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13 October 2021 - 13 October 2021

1:00PM - 2:00PM

Online seminar using Zoom

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Part of the School of Education Research Seminar Series.

Internationalisation and Multilingualism in Doctoral Education: Language Ideologies, Discourse and Positioning

Dr Stephanie Hofmann, University of Luxembourg 

This will be a virtual seminar using Zoom. Contact for details about how to take part.

Framed by the internationalisation of higher education and its contributions towards a knowledge-based society and economy in Europe, little is known about how academic actors negotiate voice when choosing a language for academic writing and publishing. In view of the increased usage of English for writing and publishing doctoral theses, questions arise about the mechanisms and preferences underlying doctoral researchers’ linguistic choices, and how such choices pertain to shifting academic norms. 

In my contribution, I will present some parts of my PhD project which focused on the linguistic processes of doctoral publications and outputs in the context of a multilingual university—the University of Luxembourg (UL). Using voice, positioning and language ideology as central theoretical concepts, I will show how doctoral researchers in a multilingual research context position themselves in relation to macrolevel discourses about language and academic success within their complex lingua-cultural and socio-economic setting. Based on a discourse analysis of in-depth problem-centred interviews with plurilingual doctoral researchers from China, Germany, Luxembourg and Russia, I will show that despite the dominance of English, doctoral researchers continue to draw on their plurilingual repertoire as a resource for their research and writing processes, however, for different reasons, which are ideologically motivated. The study reveals that the choice for publishing in English is mostly based on shifts in academic norms that focus on economic imperatives, such as competition and hyper-performativity. Therefore, the prevalence of English and the pressure to publish in international journals seem to lead doctoral researchers towards limiting the use of the totality of their plurilingual repertoire for writing and publishing theses.  


Hofmann, S., & Hu, A. (2019). Mehrsprachigkeit im Universitären Kontext: Eine Analyse der Sprachenwahleiner Doktorandin in Luxemburg. Cahiers Internationaux de Sociolinguistique, 2, 141-164. 

Hofmann, S. (2020). Multilingualism and internationalisation in doctoral education: Discourse, positioning and agency. European Journal of Applied Linguistics, 8(2), 257-277.