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Language contact, multilingualism and minorities in the Romance-speaking world

Explore language contact in multilingual and language minority settings

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CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Master's
Field of studies
  • Social Science and humanities
Course dates
17 January - 21 March

Main topics addressed

This short term virtual mobility course will address the following main topics:

  • Language contact, multilingualism and minorities in settings in the Romance-speaking world
  • Theories and methods applicable to the study of multilingual environments

Learning outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand and reflect upon multilingualism in the Romance-speaking world based on set examples from the reading list (and/or previous studies) and classroom activities.
  • Apply a number of theories and methods addressed during the course to either analyse language contexts characterised by language contact and change or discuss specific cases of language policy and planning.
  • Create a proposal for a small field study that aims to explore a particular situation, where language contact takes place within a set context of language policy or planning in an environment where Romance languages are spoken.
Format: Virtual  Dates: 17 January - 21 March 
ECTS: 7,5*  Language: English (B2)
Contact:  Laura Álvarez López -

This short term virtual mobility course will be running for 10 weeks, from 17 January to 21 March. The course involves a weekly study of 20 hours, including preparation (readings before each lesson), classes and a workshop. 

The course is organised in lectures, seminars and students' presentations. For the presentations, students will organise a workshop in collaboration with the teachers.

*Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 


This short term virtual mobility course is open to Master's students at the nine CIVIS member universities, with an advanced level and/or a Bachelor's degree in Languages, Linguistics, History, Philosophy or a related program. 

A B2 level of English is required. Lectures, students' presentations and discussions will be in English, but readings and group discussions may be in Romance languages. 

Application process

Applicants should send their CV and a cover letter (50-100 words) by 6 December 2021 to

In their cover letter, applicants should explain the reason why they want to participate in this particular course as well as their contribution to the course.

Selected students will be notified on 13 December 2021.


Students are expected to actively participate and contribute to the discussions during classes. To achieve the learning objectives, students will, among other things, discuss how languages change in multilingual settings and how different groups' language practices may be affected by, for example, ideologies and language policy.

The assessment will be based on 3 assignments. 

  • Assignment 1: a short written and oral assignment (1 page).
  • Assignment 2: oral presentation (15 min) of a proposal for a field study with the aim of exploring a language contact setting or language policies in a context where Romance languages are spoken.
  • Assignment 3: the written proposal for the same field study (3000-4000 words). 

The oral presentations will be in English, but the written assignments can be written in one of the following languages: English, French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.

Selected students will receive more detailed instructions in due course.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Laura Álvarez López

Laura Álvarez López is Professor of Portuguese at Stockholm University. Her sociolinguistic research focuses on varieties of Portuguese and Spanish and aims to study linguistic and social factors that influence language variation and change in intercultural and multilingual settings in both Africa and Latin America.

Sabina Gola

Sabina Gola, PhD in Romance Philology, is a lecturer at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and has been teaching the Italian language since 1998. She is the Academic Coordinator of French as a Foreign Language. Her scientific interests lie in the Italian language and linguistics but also in the intercomprehension between Romance languages and didactics of plurilingualism. She designed and developed MultiGram, an open-source multilingual online platform. In collaboration with other colleagues, she designed RomaNet, the platform for Romance languages. She is also the Academic Head of the "Linguistic Tandem" module.

Luisa Martín Rojo

Luisa Martín Rojo is Professor of Linguistics at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and Director of the UAM MIRCo Research Center for Multilingualism, Discourse and Communication. She is also a founding member and the former President of the International Association Discourse Studies and Society (EDiSo). Through her research trajectory, she has conducted and lead research in the fields of discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and communication, mainly focused on social inequality and sociolinguistic justice.  

Bernadette O’Rourke

Bernadette O’Rourke is Professor of Sociolinguistics and Hispanic Studies at the University of Glasgow. Her research sits within the broad area of sociolinguistics and the sociology of language and focuses on the political and social meanings of language and their influence on society. She has specialisms in minority languages, multilingualism, language policy and language ideologies.