This round table addresses ways to enhance plurilingualism and translanguaging in the university setting outside of language classes. Plurilingual and translanguaging practices seem to be no new phenomenon and no exceptions. On the contrary, they seem to be a rather common practice (Blommaert, 2010; Franceschini, 2009; Lamb, 2015; Maher, 2017), especially at universities. Most academics, non-academic staff and students are in a face-to-face or digital contact with more than one language on a daily basis. All universities expect their communities to be able to communicate in English to a certain extent today. Universities in multilingual areas expect their communities to have some orientation in the languages of the region, students in Czechia are expected to understand teaching or services in Slovak, academics in Galicia are expected to operate in Galician, Spanish or Portuguese. University campuses invite mix of communication strategies used by students outside of their classes. However, there is a slight drawback to this situation, plurilingual and translanguaging competencies are often appreciated by linguists and language teachers only. This may be due to the fact they have some experience and are aware of their practical use. According to Covacevic (2020), in EU countries, 52% of foreign language teachers have been abroad for study during their teacher education, compared to 18% of other teachers, and 26% of foreign language teachers have taught abroad, compared to just 9% of other teachers. Such significant differences grow even higher when foreign language experience is compared to non-teaching staff.
To promote plurilingual and translanguaging competencies beyond language teachers´ community successfully implies rethinking and adopting creative, collaborative and interdisciplinary approach that will ensure such competencies can be meaningful and beneficial to all involved. Given the context, this round table addresses questions, such as: Apart from informal and spontaneous language use, which professional situations are generally favourable to plurilingual and translanguaging practices? Are there tangible barriers to plurilingualism or translanguaging at university work environment? What are the benefits of plurilingual and translanguaging competencies outside of language classes, language departments or language centres?
This round table aims to bring a critical discussion on the practical impact of principles of plurilingualism and translanguaging on academic environment outside of language classes.
Esta mesa redonda tiene como objetivo generar una discusión crítica sobre el impacto práctico de los principios de plurilingüismo y translingüismo en el entorno académico fuera de las clases de idiomas. Dado el contexto, vamos a abordar cuestiones como: Aparte del uso informal y espontáneo del lenguaje, ¿qué situaciones profesionales son generalmente favorables a las prácticas plurilingües y translingüísticas? ¿Existen barreras tangibles para el plurilingüismo o el translenguaje en el entorno laboral universitario? ¿Cuáles son los beneficios de las competencias plurilingües y translingüísticas fuera de las clases de idiomas, los departamentos de idiomas o los centros de idiomas?