016)

2) Plurilingual competencies:

intercomprehension, learning and communication strategies, cross-linguistic mediation, representations of linguistic repertoires, reflexivity...

3) Plurilingual learning strategies:

personalised journeys, empowering practices, didactics of plurilingualism, virtual exchange, automatic translation...

4) Affective dimension of plurilingual learning:

motivation, psycholinguistic aspects, group dynamics, social and identity aspects...

5) Plurilingualism and cultures in contact:

migration and mobility, specificity of contexts and audiences, geopolitical aspects, multicultural competence...  

6) Plurilingualism, language and educational policies:

status of languages, geopolitical aspects, plurilingual dynamics in uni/multilingual countries...


Beacco, J.-C., Byram, M., Cavalli, M., Coste, D., Egli Cuenat, M., Goullier, F., & Panthier, J. (2016). Guide pour le développement et la mise en œuvre de curriculums pour une éducation plurilingue et interculturelle. Conseil de l’Europe.

Berthele, R. (2010). Mehrsprachigkeitskompetenz als dynamisches Repertoire – Vorüberlegungen zu einer integrierten Sprachendidaktik. In Franziska Bitter Bättig & Albert Tanner (Eds.), Sprachen lernen – Lernen durch Sprache (p. 225-239). Zürich. Seismo.

Bonvino, E., Fiorenza, E., & Cortés Velásquez, D. (2018). Observing Strategies in Intercomprehension Reading. Some Clues for Assessment in Plurilingual Settings. Front. Commun, 29(3). DOI: 10.3389/fcomm.2018.00029

Castellotti, V. (2017). Pour une didactique de l’appropriation : diversité, compréhension, relation. Paris. Didier.

Fäcke, C., & Meissner, F.-J. (Eds.). (2019). Handbuch Mehrsprachigkeits- und Mehrkulturalitätsdidaktik. Tübingen. Gunter Narr.

Nied Curcio, M., & Cortès Velàsquez, D. (Eds.). (2018). Strategien im Kontext des mehrsprachigen und lebenslangen Lernens. Berlin. Frank und Timme.

Piccardo, E., Germain-Rutherford, A., & Lawrence, G. (Eds.). (2021). The Routledge Handbook of Plurilingual Language Education. Routledge.

Vallejo, C., & Dooly, M. (2020). Plurilingualism and translanguaging: emergent approaches and shared concerns. Introduction to the special issue. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 23(1), 1-16. DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2019.1600469

Verdelhan-Bourgade, M. (2007). Plurilinguisme : pluralité des problèmes, pluralité des approches. Tréma [en ligne], 28, 5-16. DOI:

Conference Session Formats​

Oral presentations

30 minutes, i.e. 20-minute presentation + 10-minute discussion.

Talks can be delivered in one of the conference languages. If a presentation is not delivered in English, its supporting materials (slides, handouts and other visuals) can be either bilingual (in the language of the presentation and in English) or in English.


40 minutes

Workshops are practice-oriented sessions that are supposed to engage participants in a series of participative activities so that they can gain hands-on experience with tools, strategies or best practices.

Conference Languages

Papers may be delivered in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Czech. 

Submission Guidelines

Proposals must contain the following:

  1. title of the presentation/workshop,
  2. thematic area,
  3. body of abstract in the language of the presentation/workshop (400 words)
  4. short summary of your abstract (max. 150 words) in English or in another language of your choice from the conference languages
  5. biography (80–100 words)
  6. 1–5 references

Proposals will be blind reviewed by members of the Scientific Committee. The presenters will receive an answer of acceptance by 21 February 2022.

Proposals should be submitted in .docx (Word) format through an online registration form HERE.

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